Saturday, July 23, 2016

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.



















If possible, so far as it depends on you, 
be at peace with all men. 

Romans 12

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. 

Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. 

Do not be wise in your own estimation. 

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. 

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 

“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sweetheart


The LORD is interested in our sanctification

Check out Something I Don't Understand from Stan on his Blog, Winging it, where he shares his excellent commentary on modesty, and generally, about Christians choosing poorly.

As Believers we are called to a higher standard. Our standard is from the LORD who let's us know what He expects in His Word.

"Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 

For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 

that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 

not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 

and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 

So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you."
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Little Hummer


From friends in Oregon

Matthew 10:29-31
 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? 
And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 
So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
*



Thursday, July 7, 2016

The God of all comfort



2 Corinthians 1:3-5
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our affliction 
so that we will be able to comfort 
those who are in any affliction 
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, 
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

*


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LORD! Set them free!

Today I was overwhelmed when I thought of all those individuals who are caught up in legalisms, abuse, drugs, sex, pride, control, greed, arrogance...

I thought of all the mothers, sisters, grandmothers, women who have shared their deepest heartaches with me over these years. 

I cried out for them and I cried out for me.  I know the LORD’s character, and so I know He hears my cries, and that He is working in all these Waywards, but that He is also working in each of us who live in anguish for them.

I thought of so many of the Waywards whom I have prayed for all these years, and I cried out to the LORD!  They are caught in webs of deception, in traps and snares of sins.

Set them free, LORD!  

Confuse their camp and set them free! 

Somehow, set them free!

Psalm 55:9-11
Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Day and night they go around her upon her walls,
And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.

Destruction is in her midst;

Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.

Proverbs 6:1-5
My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Proverbs 1
"...Wisdom shouts in the streets!...."

*

Precious mothers, sisters…..I know you are weary!  

But do not become weary, instead, look to the LORD! 

Continue to cry out to Him! He holds you, He comforts you, He sustains you!

Proverbs 15:3 
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9a
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Matthew 19:26
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Psalm 73:28
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

*



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The joy of braids!


What do "Red Flags" look like?











"My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,

For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.

Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.

So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors."
Proverbs 1:10-19



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hidden Sins

“For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”
Mark 4:22

Hypocrisy is a hard game to play because it is one deceiver against many observers.  A hypocrite will always be found out.

Secret sinning, although an easier game to play, is far more deadly.  Hidden sins can be concealed, and for that reason, are far more damaging to your character.

Hidden Sins, from Diamonds in the Dust, by Joni, June 11

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Giving up is not an option

Today was a small town patriotic parade in which we were part of the Color Guard.  It has been on the calendar two months.   We knew the time to be there to meet and prepare, and we knew the time the parade would step off.  All the info we thought we needed we had.

When we arrived on time we couldn’t find the Color Guard, and the line of parade was moving up.  We only thought they were getting organized.  We parked and walked towards the beginning of the line, but the line of the parade just kept moving.  Finally we asked one participant who said the parade began at the time we were told to meet up and prepare!

What happened next is that the Piper marched fast alongside the moving parade line thinking he would catch up to the Color Guard. The Piper’s Wife walked farther and farther behind, took alleys trying to catch up to at least get one picture, and then watch the rest of the parade.

As it turned out the Piper caught up to the Color Guard right when they were ending!  

What did we learn?

In life we can be told what to do and what to expect.  (Like our parade time line)

We can make our plans and follow them through.  (Like getting there on time and then trying to catch up with the Color Guard)

Often life isn’t as easy as it has been planned for us, or what we have planned, or what we expect to happen.  We can discover times, dates, situations, people, etc. do not turn out like expected.  We can run after the “front of the parade” to catch up, but find we never do so.

As a Christian when life throws an unexpected turn into our paths, we need to assess and keep living for the LORD.  If we find ourselves just chasing after and never catching up, then we need to assess the situation and figure out what would be best to do next. 

Giving up is not an option.

14 "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:1-21

Perhaps we are struggling with our faith.  The world is “screaming” falsehoods, and maybe they make us stumble and doubt. We know God’s truth, it is in our hearts, but what about that “screaming”? ~ that sounds pretty good, huh? 

We have to preach to ourselves! Don’t “throw God away"!  Giving up is not an option!  We know the truth already! Why do we so easily faint?  

Trust in God.

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me."
John 14:1

Preaching to ourselves should be a daily thing, especially when we struggle with anything!  The world is always “screaming” and always has.  Nothing is new under the sun.

"That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun."

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Continue to the good fight.  The LORD is our strength and our shield.  This world may seem like it has it all together ~ but that is one falsehood among a myriad of falsehoods.

Seek Him!

25-26 "Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Psalm 73


She must be jealous of me.

I have known her for over 40 years.  She is just about the most bitter person I have ever known - only, unfortunately, I know three other women who top this one’s ugly bitterness.

Bitterness is an ugly, gross thing when seen in played out in a person. Avoid it. 

Fight becoming bitter.

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
Ephesians 4:31

Precious Sisters in Jesus, whatever you do, whatever you are going through, however you must handle your circumstances, control yourself! Because you do NOT want to become bitter.  It is an abhorrent trait.

"I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:14-19

"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."

Proverbs 28:13

But, with this certain bitter person, I know of her childhood, and I know how she was dealt with when she was grown up, so I have always had pity for her, prayed for her, and “given her a pass” so many times when she has been cruel to me or others.

I think she was trying to be friendly with me once when she showed me a treasured picture in her wallet.  It was of herself and her prom date at their senior prom.  The man  was NOT who she had been married to for 15 years.  I was shocked, said nothing,  and I felt sad for her to live in the past this way. Plus, I wondered how this made her husband feel.

She is a wee bit older than me so she has always felt like she could tell me what to do.  I, on the other hand, even when I was spiritually immature have tried to love her as I would want to be loved, and I love her like a sister.  I have been there for her in her agonies, and befriended her when no one else would.   As far as I have seen, though, I do not think my kindness and love has affected any change in her at all.

One solution was for me to distance myself from her. But her manipulation and cruelty towards me has reached out and has affected me greatly over these years.  One consolation, if I should call it this, is that she has chosen to pretend I do not exist any longer.  When communication was paramount, I was ignored and vilified.  When she was held accountable by those in authority she was able to continue her cruelty in secret to this day.

I have spent all these years wondering why she did not like me, and why she even hated me.  I have had to explain her behavior and choices in polite terms to those people who I have had to deal with (friends, medical professionals, social workers, nurses, etc) because she has blocked my freedoms.

I know how she has behaved as a wife and how she has parented her own children. I marvel at how God’s grace and mercy has been showered on her with her family is still intact when other precious, godly families have been torn apart by the world.  These loving families have cherished their spouses and children and have lost everything because the world captured their families. Why does it seem like the "good guys" lose?

No matter how she has hurt me, angered me, ignored me ~ I still pity her, because I know where she came from.  Strangely, just today, I realized that what may have spurred her on in her quest to destroy me was her jealously of me.  Perhaps it is because I have had parents who loved me, a husband who adores me, and children I loved and spent my quality time on. I have loved God as long as I have known her, but when my faith shown, she disliked me even more.  Jealousy, I suppose, can be ugly in itself. How pitiful to see played out.

What can we learn from our relationships?  We can not make anyone hear us, believe us, or change them.  This is not our job.  We can only do our job which is to live our lives for the LORD no matter what others do to us, or how others behave. 

Let us remove all bitterness, etc. out of our inner most beings even if it means a daily inner fight.  We are not fighting alone, for we have the LORD! 

"bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
Colossians 3:13

"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. 
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Ephesians 4:25-32






Types of cat fur


Friday, June 24, 2016

The one you love

“Pleasure is captured 
in the soft smile 
and gentle eyes 
of the one you love.”

Joni, Diamonds in the Dust, June 13

I Trust Thee!

“ I will not doubt, 
though all my ships at sea come drifting home with broken masts and sails;  
I shall believe the hand which never fails, 
from seeming evil worketh good to me.  
And, though I weep because those sails are battered, 
still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered, ‘ I trust Thee!’”

---Ella Wheeler Wilcox
*


“A furious squall came up…

…‘Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?’

And He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’  

Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
Mark 4:37-39
*


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

THERE IS A REDEEMER

From "Hymns that Preach"

THERE IS A REDEEMER

If you’re 45 years or older, you will probably remember the Jesus movement that was spawned in the Southern California hippie drug culture of the 1970s.  And if you remember that, you will probably remember the controversial Christian singer and songwriter who rose to prominence from out of that culture.

Keith Green was born in 1953.   At a very young age, it seemed that he would become a musician.   Music was his passion; he wanted to be a pop-star and he was exceptionally talented. At age eight, he began to perform in stage musicals. At age 12, he published his first song and became the youngest member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. That same year he signed a five-year recording contract with Decca Records.

He had a secular Jewish background but, as a child, he was fascinated with reading the New Testament.  The first time Keith ran away from home, he was 15 years old. Even though he was on a fast track to becoming a teenage idol, he never quite achieved that success and by the late 1960s, he began experimenting with drugs and dabbling in various Eastern religions.

He met the woman he would marry, Melody Steiner, another songwriter, in the early 1970s.  That is when his life began to turn around.  She was also of Jewish heritage and had been exploring the teachings of mysticism and Eastern religions.   After they met, they began to explore the Christian faith together.  

At the age of 21, Keith and Melody heard the Truth of the Gospel at a church in the San Fernando Valley, and the Lord saved them.

They never turned back from the Christian faith.  Not only did his life take a radical turn, so did his music.  He was no longer interested in stardom. His songs began to reflect the Joy of knowing Jesus and experiencing His love.   From that time, Keith focused his work, on a series of Christian music projects, including working with the band, Good News.

Keith developed some strong convictions that left him feeling inadequate and undeserving of God’s grace.  And his convictions affected and irritated many of his friends and separated him from most of the others in his industry.  He started holding concerts for free and he questioned how other Christian musicians could, in good conscience, charge for their concerts or make profits from their record sales.

But in the final years of his life, Keith Green, the Firebrand, was tempered by the grace of a loving God.  He met John Dawson, of YWAM, and through that relationship, he began to re-discover the love of Christ.  After striving for years to measure up to God's holiness, and sometimes questioning his own salvation, Keith came to a deeper understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross―both to forgive his sins and to clothe him in His own righteousness.

Keith grew in grace without compromising his beliefs; he reconciled and restored all his relationships, and began to experienced real peace.   He wrote personal letters of apology to those he had offended with this admission:
“I hope you can understand that I am a man of principle, and yet, like a pendulum, I have a tendency to go too far to make a point.  I fear that in the past I have done just that.”  

In 1982 he released his final, and most worship-oriented album of all, Songs for the Shepherd.

One of the songs on that album is There is a Redeemer.  It was written by his wife, Melody, in the late 1970s during the time she and Keith were starting Last Days Ministry (LDM), an outreach to the drug culture and to unwed teenage mothers; a ministry that is still continuing today.  The song had been set aside, unpublished until she presented it during the production of this last album.

Keith loved the song but wanted to make it longer so, within a few minutes, he penned this prophetic third and final verse:

When I stand in Glory, 
I will see His face,
And there, I’ll serve my King forever, 
In that holy place.

Just a few months later, at the young age of only 28 years, Keith Green was killed in a small plane crash.  He was standing in Glory, seeing his Father face-to-face.
  

There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God's own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One,

Jesus my Redeemer,
Name above all names,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Oh, for sinners slain.

When I stand in Glory,
I will see His face,
And there I'll serve my King forever,
In that Holy Place.

(chorus)
Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,

'Til the work on Earth is done.
*