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,