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,