Sunday, July 26, 2009

At long last

I've decided today, that I'll blog. Not sure what about, but we'll see. I don't think anyone reads this anymore, so I guess I'll just ramble.
Life has been, shall I say, interesting lately. The economic crunch has been hitting our area a lot lately and jobs are scarce. Everyone is feeling the pinch. Our president seems bent on turning our country into a socialist one, whether anyone agrees or not.
What I find interesting is that in the end times, after the rapture, America isn't shown as a super power financially. When the tribulation is present, life will be centered in Babylon, what is now Iraq.
I'm studying Daniel and just getting into the 7th chapter, where prophecy starts to really begin. It's touched on previously, but now the history is ending and prophecy is coming to the forefront.
Because I'll be gone when the rapture happens before the tribulation, what will happen doesn't really affect me. What I care about is the signs of the end, which I think we are slowly sliding into. How much "tribulation" will we experience before the real one comes? What forms will it take?
The wedding supper of the Lamb will take place in heaven during the tribulation. I can't wait!!! That's when rewards will be given. I can't wait to lay my crowns at Jesus' feet. I will probably be shocked by how many or how few there are. But I do know that they are His and I gladly lay them before Him.
What I want most in the world is this: come back soon Lord Jesus......

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

time away

As you probably know, my father passed away on Friday. I'm at my Mom's until the end of next week. I would covet your prayers. It's possible I'm coming down with a cold and my mom is having surgery on Friday, so I need to not pass on my germs and feel well enough to take care of her.
Thanks for your many prayers and notes.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Leaders didn't lead

Good Morning,
This must be a record for me, to blog three days in a row. For once my schedule isn't terribly full. I trust the Lord is working in your heart to form you into the person He wants you to be. Conviction, is a very good thing.
Jeremiah 2:8: "The priests did not ask, 'Where is the Lord?' Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols."
When I read this verse, my whole being screams: how horrible for the Lord that they don't respect Him above all after all that's He is and has done for them. But, when I look at how our country has slowly slipped down a slope into immorality since our country began with the Pilgrims, I know that we aren't any better than the Israelites. How sad is that?
And, today the immorality I think is escalating. So many false teachings have lead people astray from the truth of God's Word. Okay, now we separate believer's from non-believer's. We should know better. We have God's Word to read and Jesus in our hearts. But, don't we follow the things of the world, over Him?
I think the key here is in the words: "priests didn't ask, and leaders rebelled against Me." Those in leadership have a great responsibility toward followers, whether Christian or secular. I think that the judgment for those folks will be greater than for the followers. Yes, there's responsibility for what we hear and what we choose to follow. (James 3:1: "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly").
I am held more accountable than you for what I share on this blog, teach in a class or as I lead a Bible study, mentor through discipleship. I don't take this responsibility lightly and study hard to teach truth. I know that as I've learned, then taught that my understanding has increased. Some things that I used to teach one way, as I matured, my understanding was deepened and I changed what I taught. I don't know if I'll be judged by what I know at the time, or the overall at the end of time. One thing, is that I strive for the truth and to teach it.
What about you? If you don't teach, are you at least learning God's truth so when you hear a falsehood you can share the knowledge and wisdom God's given you? That too is a responsibility.

Listening to God,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stop Seeking God

I'm sure you're surprised by this title. I'll explain later :). Isn't the sunshine wonderful? Tucker is lying in a pool of it while I write. Makes me want to join her for the warmth and light it brings.
Jeremiah 2:5 tells us: This is what the Lord says: "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves."
Harsh words from the Lord. The Israelites had stopped seeking after God. If I include vs. 6a it adds:"They did not ask, 'Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of Egypt'." This implies that they had forgotten all that the Lord had done for them many years before.
Jeremiah's ministry in Judah was from 626-585 B.C. This was during the time when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Jeremiah had predicted the fall of Jerusalem but no one was listening or believing.
Take a really good look at your walk with the Lord and ask yourself this question: am I walking closely with the Lord, or have I fallen away in my fellowship and obedience with Him? If your walk isn't what it should be, what happened to pull you away?
Did you get busy and not read your Bible one day? Did you put off opening the Word to do a serious study and just not get back in that healthy habit? Did you not like what you read, so you stay away? Do you read sometimes, but not consistently? Were you convicted?
There are a ton of excuses, yes, excuses of why we're not in the Word daily. God isn't asking you to read the whole Bible every day. He just wants you to study some portion and apply what you learn.
One of the off shoots of not walking closely with the Lord is how your prayer life is going. Is it all centered on you, sometimes others, without any praise and worship to God? He should be first, others next and you last.
The only time we should stop seeking God, is when we've found Him! I think it's a matter of will. Will you seek? Will you pray? Will you surrender your will for His? You get the idea. Strive to seek God, and find Him; He isn't far away, but always right beside you, waiting for you......

In Him,

Monday, March 23, 2009

How we wander away from God

Hello on a lovely Monday,
Sunshine! Warmer temps! The windows are open and the breeze is bringing in the warm weather. I think Spring is finally coming home. We had a good weekend. We're joining the church we've been attending for a year. Now, we'll be able to do ministry here, as God leads. Discipleship isn't being done here, so we're hoping the Lord will lead us in that direction. Chuck's ministry at the prison has had some bumps, but the men like his teaching and are eager to learn.
Our pastor taught on Jeremiah 2 yesterday and I took notes because I wanted to share with you the gold nuggets he shared. Every day that I blog, I'll address a point that he spoke about. Of course you won't get the whole thing, but that's ok. Let the Lord lead you in His wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
The first point I want to share is vs. 2. "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown."
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God was talking to Israel. When it talks about the "devotion of your youth" He's talking about when Israel was a young nation and followed God. This was before they sinned and those over 20 had to stay and die in the desert.
Can't you just hear God bringing their memory back to a better time (they were following God through obedience)? Then He calls them His bride. The suggests newness, a willingness to follow the bridegroom (God). He led them into an unknown territory, like a new couple moving to a new town and starting their life together away from family and friends. This should bond the couple closer together, not drive them apart as they learn to depend on each other.
Just after Chuck and I were married, he got a job in southwest Iowa, about five hours from our hometown. It was a really difficult time for us both and we were only there a year. But, during that time we had to learn dependence on each other and we were drawn together probably more then if we had stayed close to home. We weren't Christians, so dependence on Him wasn't part of the equation.
However, I really think that He orchestrated the job offer that brought us back to northeast Iowa, closer to home. He knew what we were going through and He knew where we needed to be so that we would hear the gospel message and get saved. He is omniscient, remember!
I really think this verse is talking about when we come to Christ, we have such a strong devotion and love for God. In the next few verses though, we'll discover that our first love often wanes, even though it shouldn't. Join me next time......

The bride of Christ,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Approved by God

It's been awhile, but here I am again, finally. I was able to see Lynn and boys on Thursday. I don't know how she does it all. Twins are smiling and cooing! I got to take care of two oldest 'grands' on Sat. evening while Josh and Tiff went out to help celebrate her parents 40th anniversary. We watched video's and 'chilled'.
I'm back in 2 Tim. 2:15 today. "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
Present yourself: what does this mean? I think it means when we "stand" before the Lord in our prayer time. How are we approved? I think by obeying His Word, we have His approval. If we are doing this: obeying, we aren't ashamed before God. We are living our lives in such a way that we can come to God in prayer and not have shame and guilt because we have lived in such a way as to please Him.
Do you have a long list of sins each time you pray? Do you constantly tell God you're sorry, then go and repeat the same sins again? Where's your repentance? If we study His Word and put it into practice, then we won't be ashamed before the throne of God.
Remember, what we are in the heart, is what we show on the outside. And, God looks on the heart, not the outside. Where's your heart?

Not ashamed,

Friday, March 6, 2009


Isn't the weather today just wonderful? Tucker and I enjoyed our walk so much. I didn't have to wear a winter coat! We also had a visit from a close neighbor. She and her daughter like to come a visit Tucker. She's a single mom and her daughter is 3.
I had a call from a friend today about a situation that she's struggling with. I know I can pray about the problem, but when I ran across this verse in 2 Timothy 2:14, I decided it was a good verse to look at. "Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen."
Words. So much hurt comes from the words we speak. Sometimes we're misunderstood, other times we are hurtful for a reason. Then there are good words, ones of encouragement, edification, love.
Have you ever said something and then , either immediately, or delayed realize you've put your foot in your mouth? Some times people don't even know they are hurting others by their flippant attitude. We say something that's not quite nice and try to excuse the remark by saying: I was only kidding.
I think what Paul was talking about here were arguments about theology. Some times it's easy to get into the "heat of the moment" and our tone of voice isn't as kind as it should be. We're frustrated because the other person doesn't agree with us, or doesn't see what we're saying.
We are not always going to agree with doctrine, theology. If you have two people, you'll have two views; not always, but quite often. For myself, I've had to say: can we agree to disagree? Sometimes the person is okay with that, sometimes not. That situation mostly happens when I'm trying to share the precepts of salvation to a non-believer. The truth doesn't always sit well with people who don't see or don't want to know the truth.
A few years ago the Lord really impressed upon me to tell the truth, but to do it in the spirit of love. This means tempering my voice and using phraseology that is clearly understood and not argumentative. As this verse states: it is of no value.
Why warn them before God? I think that God, who sees everything, knows the true intent of the heart and he wants us to study scripture and use that as our guideline and Him as our witness.
What about you? Do you quarrel with others? Do you look for trouble or just like to argue a point strongly? You can argue a point to the death, and not gain a thing.

Working on the loving with words,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Trustworthy saying

Good Afternoon,
I trust you are keeping warm on this very chilly day. I'm SOOO looking forward to warmer weather.
As I was looking for scripture to share today, I found something that's very interesting. Take a look at 2 Timothy 2:11-13 and then join me....
The Apostle Paul used this little term: "a trustworthy saying" also in 1 Tim. 1:15. It tells us about Christ. Here it starts with dying/living. He died on the cross and took our sins there, so we also died with Him. Because He lives, we then also "live" with Him. This is for eternity.
"If we endure" we will also reign with Him. As we've studied before, to endure means lots of patience, sometimes while we're suffering. I'd say the "if" is just stuck in there because we all know suffering in patience. Have you thought about "reigning" with Christ? I'm not sure what all that means, but I'm actually looking forward to it. I think it means we'll have "jobs" to do, for Him.
Disown. If we are His, we would never disown Him. So, I take this to mean unbelievers. We may have times where we're angry and turn our "backs" on Him, but would we really disown Him if we're truly His? Isn't there always a part of us that clings to Him?
I know as humans we are faithless sometimes. We are disobedient and we fail Him, ergo faithless. Sometimes our faith is weak, for whatever reason. Maybe we're immature or have been hurt so badly that we can't see how He is working, despite all our troubles/trials.
But, it tells us that He is faithful. It's one of His attributes of His character. He can't NOT be faithful because it's part of His nature. As this verse says, He cannot disown Himself.
What a great promise we have. We fail, He does not. We're faithless, He is not. He reigns and we reign with Him. He also helps us to endure.
So, the next time that you are not seeing Him working, stop and consider this small passage and "think on these things" as our Pastor would say.

Thinking of Him,

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spirit of Timidity

Good Morning,
I need to make a correction on my last blog, I wrote 1 Timothy 1, but it was actually 2 Timothy 1. Sorry for the typo. It's Friday! Whoo hoo!!! We get to have Ethan and Nolan tomorrow; can't wait. :))))
I want to continue in 2 Tim. 1: 7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." Even though this verse is short, I want to just concentrate on the first part: spirit of timidity. The dictionary describes timid as: very sensitive to real or imagined causes of fear, lacking self confidence.
I've often wondered how sensitive we should be about things in life. I've also come to the conclusion that 99.9% of things in this world are NOT about ME. So, if I'm sensitive to what other people say or do, why? Am I perceiving hurts that really aren't there? Am I taking on a responsibility for an emotion that I shouldn't have? If so, what can I do about that?
From the description, this" real or imagined" causes fear and lack of confidence. This verse tells us that fear isn't of God(timidity/fear). So where does fear come from? Well, we know that Satan wants us to fear, basically everything. If we are fearing, we are not trusting God. Fear holds us in bondage. But, WE ALLOW IT! We have choices.
Every time I choose to trust God (and tell Him so) I drive fear away; it has no hold on me. Therefore, I don't sin by fearing. Yes, sin. Lack of trust, is sin. Prov. 3:5,6 tells us to: "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." This is a commandment. Don't you just love that verse? I've quoted it to myself for years and it brings such comfort in trying times.
So, what will you choice be this day? Will you trust when things are not what they need to be? Will you depend on your emotions, or God's Sovereign grace to see you through? It's all a matter of free will/choices.
God has proven Himself to me for almost 32 years of walking with Him. How can I throw that away by having a spirit of timidity now? If we add verse 6, it tells me to use the gifts He has given and let the results be His. I am to step out in power (next blog) and let Him direct my paths.

Stepping out with God,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fan the Flame

What a beautiful sunny day the Lord has given. I trust you have been outside enjoying some of it. It was nice not to put on many layers of clothing/coat/scarf before walking Tucker today.
As I move through 1 Timothy 1, I want to look at vs. 6 today. I'm sure when people look at this verse they try to apply it to today, some of it anyway. "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." In order to look at what Paul was telling Timothy to do, we have to look first at what Paul and the elders did by laying their hands on the young pastor.
1 Timothy 4:14 tells us: "Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you." Paul is telling Timothy in this verse to USE his gift. The Holy Spirit gives the gifts, but we need to exercise/use them.
Obviously a prophetic message was also given at this time with the elders. Because we now have the fully completed Bible, we don't need further revelations from God. Also, it wasn't the elders laying hands on Timothy that gave him the gifts, but by their mutual agreement they dedicated Timothy to the Lord's service.
I'm sure you've been in services where the elders/pastor's laid hands on someone and prayed over them. This is the same thing, only in Paul's day. Paul was helping Timothy to realize his God given potential and encouraging him to use it/them.
I think the term "fan the flame" is particular and we need to pay close attention to it. How does one "fan the flame"? I think by studying the Word, praying for God's guidance and help and serving, through obedience to the Word and service to God. In other words,"if we don't use it, we lose it".
Each time we study God's Word and apply it, we are "fanning the flame". When we are being obedient, we are adding "fuel" to the fire. How brightly is your flame? Is it a roaring bon fire, or still just a small "pilot light" ready to be ignited?

Treasuring the flame,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sincere Faith

I trust the Lord is showing you His mercy as you live each day, for Him. He is merciful, isn't He? I'm so glad that I don't get what my sins deserve. What a horrible thing to have hanging over my head every day if I didn't have His mercy. Praise the Lord; He is merciful!
I have moved on to 2 Timothy 1:5 today. "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."
I didn't grow up with a spiritual heritage. My family are not saved, on either side, except for a couple of cousins (at least that I know of). We didn't attend a church that taught the gospel at all. When I came to faith I basically became a first generation Christian/believer.
Timothy had a fine heritage from two generations. He was brought up knowing scripture and serving the Lord. I'm sure that Paul saw in Timothy the makings of a great pastor/shepherd long before Timothy started his service. Paul was basically Timothy's "father in the faith" as he discipled the young man.
Not everyone on earth has this great heritage of learning about God/Christ/Holy Spirit. But, we can start. We can learn from God's Word, we can share out faith, we can live obedient lives that glorify God.
Timothy's faith was evident, not just to Paul, but others. Is your faith evident to others? I've attended churches as a believer for almost 32 years. In that time I'm met lots of people that you can tell immediately are believer's. Then there are people that even after knowing them for awhile, I'm still not sure where they stand.
Do people know that you're saved? Is it evident in your life, how you live every day, in the work place, while you're shopping, with friends/family? Do you have a sincere faith? If so, in what ways do you "live it"?

Living for Jesus,

Friday, February 20, 2009

Good Confession

Good Friday Morning,
Hope you are all well. With the weekend upon us, I'm sure you have plans set in place to enjoy every minute. I think I'll work on making some cards tomorrow. Chuck has a job meeting in the morning and prison ministry in the afternoon/eve. so he'll be gone all day.
Today is the last blog for 1 Tim. 6:11-12. We already looked at vs. 12 with "fight" and "take hold". In the last part of this verse it talks about the good confession that Timothy made. So let's begin. "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."
What is it that Paul is saying to Timothy? I know it's an encouragement to this young man. There were problems in Timothy's church where he was the elder/pastor. Paul is giving Timothy a "pep" talk to keep him fighting the good fight amidst outside teaching, that's being brought into the church and causing divisions. Paul was telling Timothy to hold on to his faith even though there was trouble swirling around him.
I remember being young and even though I knew things, I didn't have the confidence to speak up or assert what I believed (that's obviously changed :))). I can imagine Timothy feeling like he was being out gunned in his own church. In steps Paul.
What Paul was basically doing was taking Timothy back to the time that he made his profession of faith, in Christ Jesus. He was centering the young man where he needed to keep his focus: on Jesus Christ, Him crucified, dead and risen. Focus. I've used that word with myself many times and shared it with others that I saw struggling in their life.
Everything should be about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, not us. When we center "us" on Him, we are able to serve, live as He desires with all the benefits that He pours out on us when we are surrendered to Him. If you finish reading verses 13-16, you'll see what I mean.
So, where are you in your walk with Him? Is He the center of your life? When "life" plagues you, do you concentrate on Him and let Him fight your battles? He desires your total dependence on Him, for everything. This opens the door for Him to work in you and through you.
Troubles come, troubles go, but He is God and He will see you through, everything, so that you come out a little more "gold" on the other side. Try it, you might like it!

Focused on Him,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Take Hold

Good Morning All,
We had a busy end of the week with Lynn and boys coming. Such a nice visit and I got lots of "grandma" time in, holding, burping, playing with Nate. On Sat. our son and family came also, so got to visit and see Ethan and Nolan's Valentine gifts. We exchanged cards and celebrated Valentines Day very nicely.
As I look at the portion of scripture we're going to study today, I think that it's not terribly complicated, but very important. We're still in 1 Tim. 6: 12b "Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
What I want to look at is the two words at the beginning of this sentence: take hold. They seem to be simple words, but an imperative. It's telling us what to do, but it has a stronger emphasis than we first notice. This take hold means to: work to gain.
So, what does that mean you ask? It means that we are to study God's Word, understand it and then manifest (apply) it in our daily life. That seems simple, doesn't it. For many it is because they are dedicated to study God's Word diligently. For others, it means when they have time, when they think about it, just at get the idea.
I don't normally do a book review, but I've been reading a really good book by Dr. Gary Smalley: I PROMISE. I've read other books he's written and liked them very well. He takes a biblical, no nonsense approach to life. Basically he teaches that God's Word tells us how to live and we need to "hide it in our hearts" and apply it.
He talks mostly about marriage, but it can easily be applied to any individual and should be a must read for everyone on the planet. He uses scripture to back up what he's teaching, plus how he's applied these principles in his own life. The best part for me: it makes common sense. I've already seen good things to apply to my own life and have started to implement them and seen results.
In closing, what do you do with what God teaches you? Do you read His Word diligently and apply it? Do you really study it, or just read a little and move on through your day, forgetting what you read?
We have one more part of this portion that I want to study next time, then I'll move on. I've enjoyed this study immensely and I hope you have too. Remember: hide God's Word in your heart so that you don't sin against Him (Ps. 119:11).

Hiding His Word,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fight the good fight of faith

Another beautiful sunny day. It sure makes running errands easier when the weather is nice. Nothing much going on here, just another day.
We've finally moved on to verse 12 of 1 Tim. 6 "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."
What I want to concentrate on today is: fight the good fight of faith. Have you ever felt that you're in a battle? That just picking up the Bible to study takes a conscience effort? Do you feel like applying what you learn takes work? That you find that you don't always have the strength to put into practice what you learn? That the troubles that come derail your purpose and sap your strength? Join the crowd!
Life has a way of insinuating itself into everything of God. Busyness keeps us from picking up the Word in the morning because we have to get ready for work, school, whatever. By the time night comes, we're too tired. We have a family to feed, kids to give baths to, etc. How many times have you fallen asleep while praying? Thankfully you are at least in the Father's arms!
Here's what I think it means to fight the good fight of faith. I have to get my focus on Him. I schedule Him and studying/praying/devotions into my schedule. Many are saying, you don't "do" anything, so why do you have a schedule? Being sick takes work to keep from getting worse, improving or just maintaining. Enough of me.
The point is, that I schedule my time with the Lord. I plan for it every day. For me, I have more time to spend with Him, but the length isn't what He wants, it's your FOCUS on Him instead of self/life.
Satan will do anything to derail your time with Him. He will try to make you forget what you learn from the Word. He will bring problems before you so that when you are tested for what you did learn, he tries to make you fail. It is a fight, but the Lord has already won the battle.
In other words: we have to work to gain.
Do you want to gain? Do you try to focus on God, not self/life, etc.? Do you fight the good fight? If not, why not? He gives His all for us, what do you give Him? Surrendering yourself to Him for salvation is one thing, living for Him is another. Fighting means surrender of will, time, energy, thoughts, money: self.
Fight the good fight of faith because God will reward you greatly, in the present life and in eternity.


Monday, February 9, 2009


What a wonderful weather pattern we are in! We spent Sat. with Lynn's family and the temps were in the low 70's. Today it's 60+. We had a great day seeing how much the twins have changed in 1 month and playing with Nate. It was a little hard for him to see me holding one twin and not playing with him. Time to grow up.....just a little:)))
Today's word is: gentleness. The dictionary tells us: mild, sensitively light, not strong or violent. Synonym words are: gracious, kind, meek, merciful, tender. I would say that every description adds up to one word: Jesus.
Other scripture that uses this word, besides 1 Tim. 6:11 are: 2 Tim. 2:24 "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." 1 Thess. 2:7 teaches "but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." James 3:17 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." I could end with all the verses because they preach a good message. But, I think I'll add some thoughts.
Remember we are to pursue gentleness. I know for sure that when we lose our tempers, we are not gentle. When we seek our own way to the hurt of someone else, we are not gentle. I think of the twins, babies that are helpless to defend themselves. We take good care of them and are gentle, even when we're tired. We are the adult and exert the extra measure to achieve gentleness.
Why is it when we get older, that gentleness isn't part of our thinking process? The society tells us that we need to live life our way. What about God's way? When Jesus came to earth, He was gentle, meek, kind.....If we use His example for living, we too will have these attributes guiding us through our days.
That doesn't mean our days will always be wonderful, because not everyone is gentle. The store clerk who slams your goods into the bag and keeps glancing at their watch is not gentle. The parent who slaps their child, oblivious to how it may hurt the child. A word spoken in anger that we later wish we hadn't spoken. The list goes on, doesn't it?
So, what will you do with gentleness? Will you manifest it in your life? Will you seek to be gentle even in trying circumstances? For me, the only way I can be gentle to others is to surrender my will/life to God and let Him work in me and through me, for His glory.

Striving to be gentle,

Friday, February 6, 2009


Isn't this warmer weather just wonderful? I took Tucker to get a bath today. At least she didn't have to get into a cold car. Yesterday she had a seizure. It's the second one she's had since we got her 51/2 years ago. The last one was almost a 2 years ago. This one lasted longer and I think she had some pain because she didn't want me to touch her head when she was finally back to "normal". It was a bit traumatic. I could see she didn't understand what was happening to her. Today she's up and running like normal though, chasing her ball and visiting the various smells around the pond where we walk.
As we revisit 1 Timothy 6:11-12 our next word is: endurance. This word means: long suffering. The dictionary tells us: the capacity to keep going or to put up with pain, hardship. In our Tuesday Bible study we are in Colossians. The word patience is tied with endurance. Patience means: endurance when circumstances are difficult. This is the opposite of despondency (pity party).
Patience is an important characteristic of a maturing Christian. Romans 5:3-4 tells us: "tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character; and proven character, hope." Patience is endurance in action.
Then, there's long suffering which means: self-restraint and is the opposite of revenge (God says that's His to do). Patience has to do with circumstances but long suffering has to do with people. If you remember Gal. 5:22, long suffering (patience) is a fruit of the Spirit. In 2 Peter 3:9, God is long suffering toward people because of His love and grace. 2 Corinthians 6:4-6 tells us long suffering is the mark of a true Christian of Jesus Christ.
When we were overseas, a friend came to help with a camp. She remarked that Chuck and I were so patient with everyone. Obviously we hadn't been before:))). We learned many things on the mission field and patience was one of those things.
Back to endurance. In life there are situations that we find ourselves having to endure. It might be a problem with someone else, or something that's happened to us that we have no control over, or whatever. We are suffering, having to endure.
What I've found is that I have to surrender the situation/person/problem to God and let Him take care of it. Otherwise I end up angry, frustrated and the end result is I sin. I don't have any right to "ME", but God does. I can't force my "rights", but God can work His will. I just have to surrender my will and the problem to Him and let Him work. For sure He will deal with the situation far better than me.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Good Morning All,
I've been a little tired, so am just getting back into the swing of things. We're going to see our daughter's family on Sat. Can't wait to hold the babies again! I need my grandma fix. We were able to see our son's family last Sat. and got that "fix".
When I think of love, I think of God's unconditional love for us. We definitely don't deserve His love, but because it's an attribute of His character, He loves, no matter what. As people we choose to love unconditionally, or not. I know how hard it is to love when someone is being terrible towards us. I also know that I'm not always lovable to others, even though I always try to be.
I grew up with conditional love, so when the Lord saved me and gave me His UNconditional love, He enabled me to love others the same way. Sometimes I have to pray for that ability to love as He desires me to. As I trust Him to help me, He does and I can remain loving, unconditionally.
1 Corinthians 13 is the "love" chapter in the Bible. Paul states it all so wonderfully. So, after you read those few short verses, come join me.....Verses 1-3 tells us what love is NOT. 4-8a tells us what love IS. 8b-9 again tells us what love isn't and then switches to showing both sides in the last verses.
Love is a choice and a verb/action. We have to decide in our hearts whether to love someone or not. We choose our spouses, when to have children (mostly:))). Where to live and what jobs to have; what church to attend. But love, I think is the most important choice, AFTER choosing Christ to be our Savior and surrendering our will, for His.
So, what will you do? When people aren't nice, when life is too difficult to even feel any kind of love, what will you decide? Do you look for ways to find "fault" in them? I know from experience that when I choose to love unconditionally, God provides the "feeling" to go along with the fact and that He blesses ME, and hopefully the other person as well.
We don't have to like what people do, but we do need to love others unconditionally. The biggest reason is: GOD LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY. We need to honor Him in this way too.

Choosing to love unconditionally,

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Another cold snowy day, but at least the sun shined for awhile. It's been a good day and the Lord has blessed, as usual. Nothing much to report, so on with the blog.
I'm going back to where I left off in 1 Timothy 6:11-12. I've already blogged on righteousness and godliness, but now it's time for faith. The dictionary describes faith as: trust, confidence; complete acceptance of a truth which cannot be demonstrated or proved by the process of logical thought (i.e. religious faith).
I know from experience that when I put my faith in God, He never fails to help, show me something, uphold me in His right hand, etc. I trust God, for many things. I trust Him to help me, my family, show me more of who He is; the list goes on. When I put my faith in God, He works His righteousness in me.
Without faith, I cannot be saved. I trusted the work Christ did on the cross for me, dying to take away my sins. This gives me eternal life with Him, instead of separated from Him. Many people haven't and won't trust Him and put their faith in Him for their salvation. They argue that what they can't see doesn't exist. Hebrews 11:6 tells us: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."That verse alone deserves a blog!
Now comes the cruncher of all verses on faith: Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Going back to 1 Tim. 6:11, it tells us to pursue faith. We have to WORK for faith! It doesn't happen by osmosis. So, that begs the question, how do we get faith?
I personally think it means basically telling God that you have decided in your heart and mind that He exists, that He is God, that He will do as He says He will, etc. Faith isn't a feeling folks, we have to do something to make it happen. The best part, is that God meets us in our need and gives us stronger faith as we trust Him each time.
There are days when things are hard/difficult that I'll tell Him: "I choose to trust You." I choose to abide in Him and not trust in my feelings or what I see happening. That surrender of self (trusting in me to accomplish, whatever) and choosing to trust in Him builds my faith stronger.
So, are you pursuing faith? Are you choosing to trust Him and as your faith builds, to manifest your growing faith? I manifest mine when I share how He has helped me through something, or when I choose to do something that's spiritually mature instead of something straight from my flesh (sin). I choose Him over me and He blesses me with stronger faith and maturity.
How mature is your faith? Do you trust when things are difficult? How do you respond when trials/tribulations/persecutions come your way? Remember Romans 12 and the guidelines to maturity.

Faith in a God who is faithful,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Catch and Release

What a beautiful winter day. The sun shining on the snow made it sparkle greater than diamonds. I don't like cold and ice, but when the Lord "pretties up" His creation, it's worth enjoying.
The other day I was thinking about the phrase "catch and release". When we go fishing, we practice catch and release. We catch the fish, admire it and then release it. Some people have great pride in their catches and even capture the moment with a photo.
It made me think about when we go to church. Do we "catch" the message from God's word, enjoying it thoroughly, then the moment we leave church, we "release" it in the sanctuary and not take it home to enjoy and live it?
At church we're studying Romans chapter 12. The book of Nehemiah is my favorite, but Romans 12 is my favorite chapter. It tells us how to live a life pleasing to Him. I convicts me when some of the things that it talks about are happening in my life. I need to act not react. I need to purposely love, when what I want to do is lash out in pain.
The Lord is teaching me about perseverance during trials, testing and persecution. I have to say that I'm not enjoying this teaching at all. When I hear scripture taught on Sunday's, I have to obey because that's what pleases God, and let my feelings follow.
God knows our hurts, frustrations, pain and He works in us and through us, to His glory. Romans 12:12 tells us: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." I have to admit that it's hard to be joyful in hope when there's affliction. The prayer part I have, but I need to be careful of my attitude, that it honors God.
Another part is to make sure that in my pain or suffering, to keep my eyes on Him and not self. That's hard in the best of times, but it becomes idolatry if we focus on self and not Him. It's okay to tell Him our troubles, but when we think more about that and self, our focus is off Him, that makes it idolatry. That's a hard thing to do, always put Him first, especially when we're in pain, no matter the source.
It's all about choice isn't it? Do we choose to catch the knowledge and apply it to our heart and life, or release it before it has a chance to become part of our life? It is a decision.

Deciding for Christ not self,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Doris Day!

It seems ages since I've written and it is. The babies are born and doing well and I'm finally home. I've been resting. When I don't even want to look at emails/answer them, I know I'm too tired to do anything but the basic stay alive and the house/laundry stuff.
I got my haircut on Tuesday. I'd like to say that I feel like a new woman, but I don't. Sandy cuts my hair really well, but when she fixed it this time it was over the top. She made me look like Doris Day with hair way out and curled. I came home and brushed it to calm down the "new" look. Now I look like me again.
My hair is still in the growing out period, but it looks just like I used to wear it years ago before we became missionaries; Sandy calls it a layered bob. I really don't want that look again. I do like longer hair for the winter, so I'm going to keep what I have, for now. Come summer it's short again. I don't think I'd mind the Doris Day look if I could sing like her and make
millions! :))))
I really don't have a spiritual blog today but I will soon, probably next week. My life is slowly getting back on track, but it's not there yet.
I miss you all and are glad that you're my friends.