Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Let us lay aside every encumbrance!

“Don’t let yesterday 
use up too much 
of today.”
Will Rogers
*
Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, 
since we have so great a cloud of witnesses 
surrounding us, 
let us also lay aside every encumbrance 
and the sin which so easily entangles us, 
and let us run with endurance 
the race that is set before us,
 *fixing our eyes on Jesus*, 
the author and perfecter of faith, 
who for the joy set before Him 
endured the cross, 
despising the shame, 
and has sat down at the right hand 
of the throne of God.

*For consider Him*
who has endured 
such hostility by sinners against Himself, 
so that you will not grow weary 
and lose heart.
*

Monday, August 24, 2015

Abiding in the LORD

?! How is this done?!  

?! How can we abide in Him when everything is chaos?!

*Think on Heavenly things (Colossians 3:1-4), 
then contemplate His word (How did Bible people trust Him? How do people we know trust in Him when they have terrible issues?), 
and when all seems “black” then continue to trust as a child would in Him in all things, even, and especially when it seems impossible to go on.  

This is work, -not for sissies-, but for those who truly desire to draw closer and closer to Him. 

ABIDE:
live in, 
accept, 
obedience, 
stay, 
reside, 
rest, 
dwell, 
adopt, 
believe, 
reside, 
remain, 
continue, 
inhabit, 
choose, 
draw near to,
take to oneself, 
keep on, 
persist, 
last, 
endure, 
go on, 
prevail, 
persevere, 
carry on,
waiting, remaining, hopefulness, ….

*Abiding is restful, peaceful, calming, there is anticipation in Him, hope in Him, complete trust in Him…

Abiding is not flippant, nor magic, there is no formula, you can not “turn it off and on”, …

Abiding is an effort of your mind and will, but it is spiritual work as you learn to trust Him more and more, no matter what is happening in your life.
---------------------------

John 15 -Abiding-
1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 
6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 
10 If you keep My commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 
17 This is my command: Love each other.
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 
21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 
24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 
25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 
27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Galatians 2:20  -Abiding-
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Colossians 2:6-7  -Abiding-
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him
7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 3:1-4  -Abiding-
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

My advice:

As a child, “keep on, keeping on”, and do it for Him—glorify Him!


Abiding: Waiting on the LORD

Psalm 27:14
*Wait for the Lord;
 Be strong and let your heart take courage; 
Yes, wait for the Lord.*
------------------------------

Waiting.  It seems like nothing, but it is something.  

Waiting is huge.  

Waiting is trusting the LORD.  

Waiting is great anticipation as we seek His face.

Waiting glorifies the LORD.

Waiting is not sitting still, but is very active in our inner being, using a lot of energy.

Waiting builds up our faith because we trust Him, and trusting Him more and more even as we seemingly “see” no answers

Waiting builds up our faith so we are stronger in our faith.

Waiting is not nothing, but it is something!
-----------------------------

Hebrews 10:35-39
35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence
which has a great reward. 
36 For you have need of endurance
so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37 For yet in a very little while
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
38 *But My righteous one shall live by faith;* 
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, 
but we are of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
-----------------------------

Habakkuk 2:1-4
 I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.
2 Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him;
*But the righteous will live by his faith.*
-----------------------------

Romans 1:16-17

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, 
for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, 
to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; 
as it is written, “But *the righteous man shall live by faith.”*
------------------------


So what does this mean to all of us who love the LORD?  

We need to continue to stretch our faith muscles in trusting and waiting, knowing that He is not slow in hearing us, nor answering us.  

*He will answer us in His time and in His way*——even if the answers are not what we expect.  

Even so, we need to be at His feet in obedience trusting Him.  We need to walk by faith even when we can not “see”. 

May we glorify Him as we wait!




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Have you been thrown away?

…disowned, marginalized, discounted, hated, lied to, lied about, judged unjustly, treated worse than an enemy… 

Humanly, we are so very hurt by any of this unjust behavior, and then, exponentially so, when the people who disown us are from our own families.

Do not lose heart, dear ones!

There is One who will never throw you away.  He never lies and never plays games with you.  This One will never discount you, disown you, or marginalize you.  He is the One you can count on no matter what is happening in your life, even if what is happening is unjust from other people, especially your own family.

You may feel alone, but you are not alone. The One and Only God is with you, even when you do not feel He is, even when feel you are a horrible sinner.

Read His Word, soak it in often, preach to yourself.  You are precious in His sight!

1 Corinthians 8:6
 "...yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him."

John 1:12
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name"

Colossians 1:12
"giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light."

James 2:5
"Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?"

1 John 3:1-2
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Just like my father


























*****************************************

Thankful for a wonderful earthly father.

Praising and glorifying the LORD for Him as my heavenly Father!


Monday, July 27, 2015

To a Child Who Inquires



How did you come to me, my sweet?
From the land that no man knows?
Did Mr. Stork bring yo here on his wings?
Were you born in the heart of a rose?

Did an angel fly with you down from the sky?
Were you found in a gooseberry patch?
Did a fairy bring you from fairyland
To my door — that was left on a latch?

No — my darling was born of a wonderful love, 
A love that was Daddy’s and mine.
A love that was human, but deep and profound,
A love that was almost divine.

Do you remember, sweetheart, when we went to the zoo,
And we saw the big bear with a grouch?
And the tigers and lions, and that tall kangaroo
That carried her babe in a pouch?

Do you remember I told you she kept them there safe
From the cold and the wind, till they grew
Big enough to take care of themselves? And dear heart,
That’s just how I first cared for you.

I carried you under my heart, my sweet,
And I sheltered you safe from alarms;
Then one wonderful day the dear God looked down,
And I snuggled you tight in my arms.

by Olga Petrova from The Best Loved Poems of the American People.




Monday, July 13, 2015

An Ode to Yesterdays

I remember the bologna of my childhood,
And the bread that we cut with a knife,
When the children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work not the wife.


The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread was so crusty and hot,
The children were seldom unhappy
And the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from a freezer; or shop.

The kids were a lot more contented,
They didn't need money for kicks,
Just a game with their friends in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.

I remember the shop on the corner,
Where cookies for pennies were sold
Do you think I'm a bit too nostalgic?
Or is it....I'm just getting old?

Bathing was done in a washtub,
With plenty of rich foamy suds
But the ironing seemed never ending
As Mama pressed everyone's 'duds'.

I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren't heard of
And we hadn't much choice what we wore.

Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.

... Author, Unknown


*


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Revived! The Moon and the Stars!

Last night we saw the beautiful full moon through the mist, and I marveled at how intricate the creation is.  

The same God who created is the same God who saves sinners through Jesus.  He has once again gently reminded me how He holds all of this life in His hands.  

Trusting Him anew!  I am revived again!

*
Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

*

Trusting God! and "wearing my sorrow with obedient grace!"


Sometime

Sometime, when all life’s lessons have been learned, 
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgments here have spurned,
The things o’er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us out of life’s dark night, 
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God’s plans are right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.

And we shall see how, while we frown and sigh,
God’s plans go on as best for you and me;
How, when we called, He heeded not our cry,
Because His wisdom to the end could see.
And e’en as prudent parents disallow
Too much of sweet to craving babyhood, 
So God, perhaps, is keeping from us now
Life’s sweetest things, because it seemeth good.

And if, sometimes, commingled with life’s wine,
We find the wormwood, and rebel and shrink,
Be sure a wiser hand than yours or mine
Pours out the potion for our lips to drink;
And if some friend you love is lying low,
Where human kisses cannot reach his face,
Oh, do not blame the loving Father so,
But wear your sorrow with obedient grace!

And you shall shortly know that lengthened breath
Is not the sweetest gift God sends His friend,
And that, sometimes, the sable pall of death
Conceals the fairest boon His love can send;
If we could push ajar the gates of life,
And stand within, and all God’s workings see,
We could interpret all this doubt and strife, 
And for each mystery could find a key.

But not today.  Then be content, poor heart;
God’s plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart, —
Time will reveal the chalices of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly see and understand,
I think that we will say, “God knew the best!”


May Riley Smith

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Protecting your purity in dating

Please check out,  23 Guidelines to Protect Your Purity in Dating, Eternal Perspective Ministries, by Randy Alcorn:

"First of all, remember that if you plant purity today, you will reap a rich harvest, free from shame and guilt. And, by the grace of God, you’ll look back on your life not with regret, but with joyful gratitude. Sexual purity is ALWAYS in your best interest. Be smart, not stupid, and you’ll enjoy the best God has for you!"

He then has 23 guidelines with explanations and scriptures to help you think and discern, for example:

2. If you’re a Christian, only date Christians.

You won’t marry every person you date. But the person you marry will be someone you dated. God says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers . . . what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

4. Choose dates by character, not just appearance.

When we judge people by their appearances, often we turn out to be dead wrong—and meanwhile we may have made foolish choices.

7. Realize your date is your brother or sister in Christ—not your “lover.”

...A rule of thumb is, don’t do anything physically you wouldn’t do with your brother or sister...

ending with number 23:


23. Count the cost of impurity.

and then:

"Rehearse in advance the devastating consequences of sexual sin and you’ll be less likely to commit it. Even a forgiven person must deal with many consequences to his sin. God removes guilt, but He doesn’t always remove consequences.


God forgives when we sincerely repent, but if we sincerely repent we will show it by taking necessary steps to avoid temptation."



I saw the beauty in his face

What a beautiful thing I saw today.  

It could have been the spring sunshine, 
it could have been the flowers colorfully blooming, 
it could have been the flowering trees which are spectacular this year!

But it was the beautiful face of an elderly man as Jesus’ love shone from him.  He is a beautiful man, because he loves the LORD with all his heart, but today I saw him even more beautiful.  

We were outside together at his home. He had just taken a walk around his yard, and then he stopped, and began to watch across the street.  There was a young father and his little boy on the sidewalk.  The father was “jogging” alongside his little boy who was running as fast as his little legs could take him.  They were headed to the neighborhood park.  When the little boy stopped to rest the father would be talking to his boy, and then, soon enough, they would begin again their “jog” down the sidewalk. 

My precious, beautiful friend, said to me, “look at that,”  as he chuckled and intently continued to watch.  “Isn’t that beautiful?” he said.  I agreed, because it was so wonderful to see a father interacting and paying attention to his son, but I also saw such a beauty is his face which I will never forget.


Thank you LORD!

Watch yourselves! Do Not Forget!

from Joni's Diamonds in the Dust, January 5
*

Exodus 15:1-2
Then Moses and the sons of Israel 
sang this song to the Lord, and said,

“I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.
“The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.
*
...Our own songs  of praise fade all too quickly when we forget how God protects and provides for us.  We need to take the advice God gave the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:9:

"Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen.
*

The next time you're tempted to grumble or complain, think of your favorite praise song and then sing it.  It will be God's way of helping you not to forget His protection and provision in your life.

Lord, forgive me for having such a short memory 
of all the marvelous ways You've protected and provided for me.  
I thank You for all that You've done 
in the past and all You'll do in the future. 
I am grateful to You!
*


Monday, May 11, 2015

The love of a mother never ends


















From the moment you realize there is life within you, until your dying day, a mother's love never ends.

Praising God for His mercies as we cry out to Him through all of these years.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Don't listen! Read to your children!

Please! check out this ridiculous piece telling us we shouldn't read to our children.

Bedtime-story privilege?

This world becomes more and more upside-down everyday.  Please! do not listen to their madness, and read to your children!

....“I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said....."


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Christian Liberty to love!

from Joni's Diamonds in the Dust, January 21

Law and Liberty

"Therefore the Law has become our tutor 
to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

Sometimes the sins we commit are not moral ones but spiritual.  We cultivate a legal attitude toward God, and that's wrong.  Christians start out in the Spirit, but when it comes to daily living, we try to perfect ourselves by the flesh.

The Law says, do these things and you shall live, but the Gospel says, live and these things you will do.  The Law commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind; the Gospel says that this is love: Not that we have sought God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to atone for our sins.

The Law demands holiness, but the Gospel gives holiness.  The Law makes blessings the result of obedience, but the Gospel makes obedience the result of blessings.  Under the Law, the old man was restrained, but with the Gospel, the new man is given liberty.  And one more thing: Salvation was earned under the Law, but under the Gospel, salvation is a gift.  

If we are right in our inward being, we shall certainly do right in our outward actions.  This is what Christian liberty is all about.

Picture a woman who is a servant in a house and under the law of her master whom she tries to please.  She's paid a wage.  She does her duty.  
But then,the master offers her his love and lifts her up from her place of service to be his bride and share his wealth.  She may continue to do the same things, but now she does them with a different motive---love, not duty!

Lord, my old sense of duty is now lost in my new sense of love.






Retired Pluggers


Monday, April 27, 2015

He sought me when a stranger!

  Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
mount of thy redeeming love. 

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
hither by thy help I'm come; 
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
safely to arrive at home. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 
He, to rescue me from danger, 
interposed His precious blood. 

O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above. 

by Robert Robinson
*

Revived! Even with wet feet!










Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
I have sworn and I will confirm it,
That I will keep Your righteous ordinances.
I am exceedingly afflicted;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,
And teach me Your ordinances.
My life is continually in my hand,
Yet I do not forget Your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts.
I have inherited Your testimonies forever,
For they are the joy of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, even to the end.
Psalms 119:105-112

              

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Revived! Thankful for Spring!



My soul cleaves to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
So I will meditate on Your wonders.
My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your law.
I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Your ordinances before me.
I cling to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!
I shall run the way of Your commandments,
For You will enlarge my heart.
Psalm 119:25-32
*


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pluggers


When Scripture Hurts

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, 
and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, 
of both joints and marrow, 
and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
*
...If God brings to your mind a verse which hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt.

You, Lord, are the judge of my thoughts and my heart.  
Place the sword of Your Word between my soul and spirit 
and reveal to me today things in my life that displease You.
*
from Joni's Diamonds in the Dust, January 12
*