Tuesday, December 30, 2008

godliness again?

Another wonderful sunny day full of blessings from the Lord. The sun is setting as I write this and the sun's glory is brilliant. How much more is the Son's brilliance and glory? I can't wait to see it.
Yesterday I shared about godliness and today when I was doing my daily reading I met this word again and thought I'd share 2 Peter 1:3-11. So, please read this portion and join me.....
We first find our word in verse 3. Peter tells us that God gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. I mentioned that yesterday and here it tells us again how to be godly. Plus, He gives us what we need to be godly, so what are you doing with what He's given you?
In verses 6 and 7 he mentions godliness again. It starts in verse 5 by telling us to make every effort...In the future I'll share more about this passage, so I don't want to cover everything here, but notice that godliness comes after lots of work. God helps us to become godly, but we also have to work at it.
In order for me to teach Biblical precepts, I first have to study. I can't just open the Bible and expect to be able to share in depth teaching without first spending time and effort learning, then I can share what I've learned. So, what are you doing to to become more godly?
As I think of the time I spend on the computer each day (not much, because I have more important things to do) I have to ask myself, have I spent as much time with God, studying His Word?
Our son-in-law works on a computer every day because it's his job, writing programs. He can't spend as much time in the Word as he does at his eight hour job because he has a family and needs to sleep.
But what about the rest of us? How much time do you spend on "things" compared to time spent with Him? As the new year comes, assess what you want to change to help become more godly. I know that He will be more than pleased with your effort and you will receive many blessings.
Please pray for me as I decide what book of the Bible to study next. I want the Lord to direct me to what He wants me to learn, then share. Thanks for your prayers.

On the journey to godliness,

Monday, December 29, 2008


What wonderful sunny weather we're having. The Lord is blessing us after many days of yucky weather! Lynn and babies are still hanging in there. I'm beginning to think they don't want to leave their warm nest. She's only a couple of weeks away from her original due date. Maybe we'll have New Year's babies!
I want to look at the word from 1 Tim. 6:11, godliness. Refresh your memories by re reading the passage and join me.....The dictionary defines godliness as: the state of being godly. It defines godly as: pious, devout. Devout means: worshiping, attending to religious duties, sincere, earnest, devout hopes. Pious means: devout or showing religious devotion.
As I understand these terms that define godliness, it tells me that people who become monks and live in seclusion probably fit into this category quite well. But what about us, every day people living life?
I see the definition as part spiritual: the heart attitude, and physical; doing something with what you believe. That reminds me of James telling us to show our faith by our works. The heart is at the center I think of any godliness that we have.
Do you think of yourself as godly? I know that I don't, even though what I might do sometimes could be classified as godly. I guess because I'm a sinner thinking I'm godly is hard to grasp.
But, evidently it's possible to be godly because it's included in the list. So how do we do this? What comes to mind is having a right heart attitude. Loving God, putting Him and His desires ahead of mine. Serving Him with a whole heart, not a rebellious one.
I also think that studying His Word and applying it are important. We need to know error from truth and stand by this truth when we share with someone. We need to live the truth of God's Word because that's obedience and it pleases God greatly.
When I choose to obey Him, He declares me godly. When my heart is dedicated to Him and serving Him, I gain godliness. What are you doing to gain godliness? You know the way, He's the truth and life for us to follow in obedience.

Pursuing Him,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Good Morning,
Winter is definitely letting us know that it's here. When I took Tucker out for her run, the ice greeted us both; her "four wheel drive" fared better than my two!
Yesterday we looked at 1 Timothy 6:11-12. As I said, we'll look at the "list", a little each blog. Today it's about righteousness. Remember, we are to pursue it. So I'll start with the word: pursue. It means: to follow in order to capture or overtake; persistent.
We are to go after these attributes in the list in such a way that nothing holds us back or stops our taking hold of the attribute. How do we do this? Focus on God, learning daily about how He wants us to live. I think then that all the attributes listed just fall into place. That's the nutshell, but we still need to look at the individual.
Righteous is: conforming to the moral law. Contrary to many people's thinking today, God did set up the moral law and we are to obey it. We are to be "right with God" according to His definition of right.
If I understand the Bible's teaching on righteous, I come to the conclusion that it means to be pure, without sin before God. Now, we can't do that, but Christ can. By His blood we are made "right" with God, ergo: righteous. It isn't something we do, but who we are in Christ.
That doesn't mean that we don't have a responsibility to live in such a way as to remain pure and right before God. If we're constantly living for ourselves, we are taking the gift of grace that Christ has given us and are throwing it back in His face.
Daily, look at your life and see where you're constantly sinning and need to repent (turn away) from. We will and do sin, but we don't have to be controlled by it. We have the option of obeying God and His teachings (free will).
So, as you've been made "righteous" by Christ, are you going to live in such a way as to be right before God consistently? It's your choice, but remember, there are either blessings by obedience or consequences for disobedience. God gives both.

Grateful for His mercy,

Monday, December 22, 2008

1 Timothy 6:11-12

Hello All,
I trust you had a good weekend. We spent our Saturday with our family, celebrating Christmas. Because the twins are due momentarily, we went to Lynn and Jason's. We had a blessed day with good food and fellowship.
Today I've chosen 1 Tim. 6:11-12, but in order to understand these two verses, you need to first read 3-10, or the first part of the chapter. Come join me....
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
At this time of year when spending on "stuff" is rampant, the verses in the first part of the chapter speak resoundingly to us. But, that's not what I want to concentrate on here, at least not in the whole.
In verse 11 Paul tells Timothy to "flee from all this," to pursue (see list). That takes a conscious effort on our part when the holiday busyness invades our waking moments. Paul is telling us to concentrate on Him, not us or stuff or busyness. He wants the focus to be on the right person, not on the world.
I know that's hard when there are things that need to be done, presents to buy, etc. Perhaps in preparation for the holidays, getting organized and cutting out the extra's that draw us away in a flurry of activity from what this season is really about is what's necessary.
In the next few blogs I want to concentrate on each of the things Paul tells Timothy to pursue. We'll start with righteousness. So as you join me, we'll see what the Lord tells us about righteousness and what we're to do with it.

Working on the right "stuff",

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1 Timothy 1:13

Snowy Morning to you all,
Father Winter is in full fury today. I had to take Chuck to work and the roads were really bad, but as always, the Lord piloted me safely. I've often wondered how many angels are riding with me :).
I've chosen a different sort of verse today. Not sure why, but I have it underlined and I know that it speaks volumes, to all of us. So, here goes: "Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief."
When Paul calls himself a blasphemer and persecutor, he's talking about how he spoke and acted against Christ and His followers. He participated in Stephan's death too. He believed that Jesus wasn't God, even though Christ told everyone He was. The word blasphemy means: "contemptuous or irreverent speech about God or things regarded as sacred." Now, keep in mind that Paul thought he was serving God by persecuting Christians, believing that they were in the wrong on their theology, not him.
We found out recently that a man/family in our church was trying to influence people away from the teaching on eternal security. I'm not questioning their salvation, but his constant persistence finally brought discipline from the leadership: quit this teaching. He chose to leave, much to the disappointment of his family. The kids really loved our fellowship. I have a feeling that down the road some or all of the kids will be back, once they all leave home. From what I've observed, there's a possibility of some legalism in the family; I could be wrong.
I feel that because of this man's teaching, in ignorance of what scripture teaches, that God will show him mercy, especially to this man's family as they follow his headship and can't do anything different, at least for now.
I want to ask the man: why don't you want to be eternally secure? I feel strongly that in each of us we want to know that security. I can't imagine never knowing for sure if I'm saved or not. Thankfully, it's not dependent on me or my knowledge, but on God's grace.
I draw comfort from this passage that if I'm ignorant of something in God's teaching, that He gives me grace until I know and can do/change to come into obedience. Praise Him for His patience!!!

Grateful for grace,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Good Morning,
I trust you are all well this day. Winter has dropped some ice for us to slide around on, but life goes on. Please continue to pray for Betty as she mourns her dear Jack.
Today I want to focus on Ps. 40:4a. "Blessed is the man who makes the Lord His trust." Yesterday at our bible study I was asked if I ever not trust God. I shared that I don't because He's trustworthy.
Many places through the Word we see that God is trustworthy and our responsibility is to take Him at His Word and: trust Him. I also shared that I have days when I say to myself when doubts plague me: I choose to trust you Lord because You are trustworthy.
I don't always know the answer to the problems or know how to deal with my emotions, but I know God does and that when I place my trust in Him, He will see me through, either by leading, carrying or gently nudging me along.
I haven't always been so trusting, but I have two things that help enormously: His Word and what He has shown me in the past. There are days when I cling to these and that's ok with me and Him. He knows I'm "dust".
I'm not perfect, but I believe in God who is and His Word is trustworthy as it tells me that I can trust Him. Also, keep in mind that not to trust is: sin.

His is worthy of Trust,

Friday, December 5, 2008

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

Dear Friends,
I trust you are being comforted by the Lord as you go through your day, knowing that He will carry you, lead you and protect you by His Sovereign grace.
I like what 2 Thess. 1:3-4 tells me: "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring."
As I talked with Betty last, she shared how dear friends had come yesterday to sit, talk, pray and cry with her. She was so grateful/thankful for them. They love her and Jack and shared it in the best way. As she shared it made me long to be there to help comfort her too. Talking over the phone is ok, but not the same as being able to be with her and give her a hug, surrounded by tears of sympathy.
Betty is persevering and because of her strong faith, her endurance will encourage others and I know Betty would like that. She's such a giving person and a delight to all who know her. I am truly blessed to call her sister and friend. I know she's suffering, but I know she'll come through the fire, more gold.
I thank the Lord for Betty, her faith, encouragement, prayers, testimony and love for the lost. She's truly a saint and a delight to all her know her. Her love for Jack and constant praise of him showed all of us how to be a loving wife, in every way. She always glowed when she'd talk about him. They had 34 years together and I know he enjoyed everyone, just like she did.
We all have trials, but how we handle them reflects on our spiritual maturity. How are you doing during trials? Are you persevering with grace? Think on these things.....

Thankful for dear friends,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saying Goodbye

It's with a heavy heart that I tell you that our good friend and brother-in-the-Lord, Jack is with the Lord. It seems like he had a stroke, not a heart attack. As Betty and I talked we both agreed that being with the Lord is a better place that we'd both like to be too. I know Jack will be waiting for his Betty some day.
Jack donated organs and the nurse told Betty that over 50 things would benefit others. So, the next time you get your drivers license renewed, check that box too.
I know that the Lord has been with Betty and her family because of His great peace, the one that passes all understanding. The nursing staff commented on how spiritual the family seemed to be, that they'd never seen one quite like them. I agree; they are true spiritual giants, Jack and Betty.
I don't have any scripture to share today, just that the Lord gives us exactly what we need, when we need it, and not until. So if you think about the future and wonder how you'll face a problem/situation, trust the Lord because He will provide.

Knowing His provision in grief,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good Friends need Prayer

Dear All,
I'm writing to you asking for prayer for Jack O'Guinn. He's had another heart attack. They air lifted him to the cardiac unit, so prayerfully he'll get better fast. I don't think anyone who knows this wonderful teddy bear of a man wants to have him go home to glory, just yet.
The first time he had a heart attack, the Lord saved him. Since that time Jack has shared Christ with many people, discipled those the Lord has brought before him and been a true servant to all.
James 2:18 tells us: "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." Jack and Betty epitomize deeds because of their faith.
They both have backgrounds of not walking with the Lord until later in their parenting years when the Lord saved them. But they've made up since with sound teaching to their kids and grands. They're a strong witness with their relatives and I know truly strong prayer warriors. When the Lord's Word says that the prayers of a righteous person are heard and answered (availeth much), I think Jack and Betty definitely come to mind.
I know that you know people who are also dear to you and faithful servants to our Lord. When you think of them, send the Lord a prayer of thanks.....I sure am.

Praying for a dear saintly brother,

Monday, November 24, 2008

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Monday greetings,
The sun is shining and warming our day. The wind is also trying to blow us away! I think I just wrote a poem:))).
I hope you all had a good weekend. We were able to spend Sunday night here with our son and family for supper. We had a good visit and got some good 'grands' time in.
As I communicated with friends this weekend, I learned about some service they've been doing. So, when I started 1 Thessalonians I found right away verses that speak about what they've been doing.
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. "
My friends have shown their faith by their work/service. I know that it's prompted by love for others. I also know that they put in long hours to produce the result of many being helped. The Free Friday giveaway was a success again. The Wednesday night meals and social time is a success. God is providing for peoples needs through the caring servant hearts of my dear friends. I'm always encouraged to hear reports of how the Lord is using those who desire to serve Him. It shows obedience to Him.
The Apostle Paul made many commendations of people that were serving God. He knew how to give credit where it was due. I think it's important to edify those who are serving, to encourage them in the work. Many times their service is really difficult, or they don't see much fruit. But, we are told through the Word to encourage one another.
So, the next time you know of someone serving, tell them that you appreciate their service and effort for the Lord. Perhaps they'll edify you back!

Glad for servant friends,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

God's Chosen

I heard Tony Evans say today: "give up what the flesh wants to give what the spirit needs." Isn't that just profound? "Screaming Tony" has great messages, I just wish his voice level wasn't always so intense.
Chuck has a new job. The Lord has provided so that he doesn't have to drive a truck hauling a flatbed. His new job is "hands off" freight. He just has to drive from point A to point B. And, he doesn't have to be in Chicago every other day. It's been hard for him to be home, but now he has peace and it seems to be a good company.
Check out Colossians 3:12-14 and join me....I really like the thought that I've been chosen by God. I know this means because I've trusted in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We are holy and dearly loved.
How many times do you think about how God loves you? Do you contemplate what Christ did on the cross and does it tear your heart out? We are filthy rags, but He loves us dearly and has made us holy. The dictionary says holy is: living a life of spiritual purity, dedicated, set apart, for sacred usage.
The Lord has set us apart from the world (unbelievers) so that we can live a life of spiritual purity. So when we consistently are disobedience, we are not honoring Him and all that He has done for us.
We are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Do you find times when you are stretched to the limits to do any or all of these? We may accomplish one, or part of some, but the whole list? We can't, under our own power. That's where the Holy Spirit is such a tremendous help.
Vs. 13 is a hard one for any of us to do. When we're mad at someone and lose patience, say something we shouldn't or shut down all communication with them, we are not bearing and forgiving. The key here is: "Forgive as the Lord forgave you".
How did He forgive us? By dying on the cross for us. He forgave all sins, past, present and future at that time. He did it sacrificially, unconditionally. As humans, it's hard for us to do that with each other. But here, we are commanded to do it.
I have found that if I decide to forgive and show that I forgive, whether the other person says they're sorry or not, that I have done what the Lord wants: obedience. The other person is responsible to the Lord for their actions/words, just like we all are.
The last verse talks about putting on love that binds together in perfect unity. That's unconditional love. Not always easy to do, but it takes a determined decision to show this type of love, no matter what. I've found that it isn't a decision that I make once and then am done, but have to reiterate many times through the years as the situation warrants.
What is your choice? Do you feel chosen, holy and dearly loved? If not, why not? Do you show the virtues listed? Do you forgive and love unconditionally? Do you accept God's unconditional love? Perfect unity can only be found in Him and in walking in obedience.

Taking baby steps of faith,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Colossians 3:1-4

Good Morning,
The sun is shining and the day is crisp. I trust you are all well.
Do the every day worries, trials and tests get you down? Do you find yourself thinking about "life" more than you think about the Lord? Today's scripture speaks to that quite clearly. So, please read Colossians 3:1-4 and then join me....
I like the thought that Christ, who has been raised from the dead is sitting at God's right hand. I see Him, sitting in all His majesty and that thought comforts me greatly. He "see's" everything in the world; nothing escapes His knowledge.
When we are told to set our hearts on things above, that means to make it your hearts central focus. We have daily things to take care of, but we can't let those things take precedence over the things of God-His Word, service and praise. We must put Him first in all things, especially before decisions that affect our lives. When we're told to set our minds on things above, it goes hand in hand with our hearts; the two are entwined.
We went to the cross with Christ, therefore we "died" and He took us with Him, tucking us under His wing as He carried us to God, free, forgiven and saved. We no longer belong to the world. Being hidden in Christ means security and satisfaction.
In verse 4 we are told we will "appear with Him in glory". 1 Thess. 4:13-18 tells us that He will come to take His people home. When He does, we shall enter eternal glory with Him.
Isn't that comforting? We know that life is a trial, with much suffering, but one day that will end and we will enter into glory with Him. Won't that be 'glory'?

Waiting for that glorious day,

Monday, November 17, 2008


As we approach Thanksgiving my thoughts turn toward thankfulness. I decided to count my blessings. Every day there are problems and/or difficulties that are faced, but in the midst of these testings and trials there are things to be thankful for.
When's the last time you started through a mental list of things to be grateful for? As I read the scripture I'm sharing, it reminded me that perhaps doing it daily wouldn't hurt. I know it helps me to focus on the good in the midst of the bad.
Colossians 2: 6-7 "So then, just as your received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
As Christians we have much to be thankful for. Christ is our Savior and we won't spend eternity in hell. We have His Word to study so that we can grow in our wisdom, knowledge and understanding of how God wants us to live. We are given gifts that edify the body of Christ and the service we give delights our souls and hearts.
With Christ as our foundation, we are "rooted" in Him and as we study, learn, apply, we are built up in Him. I know that this process gives me strength to handle the problems that come my way. Sometimes I don't understand what's going on, testing or trial and I don't know the outcome, but I know I can trust Him to see me through and come out more gold on the other side.
Then comes the thankfulness part. When we're hurting, angry, frustrated or whatever, it's hard to be thankful. But, that's when we need to be thankful the most. That's why I count my blessings so that my heart and mind will look to Him instead of me. It's hard sometimes to do that, but I know that I have to in order to survive.
When life seems to be pressing in on all sides, choose to show you're love and thankfulness to the Lord and I promise you that when you do, you'll feel better because He will fill you with Him instead of the emptiness of self/problems.

Counting my blessings,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

False Teachers

I had good news from Lynn today. The babies are now 4.5#'s and 5#. All is well. Tiffani is doing better, but I know that they are still grieving, as are we. Thanks for your prayers for us all.
We have friends on the mission field and they are struggling with the teaching of that missions group. Our friends understand grace and know that not all that the missions teaches is Biblically true. They are finding it difficult not to be upset and angry over the "prideful" (my word) attitude of some of the people.
I wrote them a nice long letter that hopefully will encourage them. I know our friends want to serve God faithfully and fully. I know that they are grieved by the attitude of the people they work with.
When we were missionaries we heard that the number one reason that missionaries leave the field is because of working relationships with other missionaries. It looks like this time it's being proven true. From what they said, I don't think they'll return to this mission organization when their service time is up. I don't know if they'll find another place to serve or not.
That brings me to the scripture for today, Colossians 2:6-8. Please read it and join me.....Once we are saved, we need to work at living a holy life in Him. We do this (vs. 7) by being rooted and built up in Him by faith in good teaching, with overflowing thankfulness. When we learn well, we live well, for Him.
Vs. 8 is a great ruler/measure to live by. The NIV says not to let anyone take us captive. That would happen if weren't alert/aware and let bad teaching come into our thinking. Some things are so subtle that we don't realize it until we are immersed. When we finally understand, it may be too late and damage is done. The damage I talk about is having to unlearn/set aside bad teaching to learn the good.
When our kids were small, they were taught in school to write as they "heard" the word, not to learn the correct spelling. This was phonics, supposedly. Then, later they had to unlearn the wrong way of spelling and learn the correct way. This made for some confusion. I was so glad when we moved to another school district and they were taught the correct way from the beginning because both kids rapidly moved forward, instead of being held back by poor teaching.
It's our responsibility to know what we're being taught and to live God's truth, even if it means going against what's being taught. The Word is truth and will always teach correctly, especially with the Spirit's help.

Learning the truth,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2 Kings 22:7

It's been a another week of illness. Chuck's been sick with a bronchial infection since last Friday, but went to the doctor on Monday. We had Ethan and Nolan Sat/Sun, so catching up has been slow for me.
As I eat my breakfast, I read the Our Daily Bread. Today's scripture was 2 Kings 22:3-11. It's a good portion but the verse that I want to focus on is 7: "But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are acting faithfully."
King Josiah was king and became king at age 8. The book of the Law was found and read to him. It was while they were working on the temple that it was found. Now, Josiah was a good king and it upset him terribly when he found out about the book. You can read that portion for your own information.
What I found interesting is that in our day and age when ethics and morality is practically non existent, we find in Biblical history people doing work and NOT having to be constantly held accountable because they were "acting faithfully".
Can you imagine someone today doing that? Trusting huge amounts of money to someone and not asking for an accounting? It's too bad the loan people who helped home buyers get into so much trouble weren't ethical and trustworthy instead of greedy, isn't it?
Are you trustworthy with what the Lord gives you? Even if you couldn't deduct your tithe/giving from your taxes, would you still give back to the Lord? Are you using what He's given you in a responsible way?
On the news last night they showed a woman who supposedly only uses cash now because she got into credit card debt. But, she only pays the minimum balance, and she still buying things, like clothes. Her house was nice and her clothes were really nice, but she's not paying her debts down quickly. I also saw at the very end that when she bought a shirt, that in her hand was a credit card. So much for paying cash.....

Accountable to Him,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Get wisdom! Get understanding!

Good morning,
I know, I usually don't blog on a Sat., but when I read my flip over calendar I just had to share it. It's by Charles Stanley and I have gotten lots of good insights from him.
I'll quote exactly: The Bible declares, "Get wisdom! Get understanding!" The two are not the same. Understanding is based upon the acquisition of knowledge-it is a filtering, sifting, sorting, and defining process. Wisdom, in comparison, is an applying process. Understanding tells us what is happening-wisdom tells us why it is happening. Understanding gives us the facts-wisdom tells us what to do with those facts. Understanding yields insight into how a problem might be solved-wisdom tells us which solution to pursue, and when and how to pursue it.
Isn't that pure gold? I hope that you have gained something today. Now, will you apply it?

Working on the application,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Colossians 1:19

I saw in the online paper today that 95.6% of people are glad the elections are over. Why in the world would anyone (4.4%) still want election stuff? Are they nuts??? I'm more than glad it's over.
Because we have contact with non-believers and the arguments that they bring out, I'm so glad that the Lord had Paul write Colossians. In verse 19 He tells us: "For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him." The key word here is: fullness.
The word fullness in Greek is "pleroma" (pronounced: playROma). Paul used this term because the Gnostics (knowledge freaks) used it often. It means: the sum total of all the divine power and attributes. Another definition is: completeness. Paul has already used this term 8 times so he's basically throwing their own word back in their faces.
The other word we need to look at is "dwell". It means to "be at home permanently." Dr. Kenneth S. Wuest (Greek expert) says that this fullness was "not something added to His Being that was not natural to Him, but that it was part of His essential Being as part of His very constitution, and that permanently".
God doesn't give this to a created being. It "pleased the God" to have His fullness in Christ as proof that Jesus Christ is God. See also: John 1:16; Col. 2:9.
If you've ever struggled to prove that Christ is God, study this portion and believe it, then you'll be able to share with someone the truth.

Jesus is God,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Colossians 1:18

The rain has come and gone and now wonderful sunshine. The Lord has blessed our day with His wonderful creation. We had a great day at Lynn's yesterday as we helped with the nursery. We didn't get tons done, but helped with a few things. She took us shopping so Chuck could use a gift card that's probably over a year old; he now has a nice shirt for the winter.
Today's scripture is so full that I probably should spend days on it. I'll try to share all that's been revealed through my study. Colossians 1:18 :"And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy."
The body/church is ALL believer's, not just the local church. When we trust Christ as Savior, we baptized by the Holy Spirit into this body (I Cor. 12:12-13). The word "head" in Greek means: source/origin as well as leader, ruler. Christ is the source of the church, His body, and the Leader.
When Paul uses the word "beginning" that tells us that Jesus Christ has priority in time, as far as the church is concerned, and beginning can be translated: originator. Because He is the originator, He supplies life through the Spirit. He gives gifts to people and then these people serve Him in the church.
He is the firstborn from the dead. Verse 15 uses this word first. It doesn't mean that Christ was the first person raised from the dead. But, He's the most important of all who have been raised from the dead. Without His resurrection there couldn't be any resurrection for others (us)
(1 Cor. 15:20).
Now for the theme of this portion: "so that in all things He might have the supremacy/preeminence." This phrase isn't used anywhere else in the New Testament. It's related to "firstborn" and magnifies the unique position of Jesus Christ. Col. 3:11: "Christ is all, and in all."
The false teachers in Colossae couldn't believe this and many can't today. I talked with my brother a couple of nights ago. He says that he believes the God of Abraham exists, but doesn't believe in Jesus Christ at all. He thinks that Buddha and Mohamed have as much claim to God as Christians. He uses the word Christians as those that are not Jewish.
I asked Him "what does God say about Jesus?" He couldn't answer me of course. I think he was also asking if knowing the God of Abraham would get him to heaven when he dies. When I tried to get him to clarify what he meant, he really couldn't, or wouldn't.
So, I'm praying for another opportunity to share His truth. My brother cut off the conversation when I shared some (very few) things that he didn't want to hear. God is great and I've been praying for my families salvation for 31 years and I know that He has heard. Now, I just need to be faithful and share when the opportunities are given to me.

Praying and sharing,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Colossians 1:17

Today I come to you with a heavy heart. Our daughter-in-law Tiffani, is miscarrying their baby. I guess it's going to take a couple of days according to her midwife. Yesterday she had tests and found out that the heart of our precious blessing isn't beating anymore. I comfort myself in the knowledge that because there was a heartbeat, that I will see and hold my little grandchild some day. For some reason the Lord has chosen for two little ones now to be taken from us, first Lynn and Jason's (before the twins) and now this little one. God is gracious and I know that he'll see all of us through this difficult time. One great blessing is that Josh isn't working out of town because they canceled his work detail and he came home today.
As I looked at the passage for today, I decided on just verse 17: "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." He knew this miscarriage would happen and He's holding everything together. We will get through this difficult time and come out stronger on the other side.
This whole passage is about His supremacy and this verse is quite substantial. He literally holds the universe together. He was.... before He created. He created not just the planet, but us, each individual, lovingly molded in our mothers womb. He has all of Gods fullness/completeness. We can hold on to Him in any crisis because He's our rock and our redeemer.
I trust that as you study His Word, and life's problems rush at you like a tornado, that you will cling to Him and let Him hold you close through the storms of life.

Hanging on,

Friday, October 31, 2008

Colossians 1:16

Another gorgeous day that the Lord has given us. I hope you all have a very blessed day.
I know that I'm slowly working through this portion of scripture, but each verse is a gold mine. 16 tells us: "For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him."
Next Tuesday we go to the polls to vote for our next president. If I understand this scripture correctly it tells us that Christ created positions of leadership for Himself and by Himself. We know that Christ is all powerful (omnipotent) so studying that aspect is not my focus. He created these positions: thrones, powers, rulers and authorities for Him. Now, isn't that interesting?
He doesn't need these positions, does He? He will rule through the millennium and for eternity and we know He doesn't need these folks in our present life, but He chooses to use people to carry out His will/plan.
So you ask, why doesn't He do a better job of picking some people who aren't corrupt, bad guys and ladies? I don't know. I do know that He has given Satan dominion over the earth, and of course Satan wants bad guys/ladies in control. God has allowed it under His Sovereignty.
Without the bad guys in control of the Jews, things wouldn't have worked the way they did for Jesus to be our Savior. Yes, I know, God could have used another way. The point is, is that He used the Jews, corrupt and disobedient as they were. He used their "badness" for our good (Rom. 8:28).
We don't know what our future will be, on this earth that is. But, we know who holds our future, don't we? Is this time in our history the beginning of the end? I don't know. It could very well be a sign of what's to come. Only God knows the time when Christ will return in the air and takes His saints home and save them from experiencing the tribulation.
God knows who will be president and it will be the person He wants, not us. Vote your conscience and trust God to handle the future, because He already knows what's going to happen, doesn't He?

Glad He's in control,

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Colossians 1:15

Good Morning All,
I trust you are all well and that the Lord has shown you something in His Word that was new or a refreshment for you. He showed me Colossians 1:15 again:"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
As I look at this wonderful verse I see three things: image of God, firstborn and creation. Christ is the image of the invisible God. We know from John 4:24 that He is spirit therefore invisible to us. The image means God's attributes are manifest in Christ. Everything God is, Christ is. They have separate positions (jobs) that overlap when necessary.
As creation was made by Christ, He is preeminent/firstborn. The Jews used this word meaning that someone was especially honored. Israel was called the firstborn (Ex. 4:22); and David (Ps. 89:27). This word referred to their place of honor before God. Paul is saying that Christ has a place of honor over all creation.
When we were in Europe, we would ride in trolley's or trains. People there honored their elders and pregnant women and one way was to give up a seat on a vehicle. I had a winter coat that was long and underneath I would wear my "fanny pack" with money, etc.
One day when we were getting on a trolley, people must have thought I was pregnant because my "pouch" stuck out a ways and they got up and offered me a seat. I took it of course! I didn't correct the thinking even though I probably should have. But, I also gave up my seat many times for older folks and helped women with children to get on or off a trolley, so that erases my guilt :)).
How do you honor God with your life? Or people who are older and infirm, mommies, etc.?"
Christ has an honored position in the trinity and He uses that position to help us be the people He wants us to be. Do you honor His position with obedience and respect?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Colossians 1:13-14

I trust you are all enjoying this beautiful sunny day. We washed windows and cleaned out the pots that held flowers outside. I still need to re pot a few plants, but the outside is buttoned down. We hope that Chuck has mowed lawn for the last time, but who knows.
In my reading today I especially liked Colossians 1:13-14 because it says that "He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." He has rescued us. Isn't that just wonderful?
We needed to be rescued whether we knew it or not. The understanding of everything He'd done on the cross with Christ wasn't even fully understood when we first believed, at least not for me.
I didn't know that I needed to be rescued, did you? It's only when we study the Word that we come to the full knowledge of all that we've been saved from. Satan wants to destroy us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. That's all parts of us. But, God has rescued us from that! Not because of anything that we are or have done, but because of Him and His love for us (Romans 5:8).
When we got Tucker, we in essence "rescued" her from an owner that was abusive. She's one very grateful dog (spoiled too!) It took time to earn her trust (5 months) but then we could see a change in her. Because of our treatment of her, she's learned that men won't hurt her and that she can be obedient to a loving, caring leader.
Because God has rescued us, we too can be obedient to a loving, caring leader. So, do you live your life like you've been rescued? Are you grateful for your salvation, daily? Or have you fallen into a complacency that doesn't honor God? We need to live our lives in such a way as to daily show the Lord how grateful we are to be His child, forgiven and cleansed, rescued from eternal condemnation.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Annointing with oil

Greetings All,
We have a beautiful fall day from the Lord. Time to take in the flower pots with now dead flowers and button down the house for the winter. We're washing windows tomorrow and trying to do some fall house cleaning.
Chuck finds out from the surgeon tomorrow about the future of his knee. We have more trials with this situation and are being tested on every side. Murphy's Law is definitely plaguing our lives. But, God is Sovereign and He will work His will and we're grateful for that.
Lynn and Nate came to visit last week and we had a wonderful visit that wore me out, in a good way:))). We got to have Ethan and Nolan for a hayride on Sat. night, so our cup overflows.
Today at our Bible study, we anointed a woman who's having a biopsy on Friday. Those of you from Hillsboro are very familiar with this privilege, but none of the ladies here knew anything about it. So, I decided that today's blog would be about this.
James 5:13-16 gives us our directions, so after you've read this, come join me..... This passage is complex because it deals with physical and spiritual and wholeness. We ladies weren't the elders of the church, but we represented the 'church'.
Patty is a strong spiritual woman and I know walks closely with the Lord. She's had diabetes since childhood and it's destroying her heart. So, with many medical needs, but knowing she's a strong Christian, her need wasn't so much spiritual as physical. She does need encouragement though too.
I didn't ask everyone to confess their sins first to make sure we were all right with the Lord, as the scripture says vs. 16 . In the future if we need to anoint, then maybe. Many times the reason a person is sick is because of a spiritual root. I don't think that is the case here.
Vs. 15 says a prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. God could miraculously heal Patty, but the medical will be done and He could use that instead. In vs. 16b it says: so that you may be healed. The word he uses means: made whole or forgiven.
What I really want to concentrate on is wholeness: spiritual. That should be our highest desire. He always offers that, but are we willing to accept or strive for it?
Lastly, vs. 16c says:"the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." We ladies were praying in faith and God will honor that.
I don't know how Friday will be for Patty. Because of medicine she's a "bleeder" and has had problems in the past. She will be disfigured because they will actually cut her instead of inserting a biopsy needle and she's concerned about that. She's always in pain, but her faith and hope are in the Lord. He will answer our prayers because we prayed in faith. The outcome is His and His will is perfect. He alone gives strength to endure.

Praying in faith,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Inner Strength

I trust your weekend was a good one. We had prison ministry Sat. night and it went really well. It's the first time I've been there since June and it was so great to see the guys. One of the newer guys told me that it was nice to put a face to the name he'd been praying for. These guys are real prayer warriors and we are blessed to have their prayers.
Today I want to share a verse that I've been praying for quite awhile. Not sure where I got the idea, but I like it. Once our pastor mentioned this verse and that was confirmation to me that I'm blessed to pray it.
Ephesians 3:16: "I pray that out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being." My prayer is that He will do as He says He will and that I would know this strength. I think I have and do.
As I contemplate this power, I come up with: knowledge that He's in control of my life because I'm surrendered to Him; the Holy Spirit is working in me to mature me and I think there's strength in wisdom, knowledge and understanding; physical strength when I'm weak to just get through a day; mental strength to handle all the 'stuff' that comes my way; emotional strength when life comes crashing down like a ten ton wrecking ball. That's just a few things and I'm sure you could come up with some more.
I know that I can't get through a day on my own. I need Him in every way. That's dependence and He loves that.
Try praying this verse as a prayer and see what happens. His Spirit delights in giving strength and working in us, so let Him do His job and watch what happens!

Depending on His strength,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit

Hope you are all well. God is gracious in every way, even when we can't see His hand at work.
Yesterday at our Bible study one of the passages that we talked about was Galatians 5:19-26. I know you all know this portion that talks about the horrible sinful nature and it's attributes, but then comes the wonderful manifestation of the Spirit in verses 22-23.
I want to look especially at the last of the fruit: self-control. I chose this because without self-control, any or all of the sinful acts listed would happen in our lives. Without self-control, the previous eight fruit wouldn't be evident, or at least as much as they should be.
As I've observed life, I have noticed that the sin that seems to be the most prevalent is the lack of self-control. Without it, we have pride, greed and many other sins controlling us! But this then begs the question, how do we have self-control? Work.....
It takes obedience to God and His Word for self-control to be manifest in our lives. It's a choice of how we act, think and serve. 2 Cor. 10:5 tells us to take very thought captive; that's self-control. We're to love the Lord, not money; that's self-control. We're to love our neighbors as ourselves; that's self-control. The list goes on.
Young children have to learn self-control, but too many times in our society we don't teach this. I'm sure you've seen some or all of a Super Nanny program. Kids in control because they are out of control and ruling the family by tactics a terrorist would love to emulate!
Does your life exhibit self-control? I know how hard it is to do 24/7, but with the Lord's help, we can live in such a way as to honor Him by being self-controlled. Obedience isn't easy, but fruit is always delicious, fruit from Him.

Enjoying the fruit,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Galatians 1:3-4

Hope you are all well. I've had the respiratory flu and am just starting to feel a little better. My immune system is not happy with me! Chuck's knee is still a 'pain', but there's been some healing. Tucker's discovered that she likes the pond, a lot. She also thinks every fish Chuck catches is for her:))).
Today's scripture is so wonderful that I just had to blog about it. Read the fine words and join me....Paul sends grace and peace to the Galatians, but also to us. God's grace, God's peace. Do you feel it? If not, why not? What's getting in the way? Sin, life, lack of spending time with Him?
He gave Himself to rescue us from our sins. We know this already because we've trusted His finished work on the cross. But, do we live it? Do you live a victorious life of freedom from sin and it's bondage? Or, do you live in such a way that joy, peace, love for others doesn't live in you, and come out of you?
If He has rescued us from the present evil age, and according to His will, how are you manifesting this in your life? Satan loves to keep us in bondage. In what ways you ask? How about living on past hurts/sins/emotions. If God has forgiven us our sins, why can't we forgive ourselves, and others? Why is it that we remember the past hurts, but not always the past joys?
How about fear of moving forward into the future? Has the Lord set a job before you, but you don't want to step out in faith to accomplish this job? Are you looking for something to do so that you serve God, His way, and in His time?
Years ago we had people get so excited about what we'd shared about our work overseas. But, when I asked them how they were serving the Lord at the present, I found out that they weren't doing anything, and never had! They liked the excitement of foreign service, but didn't understand that God uses the receptive and obedient heart to do His work. The rubber meets the road and sometimes there's road burn.
We are encouraged that He has given us all His grace, peace and rescues us in the process. Claim what He's given and live for Him.

Glad for grace and peace,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sinuses, yuckkkk!

I have a sinus thing going on, so when I'm better and my brain works again, I'll be back.

Prayers to you all,

Friday, October 3, 2008

False Believers?

It's been a very long, busy week, but I'm finally here again. The day is gorgeous and I'm enjoying the Lord's wonderful nature and His presence in my heart and spirit. How are you?
We spent most of the day yesterday with Lynn, helping her with a couple of projects that she wanted to get done before the boys come in Jan. It was so nice to spend the time with her, Nate and Jason. It was a really long, tiring day, but I'm so glad we went and helped.
As I read 2 Cor. 13: 5-6 this week, I was reminded of how we really don't know someones heart. What they show the world and what's really going on inside could be two different things. So many people in this world play games by not being truthful, honest or have integrity. Look at all that's happening on Wall Street and with big investment firms. If we ran our finances like these guys are ruining people lives, the Lord would deal with us justly.
So, as I look at this scripture, you can use it to be a mirror for yourself. "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test."
Examine: look carefully and closely at (something). This isn't just a quick glance at our lives/hearts. It means to look deep and see the whole truth about who we are. In the faith: do you believe that Jesus is Lord and do you live like you believe it? There should be plenty of evidence if you are truly saved.
What's the test? My Bible's note says: The test is internal and cannot be standardized to evaluate others. Each one must inspect his or her own heart to see what motivates personal behavior. No one else can evaluate the results. Those who discover they are motivated by Christ living within are true believers. Those who find they are motivated by selfish desires are false believers.
By the Word, those who are controlled by selfish desires are probably not believers. Our lives as believers should be manifested in our daily lives. Is Jesus, and living for Him, a our priority in life or are we living for ourselves?
So, what's the solution to this problem? If you're not already saved, trust Christ as Savior and He will save you, eternally and help you while you're here on earth too! If you are living for yourself and not God, are selfish in everything, thought/word/deed, then surrender to Him, your imperfect will for His perfect will. You couldn't be in better hands.

Finding joy in surrender,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sowing and reaping

Good Morning,
I think this must be a record for me to blog in a week:)). Chuck's having his MRI done right now, so thought I'd take the time to share.
As many of you know, I love to garden. Since we've moved here, my gardening consists of pots. In a way it's worked okay, but I really miss the variety of vegies and herbs that I used to grow. What I don't miss is the watering, constantly; it wore me out. When I'd plant a small seed and watch God turn it into the plant yielding more than we needed so I could give away, I felt thoroughly blessed.
2 Cor. 9: 6-7 says: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Paul had been sharing with the Corinthian church that men were coming to collect the generous gift of money that had been collected to help them with the ministry. I would encourage you to read the chapter, but especially verses 6-15.
I know this passage is talking about money and it's important that when we give to the Lord we do it with a whole heart, generously. Notice that it doesn't say 10% or 20%, but what you decide in your heart. It isn't the amount that's important to God, but that you do it and with a generous heart.
I think this portion could also apply to our service for the Lord. Many people don't wish to find out what their spiritual gifts are, because then they'd have to use them! Or they use the gifts the Lord has given, but not as freely or generously as they should. Isn't it a matter of the heart, always, at least where God is concerned? 1 Samuel 16:7b tells us: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
There are so many ways that we can please the Lord and the more we look for those ways, the more He will show us what pleases Him and He will delight our hearts.

Looking and serving,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The heart of Titus

Good Morning,
I trust you are all seeing God's hand at work in your lives, challenging you to be the best for Him.
Chuck was able to have a Bible study and breakfast with guys from our church this morning and he came away really pleased at the experience. The Lord is blessing. Tomorrow he has his MRI and will find out the results on Monday. Thanks for your prayers.
2 Cor. 8:16-17 tells us: "I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative."
When we were off the field in Europe, but still missionaries, we took a trip back to Europe so that Chuck could work with some missionaries on problems and talk to nationals about having a new type of camp. We met up with the family that took our place in Czech during this time.
One of the questions that this family asked us was: What do you think we should be doing for our ministry here? They were having trouble connecting with the flock. We had noticed that they were somewhat critical of the nationals and that bothered us.
Our comment to them was: love the flock. Pray, and ask God to help you to love the flock. That's what we had started doing before we ever moved to the Czech Republic in 1993. And God poured love into our hearts for His flock and those who would be His to such a proportion that we still love them and miss our work there immensely.
In our scripture we see that Titus loved the flock. His heart was the same as Paul's and we see so many times through the Word, Paul's love for others, saved and lost.
He also had much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. Titus worked toward the goal of serving fully. He didn't have to led around by the hand, but planned and with the Lord's help, carried these plans out.
When I pray for missionaries, one of the things I pray about is that the Lord would be in their planning and carrying these plans out. Then, that they would see fruit from their labor so that they will be encouraged. God has answered that prayer more times then I can know, at least here on earth.
So, set your heart on serving God, plan and work for Him and He will bless you abundantly, with love for the flock.

Loving His own,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Give Thanks!

Good Morning,
Another beautiful day from the Lord. I trust the Lord is working in your lives and that you are striving to give thanks to Him, daily.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." The "in all circumstances" is probably the hardest part for all Christians. But, let's look at that verse and see what we can learn.
I feed Tucker twice a day with dog food and at lunch with 2 dog biscuits. Quite awhile ago she started to nudge me with her nose as I get her food from the container. At first I thought she was just sniffing me, but eventually I understood she was saying: thanks. She does this with a wagging tail and licking her lips in anticipation of her favorite thing in the world: food!
As I chose the scripture for today, I read verses 16-18 and found more to study, but today is thanksgiving. Is it hard to be thankful in ALL circumstances? I know sometimes it is for me. I find myself saying the words and waiting for my heart to follow. I'm just glad the Lord understands that I want to be thankful and that my words are not empty, just the feeling is possibly delayed.
Sometimes there are circumstances in our lives that are really hard to be thankful for and the Lord knows this. Personally I look at everything as a test to see if I'll be thankful, remain faithful or obedient in the midst of my struggles to remain firm in my faith. When I choose to remain firm, God is honored and my faith is strengthened. The feelings come last, and are far better then they would be at the beginning when emotions are so high.
If we aren't sure of what the Lord's will is for us, this verse tells us one thing. Food for thought.
So, do you get excited and show the Lord that you are thankful, or is it just duty and not joy? Verse 16 tells us to be joyful always.....

Finding thankfulness in Him,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2 Corinthians 7:1

Chuck's at the doctor for his knee, then therapy, so I'm taking the opportunity to write now. He's been on the computer looking for a job quite a bit, so my getting time here has been splotchy. Anyway, I trust you are all well. I received emails of encouragement from the one I sent about Chuck and was SOOOO glad to hear from you. I'll get personal emails off soon.
For today's scripture I've chosen 2 Cor. 7:1. I've been reading through 2 Cor. and today was chapter 7. This verse fit so well with yesterday's in 5:15, so thought I'd expand.
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." Don't you just love that verse?
First we have promises. What are they? Salvation through Christ. The Holy Spirit living in us. Freedom in Christ not to sin. His help for every second of every day, as we yield our will for His. The list goes on.
I like what is says about purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit. That's repentance! Turn away, forsake ungodliness, etc. In other words: get rid of anything that hinders our walk with the Lord.
Then: perfect holiness. My Bible's side note says: Holiness, as implied in the preceding verses, calls us to recognize that the false must be abandoned for the true; the old covenant must be given up for the new. We must purify-eliminate-anything from our lives that belongs to our old way of life. The motivation and grace for this process stem from a reverence for God, who will simply not allow any halfway efforts, any mixing of old and new.
Because of my illnesses, I have been drinking purified water for years; reverse osmosis to be exact. Filtered water has the contaminates taken out, thereby keeping the bad stuff from adding to my damaged body and causing more trouble. My system doesn't have to work as hard if it's not trying to eliminate the bad stuff from the water, along with all the bad stuff that a body normally has to deal with.
There's that word again: eliminate. God wants us to eliminate anything that would contaminate our body, soul, mind and heart. What in your life are those things? For me, it's watching t.v. and something that I don't want/shouldn't watch come before me. I have the control to switch the channel or turn the t.v. off. It's my option not to contaminate, but to eliminate the bad.
We are so desensitized to the bad in our world that we don't often see the bad, but just accept it, because it's "normal" in our day and age. But, when it's aligned with the Word, it falls drastically short.
So, filter your life and eliminate the bad so that you can do what the Word says:( end of verse 1) "perfect holiness out of reverence for God." And isn't that what shows the Lord how grateful we are for Him and all He's done for us?

Filtering and eliminating daily,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Live for Christ

Hey All,
A little Southern drawl implied....Hope your time with the Lord and His children blessed you greatly yesterday . Our pastor was gone, speaking at a conference so his son preached on Genesis 4, about Cain and Able.
It was interesting to revisit this passage and I noted that Cain was so arrogant to the Lord. Verse 9 God asks Cain where Able is. Cain's reply: "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?" This is God he's talking to and such disrespect!
But, God deals with Cain and tells him that he will be a wanderer for the rest of his life. Verse 13: "My punishment is more than I can bear. " He's upset because he's being driven from the garden of Eden and can't be a farmer any longer. Then, Cain thinks that someone will kill him. So God puts a mark on him for protection. Cain's life goes on, but it's never the same. He pays the price for not living for the Lord and being obedient to God.
2 Cor. 5:15 tells us:"And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again." Cain lived for himself. He didn't understand or didn't want obedience to God.
What I also see in the Genesis passage is God's grace, poured out on Cain's rebellious head. He pours out His grace on us daily, but are we living for Him, or for ourselves? I like to start my day by thanking the Lord for things. That way my mind and heart get focused on Him, not me.
It's hard to be obedient sometimes, especially if we allow circumstances or our own desires to rule us. By starting our day directing our attention to Him we have freedom in Christ, not to sin, but to be willingly obedient to Him.

Striving for obedience,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Acts 5:3

Good Afternoon,
This morning was filled with 'things' and a Bible study. At the Bible study one lady said that demons don't put thoughts into our minds. Well, you all know me; that had to be corrected :))).
I said that I disagreed and then explained what I meant. So I thought I'd cover this topic today.
Most of you know how I feel about warfare, but here's a refresher course because we sometimes forget about the demonic world that's there, but we can't see.
So, I thought just a few verses to help us understand better what that dark world wants to try and deceive us with. Keep in mind that negative things don't come from God. He builds up, and Satan tears down.
The first one is Acts 5:3: "Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you have received for the land?"
You all know the story, if not read about Ananias and Sapphira and join me.... If we put on our critical thinking hats, we ask questions like: how does Satan deceive us? By people telling us untruths? By him standing in front of us and telling us directly? By thoughts that include our fleshly desires?
Well, I've never seen him directly, but I've heard untruths, and my thoughts are sometimes not of my own making. I'm sure there are more ways and maybe you can think of them, but that's not my focus now.
2 Corinthians 2:11 is talking about forgiveness for the sinner and it says that we need to forgive and love, but 11 says: "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. " Satan can't 'out wit us' without our minds being engaged. That means our thought life.
Don't get me wrong, our flesh can do damage all by itself. But thoughts that come sometimes by seeing or hearing something will trigger a memory and down that slippery slope we go. But, the demons know what buttons to push and they use what is in our history of desires to temp us. What we do with these thoughts turns it into sin if we run with the thought/action.
The last verse is 2 Cor. 11:14: "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." Paul is talking about false apostles/teachers. They are so deceiving because what they teach is so subtle that if we don't know the truth, we fall for the lie. Again, the brain is engaged. That's where Satan gets some of his power, because we don't know truth from lies. We hand him the power by not knowing.....
Now, are all thoughts that are bad from Satan? No. Our flesh is a busy little bee if we allow it to be. But, as thoughts come in, filter them by the Word of God to see if they need to be active, or killed. 2 Cor. 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive. This takes self control, which is a fruit of the Spirit. If we don't have self control, we are missing some or all of the other fruit because they are a package deal. That's another blog....:)))).

Searching the Word,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are you a creationist?

Good Morning,
Isn't the weather perfect? I'm so glad that we are able to enjoy God's creation. In Europe they're testing the "Big Bang" underground. I think it's a hoot! Obviously these folks don't believe in God and creation. Think of the money spent on this that could have been spent on feeding and training the poor. That blows my mind. Such misguided people. I'm sure Satan is laughing his head off.
You've all read Genesis, especially the first few chapters about creation. The controversy even among believers is divided. In Psalms there's a verse about one day to the Lord is as a thousand years and people think that creation wasn't done in 6 days, but that its a metaphor for time.
I'm a literal person and when God says he rested on the 7th, I believe Him. Also, God didn't need to rest, it means that He stopped His creating because He was done. So, as we look at two verses, let's learn. Genesis 1:1-2 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."
In the beginning God; isn't that one of the most important verses in the Bible? Without Him we wouldn't be. We wouldn't get to enjoy the beauty He's provided. What I like to think about is even though it's beautiful here, heaven and the new earth with be even more beautiful. I'm not sure our finite minds can conceive such a thing. But, I can't wait to see it!
The colors will be more vivid and smells more intense. How do I know this? Because wherever God is, is perfect.
When I think of all the people who follow 'theories' I feel sorry for them. They don't have hope, knowledge, understanding or a future. Isn't that just sad?
What do you believe? As for me and my house, we believe the Lord.

Part of the creation,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

1 Corinthians 6:17

Isn't our day a wonderful one with lots of sunshine? Cooler yes, but still so very nice. The sky was so blue with that particular shade that comes with fall.
Chuck saw the doctor and it looks like rest and rehab for at least 3 weeks. I'm not used to having him around, so it should be interesting to see how we adjust to this new schedule.
Today I want to look at verse 17. Yesterday we covered verse 11 of chapter 6. "But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit." Isn't that just the most wonderful verse? We are united with the Lord and made one.
Recently I had a conversation with my Sunday school teacher and we talked about being adopted into God's family. The Jews were chosen first and they were supposed to share the Lord with everyone else. As we saw, especially through Romans, they didn't do this and so the Lord brought Christ into the picture so that we (Gentiles) would be included in His plan of salvation.
This is adoption at it's finest. He, God, Elohim (plural of one entity) chose us to be one with Him in spirit through Christ. Does that make you feel special? It sure does me.
To complete this picture, read verses 19-20 also. If anyone doubts that the Holy Spirit lives in us after we trust Christ as Savior, they don't understand this verse. 20 completes the picture: "you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
Christ paid the price for your freedom from sin, and adoption into His family. Then the statement about using your body for God, with honor to Him. In what ways don't you honor God with your body?
Not taking proper care of it is one way. Abusing what he's given us or not appreciating what he's given is another. How many people do you know (maybe you've said this) that say they hate something about their bodies? God made us. So, when we complain or abuse ourselves, we are not honoring Him. Take care of what He's given you and honor Him with all you are.

Working on the honoring,

Monday, September 8, 2008

1 Corinthians 6:11

Good Morning!
Today is a typical fall day, except that it's still summer. Chuck's knee is still bad and the company he works for is wrangling over what to do about getting him medical help; bureaucracy at its finest.
Lately I've felt that the Lord wants me to learn more about sanctification. He's brought this before me a few times and today's scripture talks about it and more.
1 Corinthians 6:11: "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." So, after you peruse the verses before this one to get the full context, come join me....
Reading the prior verses you find out that these folks that Paul is talking to were in trouble and Paul is lowering the boom on them. There had been lawsuits, bad witness before non believers. Then he gives a list of those who will not inherit the the kingdom of God; what a list it is.
So, when he says: and that is what some of you were, he's talking about their lives before they were saved. He implies that even though they were once lost and followed the worlds example, it was time for them to stop and follow God's example.
They were washed in the blood of Christ: saved. Then they were sanctified: to make holy. By Christ and the Spirit, we were made holy. Holy means: living a life of purity. Purity is be be free from moral guilt. Justification is: to declare to be free from the penalty of sin. Don't you love word searches?
So what's the summary? We are saved by the blood of Christ and in the process, Christ and the Spirit make us holy, pure; free from moral guilt and justified from the penalty of sin. Because of all these wonderful things that the Lord does for us when we surrender and are saved, we have freedom not to live in the past, cling to guilt from our sins and to live for God, serving Him freely, fully and wonderfully.
Our responsibility then is to study the Word, apply it and grow more like Christ so as to please our heavenly Father. He has qualifiers: be obedient and He will bless. So, search your heart and see if there is unconfessed sin, a need to study the Word, possibly more and spend time with Him in prayer, not just for yourself, but for others too. Then watch how He blesses your obedience. And watch how the evil world will try to stop you..... Cling to Him and He will hold you close.

In His arms,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Judas Iscariot

Good wet morning,
Because we need rain and it's coming down so gently, it's nice. I'm a sunshine kinda girl, but this is ok. Tucker didn't appreciate her morning 'bath' though. A Lab that doesn't like water; go figure :).
As I was reading my Our Daily Bread at breakfast, I thought about Judas Iscariot. Matt. 27:1-5 tells us that Judas betrayed Christ, returned the 30 pieces of silver then went out and hanged himself.
I think the part that I want to concentrate on is verse 4: "I have sinned, he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."
He recognized that he's a sinner. He also knew that Jesus wasn't guilty. He'd spent quite a bit of time with the Lord and I'm sure much of Christ's teaching sunk in. So, when the blinders came off, he saw what he'd done and confessed. Did this make him a believer, albeit at the 11th hour? Will we see him in heaven some day? I think that's the million dollar question.
Because only the Lord really knows the heart, He's the only one that knew the truth if conversion happened or not. When we get to heaven, we can find out.
Does it make you angry that Judas is possibly in heaven? That his confession meant that he might have gained salvation? Because I want all people saved, I surely hope that he is saved eternally. Hell, the Lake of Fire isn't somewhere that I want anyone to be, but because of the choice here on earth to accept or reject, we make that determination.
Saddam Hussein is in hell, just like Hitler, Stalin and others, waiting the final judgment. They belong there because they chose to be enemies of Christ. But, there's a part of me that wishes they had bowed to the Lord on earth. Philippians says that one day every knee will bow and tongue confess Christ as Lord and Savior. What they refused to do here, they will do some day and they won't have any choice, then the judgment.
How do you feel about Judas, Saddam and the others? Would you want that they should have confessed Jesus as Savior while on earth. What if they had, after they had done all those terrible things?
Keep in mind, that where God is concerned, sin is sin, whether it's a lie or murder......


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

re commit or re dedication?

Another warm summer day with rain in the forecast. Chuck was home briefly so got to say hi and feed him.
On Sunday our pastor was teaching in Romans 8:5-8 and he made a great comment. He said that we need to repent, not re commit or re dedicate to the Lord. If we're saved, and we've not remained close as we should, then we need to repent (to turn away from the sin that's between the Lord and us).
Many denominations get caught up on phrases that man has created to fit their idea of what should happen in the Christian's life when they haven't lived for the Lord (sinned), but for self, even if sometimes. He said it right when he said that the precept of re commitment or re dedication isn't in scripture, but repentance is.
I think that if all Christian's thought/taught repentance only, there would be less divisions in the church. Their might also be more people who would follow the Lord more closely..... food for thought.
Romans 8:5 "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what the nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Non believer's contrasted to believer's. Sinful man: death. Spiritual man: life and peace.
How could anyone choose death over life and peace? It blows my mind, but many people do. They live life their way and choose death. Know the Word so you can share how they can have life and peace....

Choosing life and peace,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dessert dilemna

It's been awhile since I've blogged. We went to my parents to visit, as many of you know. We had a good visit, but it was hard to see my dad suffering from the radiation he had 6 years ago for cancer. Also, he now has bone cancer and is having chemo every 3 weeks, supposedly to help with pain. My mom is his caretaker and I can see that it's taking its toll on her too.
We were able to see my two brothers and our sister-in-law and that was nice. My one brother is having more surgery soon because of damage from radiation he had a year ago. Why is it that the things that are supposed to help you get well hurt you so much? Another reason why I won't have radiation and/or chemo.
With so many hours in the car, I had lots of time to think about many things. One of the things was a time when we were baby Christians and we took a Sunday drive. We stopped at some friends house, Gaylord and Viola Schlitter. They were about 100 years old and still farming. Well, that's an exaggeration about their age, but they were well into their 80's and still going strong.
We really liked them and they were a fountain of God's truth and wisdom. So when we stopped, we had such a good visit and I learned a valuable lesson.
Viola had made a dessert (even though they didn't know we were coming) and while she was dishing it up, I took a small bite of mine. No one said anything, but then Gaylord said grace.
I wasn't raised with many table manners and we didn't say grace very often at our house, even when we were first Christians (learning curve time).
After Gaylord said the grace, I made a comment about having taken a bite by saying: I couldn't resist. They were gracious and didn't say anything, so the moment passed. But, it stuck in my mind and I've thought about it many times.
I say all this to share that what I did that day was so typical of sinners in need of grace. I saw, I liked, I ate. I didn't stop to consider anything except that I wanted the dessert. Whether a person is saved or not, when we don't put God first, but ourselves first, we sin.
How many times have you done something without thinking only later to realize what you did, and then you had to come before the Lord and confess? We have to be purposeful in our walk with Him. We can't just react, we have to act.
So, the next time you're faced with something so simple as saying grace, maybe in a restaurant, don't be afraid of what people will think, just do it. Be grateful for every thing, but especially the little things, daily. I think our loving heavenly Father likes to hear our voice and heart being grateful for His bounty.

Enjoying His dessert,

Monday, August 25, 2008

rose of Sharon

Good Morning,
My back is somewhat better, so I'm back. But, as we're gone Thursday to my parents, I probably won't blog much this week.
Hope you are all well. Sounds like Jack and Betty had a good trip, but that Jack's battling an infection and needs our prayers.
I'd also like for you to pray for our traveling mercies and that physically I'll be able to handle the long 8+ hours trip on Thurs. and again on Sat. Thanks!
This spring Chuck planted a rose bush for me. It's yellow with pink fringes and it's just so lovely. I chose this one because of the color, but also because it's has wonderful fragrance. It had two blooms and I cut one to bring in so I could enjoy it inside too. It's past its prime, but still giving wonderful smells that I'm enjoying. Even Tucker likes how it smells!
Looking at the rose, I thought about how Christ is our rose of Sharon. So, I decided to walk through what the Bible teaches us. I found some great stuff.
Turn to Song of Songs 2:1 "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys." My research tells me that Sharon was a place. Evidently shepherds grazed their flocks there. Because of the phrase: rose of Sharon, my guess is that roses were plentiful there. I don't know if people sold roses or not; not sure when that enterprise started in history.
In Song of Songs, the Beloved (female) says she's the rose. Verse 2 is the Lover (male) and he says: "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens." He's comparing her to other women and calls them thorns! Not sure I'd want to be compared to a thorn. Poetry is sometimes, well poetic. They use metaphors (she's not really a rose, but is described as one) and hyperboles (exaggerated truth as an example) to describe something.
In this case, he's giving her high praise. I've been taught that Song of Songs is also Christ (rose of Sharon) and the church. It's symbolic of God's unconditional love for the church.
I like "lily of the valleys" because it sounds like something really grand. Valleys is plural and lilies are a grand flower with a strong fragrance. Or, there's the little white lily of the valley and they have small flowers with a huge fragrance. She's saying that she's a trophy wife! Just kidding. She is telling him that she has a lot to offer him (my guess, beauty) and as we see in verse 2, he agrees.
Christ is beautiful to us. He's lovely in every way. He loves us unconditionally and shows us in a myriad of ways, every day. Do you see the ways? Count them. Be like the Beloved and know your worth, because of Christ.

Knowing Him,
Whether Song of Songs was written about marriage, or symbolic of God's love for us, it's a beautiful small book and worth reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blogging blues

I'm sorry that I'm not being very regular with my blogs. I'm having some pain from a pulled muscle in my back and I'm finding it hard to do anything. Sitting here is one of those things. So, when I'm better, I'll be back.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Identity Theft

Good Morning!
Isn't it a glorious sunny day? We have been so blessed this summer. I trust you are all knowing the Lord a little more each day.
We celebrated Nolan's 4th birthday. It's hard to believe my little "mouse" is now 4. Lynn also found out that they are having twin boys. They're sad because there isn't at least one girl, but happy for boys too. They're doing well.
Chuck's birthday was yesterday and unfortunately he was working. But, on Sat. the kids and his brother and our sister-in-law came to help celebrate his 58 years. That evening Chuck had a great ministry at the prison. I really miss our time there and not sure when I'll be able to go again.
I'm sure you're surprised at my title today. On Sat. in the mail we received our only credit card statement, but when I looked at it today to pay, I realized that it didn't look normal(the charges were from Nov. and the bill due date was Jan. 7, 2008). Also, it's a week early in coming. So, I called the company and they told me to disregard that statement and I would be receiving one next week.
I asked the guy if our identity had been stolen and he told me NO. I'm grateful for that, but obviously something happened to their computer system that it sent out a wrong bill. That brings me to our scripture today.
1 John 4:1 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." In our society today there are false/criminal people who prey on everyone. No one is immune to them. Unfortunately this can also happen in the church.
Many claim that they believe truth about Jesus, salvation and life. But, their words don't back up real truth. The Bible is to be our guideline, our compass in life. If what we hear doesn't line up with scripture, we can't believe it, or the message the person is trying to "sell" us.
I think it's terrible that we have to be so cautious and wary in this world today. Our children and grandchildren have to learn things that we didn't until we were adults and even now, older. I think it's sad. Trust is gone because people abuse trust. I know this makes our Lord sad.
Are you teaching your children/grandchildren to be trustworthy? Are you teaching them that there are "wolves" out there waiting to devour them? Again, it's sad that we have to do that.
To summarize this blog, I think it's important to know scripture so we aren't taught falsely. I also think it's important to live a moral and ethical life as a testimony to Christ. We need to stand up and face false teachers and proclaim truth; it may be the only time they hear it.....

Proclaiming Him,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Habbakkuk 2:20

Today a friend from church who lives in my neighborhood, Bee, came to visit for a little while. We had a nice chat about lots of things, you know, getting to know each other; she's really nice. We were talking about the lady in our S.S. class that shared and was so confusing for the ladies listening to her. No, we weren't gossiping, we were sharing that we didn't think she understood what to believe.
Her name is Mary and she has a troubled past that influences her present. She's attended different churches and learned many different teachings. My brain said: she needs to be discipled. Anyway, Bee shared how hard it was for her to follow Mary's train of thought and I agreed; I really had to concentrate on Mary's 'rabbit trails'.
Bee shared that Mary has a hard time letting go of her past and living in the present. I understand that because we all do that somewhat/sometimes. But, by bringing the past into the present, she's missing out on what the Lord wants for her NOW. She's missing out on blessings, directions, work/service for Him.
So, that brings me to the scripture for today. Habakkuk 2:20 "But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him." I think that sometimes we really need to just be silent so we can stand in awe of Him, worship Him, let Him be the focus of our very being.
How can we do this? We live in a terribly busy world and life seems to swirl around us like the tide on a beach, even when we try to be silent before Him.
I don't know if there's a perfect answer to that, because for me the answer may be different then for you. I like 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." I think these two verses go hand in hand.
I think to be still before the Lord means to focus totally on Him and block out 'life'. That's the first, but the second is just as important. We need to know Him. We do that by studying who He is, the attributes of His character, how he works in lives, what are His goals for us.
When we are not focussed on Him, we can't be still and we can't know Him the way He wants.
What keeps you from focusing on Him? What keeps you from being silent before Him? Do you really know what to believe? If not, why not? You might be surprised what you 'hear' when you are silent before Him.
We need to celebrate that we belong to a God that is exalted about the nations and earth.

Celebrating Him,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Malachi 1:2-5

Good Morning,
This has been one of those mornings that I just have to laugh. When I was walking Tucker at 6:30, a lady in a car stopped and told me that I had to have Tucker on a leash. She's told me this before, only this time she was nicer. Last night one of her dogs was running loose in our neighborhood until a lady caught it and took it back for them.
Then as Tucker and I were coming out of our house so I could sit in the sun for 10 minutes (vitamin D) a lady rode by on her bike with her dog. Tucker of course had to go and see and I called her back, but the lady wasn't happy and told me that I needed to tie Tucker up.
To me, this just warfare. Why do I think so? Chuck is preaching at the prison on Sat. night. We always have tons of warfare the week that he teaches and/or preaches.
I also have lots of people telling me constantly how wonderful Tucker is and so well behaved/trained. So, the minority isn't happy but the majority likes us. Go figure! Three policemen have seen us walking and never said a word to me.
That brings me to the scripture, Malachi 1:2-5. After you've read it, come join me.....My main focus is on verses 2-3. God loves Jacob and hates Esau. People here hate us or like us. I don't have any control over their feelings. God has control over who He loves/hates. He knew Esau's heart.
Do you see in verse 3 where God says He's turned Esau's mountain into a wasteland? Doesn't that sound like the desert. On the top it doesn't show much life, but in the case of the Arab nations, underneath is the oil that serves the world. I think is part of God's promise for Ismael.
God calls them the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. Always means, forever. How would you like to under God's wrath forever? Those who don't choose Christ as Lord are under His wrath, but it sounds like people that are living are under too. I think that all the wars/fighting that's constantly in that area of the world is because they are Wicked people under God's wrath. They try to rebuild (vs. 4) but the Lord will demolish.
Where in your life are you trying to build something and the Lord keeps tearing it down? It may be a relationship, work situation, family, children, etc. It just doesn't seem to work well. Have you sought the Lord? Do you have peace from Him that you have the right frame of mind, that you're going the right direction to solve the problem?
Malachi wanted Israel to appreciate their obedience and blessing from the Lord. He wanted them to realize that the choices they make had consequences or blessings. He contrasted the two brothers to show how God handles obedience, or lack of it. Remember, God knows the heart.

Willing to follow,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Eli's wicked sons

What a beautiful day the Lord has given us. We have much to praise Him for, don't we? His Word is such a delight to me and I like to share what it says. Thank you for "hearing" the Word as I share.
Yesterday in our Sunday school class, we had a lady that kept going down 'rabbit trails' and basically confusing most of the ladies there. I don't think she meant to, but it was hard for Gloria to keep everyone on track. I didn't want to say anything, but after class Gloria (the teacher) came and basically told me to jump in on anything that would help everyone out.
I had tried to simplify something the woman had said by summing it up with: grace vs. Law. The lady agreed and everyone looked relieved. I also found out from Gloria that when I prayed at the end of the time, that I don't pray loud enough for those with hearing problems! What a hoot! She's such a dear lady and a really good teacher that I count her as a new friend gladly.
Today's scripture has nothing to do with what I just shared; just updating you on life. If you will turn to 1 Samuel 2:12 you'll find: "Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord." Here's a priest (Eli) and because of heritage, his two sons were priests and they were wicked. Eli was the head priest, but obviously not a good father. He let his grown sons rebel against the Lord.
So, what happened in their upbringing? According to scripture (Joshua) the Jews were to tell their children when they walked, ate, etc. Had Eli somehow missed teaching his sons about the Lord?
I think that he forgot to teach them to fear the Lord. I'm talking about respect and FEAR. The Lord zapped them dead. They should have spent more time pleasing the Lord then living wicked lives.
So, what the application here? Teach your children and grandchildren to fear the Lord. God is love, unconditional love; but, there is a payment for sin. As Christians our sins are forgiven, and God's patience is long, but we do pay the price unless we fear Him and discipline ourselves daily.
I trust you are sharing Christ with others, especially your family and teaching them to obey Him. Show by example because actions do speak louder than words, sometimes.

Fearing Him,

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A righteous prostitute

Another summer day and the weather is beautiful. Tucker and I sat outside for a little while this morning so I could get some "D's". Chuck came home for awhile, then he's back tomorrow morning. He didn't get the truck because it would get him home some time on Sat. It's so good to have him home for a little while.
Today we're looking at James 2:25-26. This will finish this section and I'm not sure if I'll continue on in James; have to see where the Spirit leads. "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
This is the same Rahab that marries one of the spies and is in the line that carries to Jesus. She believed that God was God and decided to support Him and His cause.
I'm sure when the news came to the town about what was happening with the Jews that she too was afraid. Sometimes fear motivates us to do what's right. Her fear drove her into God's service, her faith tells us that she thought He was bigger than any of the gods that she would have worshiped to this point in time.
When James finishes with verse 26, it almost seems out of place, but I think it is the summary. He uses Rahab to show that by her deeds, she proved her faith. Do your deeds prove your faith? What are you doing for the Lord?
I have a friend that wrote me a note and in it she talks about spending so much time and energy on her children. She felt she should be doing more for the Lord. I encouraged her that her children are at home so briefly and that she was investing in their lives Christian values. Basically, her children are her first mission field. She'll have time as they go to college, get married to do more for the Lord.
I know that during those growing years that I too chaffed at the bit to do more for the Lord. I did some things, but always felt I could do more. When they left home, I then had that opportunity.
The main point of this passage is that we serve. By serving we prove our faith is real, genuine. The dictionary says that genuine is: frank, honest, sincere, authentic. Only you and the Lord know what your faith is made of. What does He think?

Striving to be genuine,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I've had an interesting day. Chuck came home briefly because they are taking his truck to replace the engine and he's going to get another one; hopefully a brand new one. If it's used, he gets someones mess and smells.
I had a detox this morning and was so glad to get it. The fluid in my arm/pit area was building up and that's very uncomfortable. I'm going to have them weekly for awhile. I was feeling worse the last couple of days, but the detox should help.
Today we'll look at scripture in James 2 again, verses 20-24. James is talking about Abraham and how his faith was credited to him as righteousness. He is also called God's friend.
Have you ever put yourself in Abraham's position and thought about having to sacrifice your child to God? Yes, I know, God didn't kill Isaac, but Abraham didn't know that. He knew that God would provide a sacrifice and that Isaac was the promised seed. My guess is that Abraham thought God would raise Isaac from the dead after being sacrificed.
The main point here is this: Abraham believed God. He had faith and trusted God. Grant you, God doesn't expect us to sacrifice our children like Abraham did, but he still asks us to makes sacrifices for our children and for Him. He wants us to spend time teaching, training, nurturing and loving our kids; that's sacrifice.
He wants us to teach our children about trusting Christ as Savior and that's probably the most important thing we can ever do for our children: lead them to Christ.
James' point here is two fold. One, Abraham had faith and acted on that faith. Because of that, he was justified. So, what are you doing with what the Lord shows you? Are you trusting Him for your children? Are you being justified by faith and works?
I like verse 22: "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." We can have the very same thing. Look at your walk with God and put your faith into action.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I'm sure the title threw you for a moment, but if you remember yesterday scripture reading: James 2:14-26, you'll remember reading verse 19: "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder."
Years ago when we first became Christians, I had a woman who talked to me about demons and the dark world of Satan. She was trying to convince me that I shouldn't be "looking" for them and that they really weren't such a problem as some people thought.
Now, I was pretty clueless about the demonic world because at all the churches we went to, none of them taught much about that theme. Sure, there was some things, such as this verse, but it seems to be a topic that most people shy away from.
Through the years as missionaries, Chuck and I discovered that demons like to plague people and make their lives miserable, especially if they don't know how to "fight" them. Keep in mind that WE CAN'T fight them personally, but it's the Lord that does the fighting. He's given us tools though.
We have His Word to use as the temptations come. The more we know the truth of scripture, the more we're able to fight the trials Satan sends our way. We trust, when he wants us to fear. We lean on Jesus and His promises when Satan wants us to quake in our boots and doubt. The list goes on.
When Christ was tempted in the desert, what did He use to fight Satan? The Word!!! The Lord has given us this wonderful tool to help us as the demonic world attacks us. I've found also that when the temptations come, to sing praises to the Lord, pray and also to claim Christ's blood that has covered me.
Satan will try until the time he's thrown into the lake of fire to destroy God's people and to keep people from coming to trust Christ as Savior. He's subtle and a deceiver. But, keep in mind the verse: "Even the demons believe that- and shudder."
God is greater, all powerful, and the demons know that they chose the wrong one to follow. Aren't you glad that you chose Christ and have the power of the Holy Spirit working in you to help against the evil forces of this world. My friend was right, don't go looking for demons under every rock, but at the same time, don't be naive that they don't exist or haven't any weapons to use against us.
Just remember: Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Holy Spirit versus Satan. God's already won the battle; praise to Jesus Christ our Savior!

He is Greater!