Saturday, December 31, 2011

Theological liberals vs. militant atheists - which do you prefer?

Check this subject out at Eternity Matters, December 30, 2011.

Christianity has fought a two-front war from the beginning:  Persecutors on the outside and false teachers on the inside.  Things haven’t changed, so we need to be on guard for both.
I think the bigger enemy is inside.

Thank you for this great overview of two kinds of enemies, eMatters.

I agree with your reasoning completely.  Atheists are tough, but it becomes very sad and disturbing when communicating with those who claim Jesus' name for salvation, but do not follow what His Word says.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Honoring those whom we have lost

Our Christmas tree has always been full of traditions.  If you were to ask me about each ornament and decoration, I would be able to recall the special event or Christmas it was added, or who made it or who gave it to us.  Each year, each tree is full of our precious memories.

I personally would not be able to have a "theme" tree for a year, as some people have, as I would miss all of our special traditions. But if all of our special decorations were destroyed in some way, we would just begin with new memories.

One way of helping each other deal with sadnesses in our lives, like the loss of dear people, is to display a special ornament of theirs which will bring happy memories and honor their life which was woven into ours.  The loss is not hidden, and the person is loved and honored even though they are not with us any longer.

Traditions throughout the year can give us a warm and safe feeling, but we must also be willing to move and change if need be.   You will not want to set up "shrines" for the loved ones you have lost, but enjoy your happy memories of them.

Let us praise the LORD for the people who have been woven into our lives, and let us strive to mend and revive relationships with those people we are still privileged to have with us.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jesus is mighty now to save!

O Sing a Song of Bethlehem

O sing a song of Bethlehem,
Of shepherds watching there,
And of the news that came to them
From angels in the air:
The light that shone on Bethlehem
Fills all the world today;
Of Jesus' birth and peace on earth
The angels sing alway.

O sing of song of Nazareth,
Of sunny days of joy.
O sing of fragrant flowers' breath
And of the sinless Boy:
For now the flowers on Nazareth
In every heart may grow;
Now spread the fame of His dear name
On all the winds that blow.

O sing a song of Galilee,
Of lake and woods and hill,
Of Him who walked upon the sea
And bade the waves be still:
For tho' like waves on Galilee,
Dark seas of trouble roll,
When faith has heard the Master's word,
Falls peace upon the soul.

O sing a song of Calvary,
Its glory and dismay;
Of Him who hung upon the tree,
And took our sins away:
For He who died on Clavary
Is risen from the grave,
And Christ, our Lord, by heav'n adored,
Is mighty now to save.

by Louis F. Benson

Monday, December 19, 2011

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard #7 of 7

I decided to end this prayer series with the card back on the left side to finish with a change.  I hope these prayers have been good suggestions for you in how you can pray for your prodigals.  I know they have helped me, not only in praying, but in right ways of thinking of my prodigals and their situations.

As time goes by and we come closer to the endwe will see more and more prodigals appear among our own families and friends.  Let us not grow weary in praying.

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then,  while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Galatians 6:9-10

This is my seventh and last 
installment from the prayer 
card, Prayers for Prodigals, 
which has 21 prayer ideas 
on how to pray for prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle. For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind. Please adapt them to fit your situation.

19.  Lord, in this fast-paced world of instant gratification, plant in my son the perseverance he needs to succeed.  Cause him to be still and wait patiently before You.  Help him to rest in Your power.  Establish the work of his hands.
(Ps.37:7; Heb.12:1-3; Ps.90:17)

20.  Turn my son's focus away from himself and onto You.  May he allow Your power to flow through him to others.  Teach him to love others as himself.
(Phil. 2:4; 2Cor.4:7; Mt.22:39)

21.  Cause my son to love You with all his heart, soul, and mind.  May he live all his days in love with and rejoicing in You.
(Mt.22:37; Ps.27:4; Phil.4:4)

Interested in further resources:

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard #6 of 7

Thank you for waiting for me to finish these posts.  "Life" continues and the blog goes by the wayside.

Meanwhile this is my sixth installment
from the prayer card,
Prayers for Prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle. For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind. Please adapt them to fit your situation.

16.  Teach my son to live in freedom, animated and motivated by Your Spirit and in step with Him. (Gal.5:16,25)

17.  Teach my son to walk by faith.  Help him to see beyond his circumstances and trust You with every part of his life. (2Cor.5:7; Heb.11:1; Prov.3:5-6)

18. Impress on my son the need  to protect his mind, guarding its purity through the choices he makes about what he looks at, listens to, and thinks about. (Phil.4:8; 2Cor.10:5)   

Interested in further resources:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We have some odd ways of cheering each other up.

See what Ed Welch has written on

What not to say

I have lived in pain, but even so, I do not always know what to say to a person in pain and sometimes in trying to encourage them I have said really dumb, hurtful things.

So when someone says something to me which they think is "kind" concerning my agony, I can choose to be so hurt, or I can shower them with grace and mercy in return as I assume they do not know how their words cut me in my situation.  

Thank you, LORD, for teaching us to express Your grace and mercy to others.

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard #5 of 7

This is my fifth installment
from the prayer card,
Prayers for Prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle.  For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind.  Please adapt them to fit your situation.

13.  Thank You for offering hope and comfort to my son.  Thank You for restoring the years the locusts have eaten and bestowing on my son a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. (Is.57:18; Joel 2:25; Is.61:3)

14.  Teach my son that following You is not about following rules.  Show him that what You long for is a genuine relationship with him. (Ro.6:14; Jer.9:24; Phil. 3:8,10)

15.  Lord, cause my son to grow up in You, maturing into an oak of righteousness for the display of Your splendor.  Help him to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with You and with man. (Eph.4:15; Is.61:3; Lk.2:52)

Interested in further resources:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Teach Me

by Cherry Bieber

Teach me to sing from a broken heart....

Psalm 145:2 
"Every day will I bless Thee;  And I will praise Thy Name forever and ever."

So beautifully expressed, thank you,Cherry.

I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

I have always had a "what's wrong with that?" take on things certain women in my life have said.  I wasn't involved in their "groups" and so I shrugged off what they said, but always with a nagging, "what's wrong with that?"

My fault.  I was in my own little safe and happy world, and they were in a "strange one".   I now know that these women were deceived into a wrong way of Biblical thinking.  It fed on itself among them and they were all heavily caught up into it.  I was too niave to understand or even be able at that time to have conversations of God's truth with them.  

It was not surprising that many of their conversations were about health issues.  We live in a fallen world and illnesses of every degree abound.  It is now years later, and I now realize how trapped they were into their wrong thinking, and I grieve for them.  My prayer for them is that they have escaped this way of wrong Biblical thinking into the freedom of God's grace as the man, Brian D., I referrence below, has escaped.

When our family tragedy enveloped us over a decade ago, some of those same people from our past have made inquiries about our health through the years.  Not "how is God carrying you?, or how can you continue in your pain?"  But always, "how is your health"

I knew something was strange with their questions ("what's wrong with that?") because it didn't seem like they really cared about us or our health.  It was more like a curiosity to them, a shaking of the head, and an acknowlegment to our situation as if we had caused it.

Lately this has raised anger in my inner person against these "friends?" because at the time I took them as caring Christians, but it seems they were just curosity seekers.   Now I must take my anger to the LORD and lay it at His feet...His feet of GRACE. 

Can you see how people can be caught up in Biblically wrong thinking?  They try to solve their own illnesses in their wrong thinking, and then go around diagnosing everyone else's  illnesses (unrighteously judging others).   One wrong choice leads to another and sin abounds. 

These women I have spoken of were deceived into the teachings of Bill Gothard.  Their wrong thinking spread like a disease ~~~ a spiritual disease ~~~ to even those of us who were not involved, even to this day.  They were so concerned about other peoples' sin when they were causing more sin in spreading their false teachings through their own families and the communities in which they lived.

LORD, have mercy on we sinners!

There is a place to go for information and God's grace if you have been invovled in Gothard teachings or have been hurt on the outskirts of it.  The blog, Recovering Grace on December 7, 2011, has The Disease Catalogue by Brian D.  It is quite eye opening to the way some Gothard-educated people think.  It is more than eye opening~~~it is a travesty!  

Brian D. ends his entry so encouraging, and so I will end with his words:

Those of us who are struggling with disease need not try to trace it back to a specific sin problem.  Are you dealing with sin?  Of course you are.  All of us are struggling with the problem of sin on one level or another.  How do you find growing victory over a sin to which you are enslaved?  Freedom from sin and peace with God can be found as you experience His grace by faith–and faith alone–in His finished work on the cross.  The more we grow in faith and the more we understand grace, the more we experience the peace of God.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2

So how should a Christian who is struggling with disease respond?  Ask for prayer, seek out medical attention, and then remember the words of Paul, as he also struggled with physical ailment:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Gentle women...may you be encouraged that God has not forgotten you in your pain.  He is there for you full of His grace and compassion.  Cry out to Him and He will incline to you and hear your cries.

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard # 4 of 7

Today I am keeping you on your toes by putting the card to the right.

This is my forth installment
from the prayer card,
Prayers for Prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle. For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind. Please adapt them to fit your situation.

10. Produce in my son a humble spirit that is yielded to You. Teach him  how to live in You, and show him that apart from You he can do nothing. (Jas.4:10; Ro.6:13; Jn.15:5)

11.  Lord, reveal to my son how valuable and significant his life is.  Give him a vision for his purpose in the world, and show him the possibilities for his future.  Through You, he can do all things. (Is.43:7; Jer.29:11; Phil.4:13)

12.  Help my son to see that he doesn't need to condemn himself.  Show him that he can experience complete forgiveness through the work You've already finished on his behalf.  Give him the grace to repent of and let go of the past.
(Jn.19:30; Acts3:19; Is.43:18-19)

Interested in further resources:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard # 3 of 7

Praying for your own dearly loved prodigals can become difficult.  Usually we call them "prodigals" because of the length of time that has transpired in their waywardness from God. 

Because of the time factor we become so weary on how to pray.  In our weakness we do not know how to pray, but according to the will of God, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26-27) 

When I came across Prayer for Prodigals the LORD lifted my head in my weariness~~~may these prayers remind you that the great God of the universe hears your cries even if they are only groans.

This is my third installment
from the prayer card,
Prayers for Prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle. For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind. Please adapt them to fit your situation.

7.  Remove my son's heart of stone and replace it with a new, soft heart.  Make this heart into a bed of fertile soil so that the seed of truth sown into it will grow deep roots and bring forth a rich crop of life. (Ezk.36:26-27; Mt.13:23; Col.2:6-7)

8.  Lord Jesus, reveal to my son that lasting refreshment and satisfaction can only be found in You.  In You he will find an abundant life.  (Jn.4:10, 10:10; Ps.1:3)

9.  Lead my son to friends who will graciously point him to You.  Cause him to be attracted to those who are attracted to You.  Scatter like chaff in the wind any friends who will bring him harm.  Give him the courage to please You, not man.
(Prov.13:20; Gal.1:10)

Interested in further resources:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two "every day" Sparrows for a Cent

I have been contemplating Romans 5 and 6.  The depth and richness of just those two chapters is worth celebrating with great joy and glorifying God with happy shouts and the clapping of hands!  The work which Jesus did for us is practically too awesome for any words.

Just a few feet away out my kitchen window it is a joy to see God's creations at our bird feeder every single day.  We mostly get many English Sparrows.  People tend to think of them as "trashy" birds, or as "every day" birds, thus they do not even matter; but if you were to observe them for a while they are actually lovely.

In Matthew 10:29 Jesus was speaking of "every day" birds when He said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."  Were they English Sparrows?  How incredibly awesome for Jesus to use "every day" birds as well as our individual hairs to express how valuable we are to Him.

Last week, while I was thinking all these things, the feeder was full of sparrows and one "popped" out at me.  He must have had a white feather or two on the tips of a wing because his back had a white spot.  "It is all about genetics", I said to myself in wonder.  I decided to name this unique little creature instead of saying, "the sparow with the white feather is here again!"

The little bird touched me so because of his uniqueness.  I  do not know why I thought of "Nicodemus".   I suppose it was because of my deep thoughts of how Jesus has saved us.  

This man was a Pharisee who came by night to speak with Jesus, and then asked Him how a person could be born again after he was old.  It is an incredible account beginning with Nicodemus admitting that Jesus is from God, to Jesus explaining about being born in the Spirit by using the wind as an example---'not knowing where it comes from nor where it is going'.  Jesus speaks of Moses lifting up the serpent and likens it to the Son of God being lifted up with those who believe in Him having eternal life.  It continues with the famous John 3:16 and 17, to the sad fact of men loving the darkness rather than the Light.  Jesus ends with those who practice truth come to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

I see my little Nicodemus everyday now and that little sparrow reminds me of my great God who saved even me.

Jesus said, "Do not be amazed that I say to you, 'You must be born again.' " John 3:7

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard # 2 of 7

Gentle women...

May you be encouraged to cry out to God for your prodigals.  LORD, hear our prayers!

This is my second installment 
from the prayer card,
Prayers for Prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle. For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind. Please adapt them to fit your situation.

4.  Give my son the courage to be honest with himself and with You.  Spirit of God, convict him of sin and his need for You.  Don't allow my son to blame other for troubles in his life.  Show him that he alone is responsible for his choices.
(Jn. 16:8; Gen. 3:12-13; Ezk. 18:20)

5.  Lord, thank You for drawing my son with love and tenderness to Yourself, even in his desert place.  Show him that You are with him.  You delight in him.  Amid the clamor for his attention and affections, may he hear Your voice calling him and respond to Your deep, deep love.
(Jer. 31:3; Hos. 2:14; Zeph. 3:17)

6.  Cause my son to call out to You in his distress and confusion.  Cause him to seek You with abandon.  Thank You for promising to answer him.
(Ps. 91:15; Jer. 29:13)

Interested in further resources:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Prayers for Prodigals by B.J. Reinhard # 1

May each of you find great comfort in these prayers which I plan to post:  3 prayers in 7 blogs totalling 21 prayers. 

The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.  The LORD inclines to us and hears our cries.  (James 5:13-16; Psalm 40:1-3)

From Prayers for Prodigals:

These Scripture-based prayers are designed to be prayed for any loved one (a son, daughter, grandchild, the child of a friend, or even a spouse or parent) who has strayed from God into a destructive lifestyle.  For the sake of clarity, the prayers are written with a son in mind. Please adapt them to fit your situation.

1. Lord, protect my son.  Build a hedge around him to guard him physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Block his paths so that he cannot move toward activities and relationships that would harm him.  (Job 1:10; Hos. 2:6-7)

2. Deliver him from evil.  Rescue him from a destructive lifestyle.  Restore him to his senses, bring him home from the land of the enemy. 
(Mt. 6:13; Ps. 91:14; Lk.15:17; Jer. 31:16-17)

3.  Guide my son into truth.  Teach him to recognize deceptive ideas and thoughts.  Make him alert to the lies of the enemy, and teach him how to resist the devil by faith.
(Jn. 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:16; 1 Pet. 5:8-9)

Interested in further resources:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

God's Silence

Silence can be deafening especially when you are waiting on the LORD.

In times of silence, God is preparing His best.

In times of silence.....while you are waiting on the LORD~~~perhaps in agony...God is preparing His best.

In times of silence, God is preparing His best...which He does in private and someday you will see it also.

In times of silence, God is preparing His best...sometimes He pulls back the curtain and allows you to see just a bit and this gives you hope.

In times of silence, God is preparing His best...even when all you hear is...silence. 

In times of silence....continue to run to God while...God is preparing His best.

Psalm 56:3
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust: I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?"

Psalm 56:13
"For You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life."

With great love and thanks to you, Charlotte. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

"It was a Fragile Facade"

How the LORD must grieve over how we tend to twist God's Word to suit our own desires. 

LORD, have mercy on us...

Over on Recovering Grace, November 21, 2011, "Keeping up With Appearances" sounds like an all too familiar a story of control and manipulation of people~~~ mainly children - children in homes of Christian parents using the LORD's name to spiritually abuse their children of any age as a way of controlling their "holiness".  One poignant statement of the writer, Kristiana, concerning the all consuming "job" of making their lives appear to be perfect was:  "It was a fragile facade." 

Personally knowing people who sound very much like Kristiana's family, I can totally understand this statement.  Appearances are everything to people who live by law and not by God's grace, so the facade is always on the edge of falling apart when a least one person is balking at the "rules".  It is not an easy life when you are always "in trouble" with the leader.

Bill Gothard's teachings are not the only ones twisting God's Words to suit the leader; all it takes is one person who wants to control and manipulate others who follow them.

The LORD is our God of recovery!  We can overcome the pain we have endured or are enduring.  Run to Him if you are in pain of any kind.  He will be your hiding place of recovery in Him, and you will be able to sing songs of deliverance!

Psalm 32:7
"You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance."

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Beauty of Grace

From Joni's Devotional, Diamonds in the Dust, April 17:

Ephesians 4:7
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."

Grace is what beauty looks like when it moves.  God's grace is what He looks like when He moves, acting out His will through us.

Those on whom God's grace rests are truly...gracious.  They are truly beautiful.  The cerebral-palsied young man who smiles despite a dreay existence in a nursing home.  The elderly woman who always seems to think of others rather than her aches and pains.  The mother of two toddlers who is happy to baby-sit the neighbor's little boy.  The pastor and his wife who take in a homeless couple for a week while they look for lodging.  These people shine with a hint of glory.  They shine because of God's grace.

Grace is God's energy, all bright, beautiful, and full of power.   And grace is most beautiful when God is moving through us to touch the lives of others who hurt.

Grace binds you with far stronger cords
than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you.
Grace is free, but when once you take it,
you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to
catch the spirit of the Giver.  Like produces like.
Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give."
E. Stanley Jones: Draper, Edythe, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christain World, Tyndale House Pub., Inc., Wheaton, Ill., 1992, p. 282.

Do you desire to be gracious?   Christ apportions grace.   First, a small measure in accordance with your faith, which may be small.  But then, like morning sun dawning, your faith grows and grace fills you with its full and excellent brightness.

God of grace, I long to be beautiful in You, I long to be gracious to others.   May Your beauty shine through me today as I move in Your will.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who's the lucky one??

by Charles Schultz

Although I will agree with Snoopy that he is lucky,
biblically we are the ones who are more than lucky!
We are so blessed to have the opportunity to choose
to trust in the One and Only Almighty God who is full
of love and compassion for His people that He would
send His only Son to be our sacrifice for our sins. 

The LORD is not only compassionate for us one time, but
for all the times we sin and come to Him in repentance.
Praise the LORD, O my soul!

Psalm 103
"Praise the LORD, O my soul; 
all my inmost being, praise His holy name. 
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all His Benefits---
who forgives all your sins and heals all  your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known His ways to Moses,
His deeds to the people of Israel:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear Him,
and His righteousness with their children's children---
with those who keep His covenant
and remember to obey His precepts.

The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
 and His kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you His angels,
you mighty ones who do His bidding,
who obey His word.
Praise the LORD, all His heavenly hosts,
you His servants who do His will.
Praise the LORD, all His works everywhere in His dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul."

Monday, November 14, 2011

by Charles Schultz

Made in America!

I was out cleaning our heated bird bath early this morning.  It was decades ago when we began heating the water for the birds all winter.  It has been well worth it for the joy of seeing them come and use it and then visit our feeders.

Our temperatures have gone up to the 50's during the day again.  The wind yesterday blew all of our leaves somewhere so the lawn is green.  As I walked outside to clean the bath I was enjoying the crisp air and the green yard when I saw it.

A real live, made in America Ladybug.  You know the ones.  The tiny red oval with black spots that used to be so plentiful here and now we rarely see them.  I actually do not know if they originated from America, and I do not know the "why" of where they have gone.  Is it because of pesticides?  The invasion of the bigger, "bitey", orange Asian “ladybug”?,  or some other reason?

All I know is that little red ladybug gave me such joy this morning.  It was the Joy of the LORD that was bursting out of me!  After a tough week of capturing my thoughts to Him and struggling with "life," He has continued to shower me with His mercies, and this little bug was one of His mercies.

Praising the LORD with you for His creation! 

Praising the LORD with you for His continual mercies!

Psalm 146:1-2
"Praise the LORD!  Praise the LORD, O my soul!  I will praise the LORD while I live;  I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."

A Real Man vs a Boy

This statement speaks volumes. 

Dear women, be encouraged to wait for a gentleman, counsel other women to wait for a gentleman, counsel your daughters and granddaughters to wait for a gentleman.

If you are married to a boy then draw near to God every moment of every day and pray.  Let God do the work in that boy.  He is the One and Only who can do far more than we can imagine.

Ephesians 3:20-21
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." 

Your job is to glorify the LORD.  You can not make your boy choose to be a man.  

You can glorify God, live for Him, and do next things for Him while you pray and give your boy to God.

1Peter 3:1-6
"...they (husbands) may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives...your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight..." 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

1 Corinthians 13 for Real

Please enjoy this incredible post from November 9, 2011 by A Gentle Mother.

If I could only be like her

I was inspired to write the following article after a struggle I had had in my own life. The Lord brought a woman into my life whom I quickly began to place in a higher place and thus began the compare game. Thankfully it did not go on for long and the Lord dealt ever so gently with my heart. This woman is now one of the best friends I have ever had!! The Lord has used her in my life to help me through intense healing that needed to take place in my life. I am thankful Iwas able to go from “If I could only be like her” to “I look forward to walking this life together and helping eachother grow in the Lord!”
We all know her. She is the woman who has it all together. She has the love of 1 Corinthians 13 down pat and she never falters. She always smiles at her husband and is his constant encouragement. She is gentle and kind and practices unwavering patience with her children.
And when difficult times come? She never doubts or even dares to question the Lord. Her faith stays strong and steady. We can almost bet on it that her home is orderly and constantly peaceful. She never reaches her limit.
And her children!! So polite and helpful are the older ones, and the little ones so obedient and cheerful! Her husband adores her and is never cross at her. He must make a sufficient living, too, so they never go without.
We think about her, watch her and are amazed, but after a while of doing so we grow discouraged. “I can never be like her,” we say. “What is wrong with me to be lacking all of that in my life?” We compare. We grow frustrated and we may even begin to judge her. We may even go as far as deciding we do not like “little miss perfect”. Yes, jealousy is usually the root that begins to grow deep in this soil here.
But what if…just what if she was able to ask us if she could come off of the pedestal, please. Afterall, she did not place herself there, we did. What if she could tell us that she does not have it all together and though she does long to live 1 Corinthians 13 out in every area of her life, she will never perfect it this side of Heaven. She will not stop trying, but she grows discouraged too.
What if we knew she scowled at her husband this morning, after her short night’s sleep and hardly feels strong enough to encourage him to face his giants for the day. She is not always gentle, does not always want to be kind and her patience does run thinner than thin at times, just as our own.
When difficult times come, she is not exempt from the grief process that the rest of us feel. She trusts, but she struggles.
Order and peace do not always reign. She strives for this, but does not always succeed, and she wants to be free in us knowing this.
Her children are not perfect and she wants us to be fair in allowing them to be as they are, where they are at, without any pressures to perform.
Sometimes her husband’s smile fades and caves under intense pressures. Sometimes he struggles to provide.
She really wants us to know these things. She doesn’t want us to long to be like her, but to love her and to walk this life’s journey beside her. She wants us to know she does try. She does CHOOSE God’s strength and His joy, but none of it comes easily.
She doesn’t want to be put up in a higher place in view of others, or to be compared with others any more than we would.

And who knows? Who knows that if we can let all of this go we might just find the friend we were always waiting for.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The simple gift of a little emerald, green bottle.

It was a beautiful spring day in town at a friend's home.  We were just a few moms who educated at home with our children for a time together.  The others had mostly boys with my son being the oldest.  He enjoyed these times with all the guys and they enjoyed him as they looked up to him. It was a joy to see and hear their fun throughout that morning.

Although this was in town, it was an old neighborhood and the backyard connected to a big park.  Soon enough all the boys were bustling around the house eating snacks before they headed out to the wide open spaces of the park.  This filled the morning and soon enough it was time to go home.  As the boys straggled in we smiled at their sweaty, dirty bodies and were thankful for their fellowship time.

After all the "good-byes" my son came over to me before we got into the car.  He showed me the treasures he had found in the stream where the boys played.  An old Coke bottle and a very small bottle with a tiny, stream pebble caught in it for all time.  I congratulated him for his find.  He told me that they were both for me and then with his big, beautiful smile he said he had saved the best for last.

He then opened his hand and passed me his best treasure.  It was a little emerald-green bottle.  This almost-grown child knew the simple joys of his mother, and he had blessed me with a priceless gift. It was not only the gift itself, but the thought of how he found it, washed it, and planned to present it to me as his greatest treasure. 

I'll never forget that day as it is precious in my memory as I handle this little green bottle this morning.  It was only a small, glass Excedrin bottle, but worth more than gold to me.  I keep it by my window sill and see it every day.  It holds air mostly as the light shines through, but has its moments with tiny forget-me-nots, wood violets, and just yesterday the very last miniature rose bud before our first snow today.

Thank you , LORD, for simple gifts.

Psalm 16:5-8
"The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;  You support my lot.  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;  Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.  I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;  Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.  I have set the LORD continually before me;  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Owney the Postal Dog

Owney was apparently some sort of terrier mix

Just before the beginning of the last century, Albany was known all around the world. Because of a dog.

Owney was a stray dog who wandered into the Albany, New York, post office in 1888. The clerks let him stay the night, and he fell asleep on a pile of empty mailbags. Owney was attracted to the texture or scent of the mailbags and began to follow them, first onto mail wagons and then onto mail trains. Owney began to ride with the bags on Railway Post Office (RPO) train cars across the state, and then the country. The RPO clerks adopted Owney as their unofficial mascot, marking his travels by placing medals and tags from his stops on his collar.

Owney accumulated so many medals that they started to weigh down his neck. The Postmaster General heard about this problem and ordered a special vest be made so that Owney could wear his medals and still get around.

In 1895, Owney was sent on a trip around the world -- in part via registered mail (classification: "Registered Dog Package") -- and made it back in a little more than four months, a feat which was front page news.

The New York Times described Owney as "[not] a handsome dog, but he has excellent qualities, and is kindly and intelligent."

A childrens book of Owney

July 27, 2011 the U.S. Postal System offered a stamp honoring Owney in a Forever stamp.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Justified by faith!

by Charles Schultz

We can't help but love Snoopy.  Charles Schultz gave us such joy in his using this special dog in his comics.

I know my existence is justified. 
1 Peter 2:21
"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps."

Ephesians 2:10
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

Romans 5:1-5
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;  and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Your Special Purpose, 11-1-11, on Winging it by Stan

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Resist the devil

Life is tough, but do not lose heart in doing next things for Him.

Galations 6:9
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."

1 Peter 5:6-9
"...But resist the devil, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."

The LORD sees you. He hears you.  You have not been forgotten.  Stay your course, always seeking His face!  Glorify God!

Lovingkindnesses and Compassions

"The LORD's lovingkindnesses
indeed never cease,
For His compassions
never fail."
Lamentations 3:22

Can you fathom this? 

I keep thinking and thinking on this scripture and it boggles my mind.  As Christians we can show lovingkindnessses and we can show great compassions, but in our humanness we fail.  If we have been hurt or betrayed, it can be very difficult to forgive, much less show compassion or lovingkindness.

But God---

He can do this.  We can commit terrible sins and finally come to Him in repentance.   He is able to truly forgive us and then He promises to remember our sins no more, never bringing them up to us again.  He can then shower us with His grace and mercy so He is able to show great compassions and lovingkindnesses without begrudging us.

Gentle ladies, let's be open to learn from our great teacher, the LORD God Almighty, so we can be molded into His image in the opportunities we have to show forgiveness, lovingkindness, and compassion.  In this we will glorify God, and even the angels will marvel.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

With the LORD you can be the real you.

by Charles Schultz
With the LORD you
can do all things
because He
strengthens you.
Rely on Him.
He is a shield about you,
He is your glory, and the
One who lifts your head.
Trust Him.
Philippians 4:13
Psalm 3:3