Friday, September 30, 2011

Persistence

Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.   He said:  "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.   And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea,  'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

"For some time he refused.   But finally he said to himself,  'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

And the Lord said,  "Listen to what the unjust judge says.   And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him all day and night?    Will he keep putting them off?   I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.   However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Luke 18:8

Being persistent has a way of waning as time relentlessly marches on.  Jesus encourages us to not give up crying out for justice to him in our sorrows.

As your sorrows mercilessly nag at you, remember his words and carry on. Continue to cry out to him and he will incline to you and hear your cries. Along with him hearing you, he will draw you to himself.

Gentle ladies, let us be found faithful when he returns!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement

Recovering Grace is worth the read on their Judging 101.


I have greatly grieved with this person since reading this article, and also for mankind as I read this account.   We all judge others in some way, but to think of blatantly teaching children to hypocritically and legalistically judge others is off the icky scale.


I've witnessed certain people who have their own legalistic rules as they routinely judged everyone else.   For me, it laid the ugliness of this sin out in front of me where I was sickened by it.  


My greatest shortcoming was not confronting them during the time we knew them.   My only feeble effort was trying desperately to change the subject each time or to leave the room.   I have certainly learned from those experiences.


Thank you, LORD.


Unjust judging, like any sin we feed, will lead each of us into deeper sinning.   When we begin to judge others by our own standards we are way out of line--God's line.   One of the next steps to unjust judging will be separation and shunning  of the beloved...


from Standards that Divide Believers:



The early church encountered similar standard-related strife. In Galatians 2:11-21, Paul opposed Peter to his face because he had bought into the wrong “standard.” Peter believed that both Jews and Gentiles were equal in Christ, but in a moment of weakness, he was swayed by the Judaizers in separating themselves from their fellow brothers in Christ who did not share the same “high standards” of circumcision and dietary laws as they did. The Judaizers knew that this method of ranking Christian commitment and shunning believers who didn’t measure up to their own standards was both powerful and effective, and they were able to use it to sway many to their side. Paul warned, “Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.” [4]
This type of alienation is unbiblical at best. Any form of shunning fellow believers with “lower standards” flies in the very face of the gospel, which makes all equal before God through faith in Christ. Philip Graham Ryken puts it this way, “We must have fellowship with anyone and everyone who is in fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. If we refuse to have fellowship with them, then our actions deny the gospel. We are making a distinction that God himself does not make. We are adding some qualification to the only thing God requires, which is faith in Jesus Christ.” [5]
Scripture calls us to unity within the body of Christ, not to unnecessary divisions based on human commands and teachings. There is never any justification for alienating other believers based on lower standards.  As believers, we are called to love each other and work for the peace of the church. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” [6]


I have always been disturbed that the church is its own worst enemy.   Those who claim the precious name of Jesus can be the meanest, cruelest people out there.  In the Name of Christ they can cut each other down worse than any pagan ever could.  All while singing hymns...
 “So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.  For judgement will be merciless to the one who has shown no mercy;   mercy triumphs over judgement.”
James 2:12-13


Let each of us take a good, hard look at ourselves often.   If we are working on ridding ourselves of our own sins, then we will not have the idle time to find unrighteous things to do.   And while we are at it, let us put on the beautiful robes of mercy to glorify our God, the author of mercy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fleeting memories

Early this morning I remembered back to a sweet and precious day 33 years ago when our first child was born.  I wanted to call my mother and reminisce~~~but in the same instant I remembered that she is with the LORD.  Oh, my, do I miss her friendship.


Thirty Three years ago was the first time she flew on an airline just to come from Ohio to Oklahoma to see her second grandchild.  


Thank you, LORD, for my precious mother.  And Happy Birthday to our beloved daughter.

communication

PEANUTS by Charles Schultz

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Precious Gifts are all around us

Sometimes the most simplest thing can be a blessing.  

I am a cat person and so kitties easily can show me God's mercies and grace.  I see His hand everywhere.  I can be so touched by a sunset, a rain storm, a single flower, a chipmunk, buffalo,or even a spider web~~which is YIKES! for me

Look around you.  His precious gifts are all around us waiting to point us to the One and Only who created them, and it is Him who is holding them together.

Let us Praise God together!

Colossians 1:15-20

How Long?

"And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true..."
Revelations 6:10


The signs of His soon coming multiply, yet we still wait. Nevertheless, He has promised to return, and His Word is true and sure. He will come--perhaps today! "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry" (Hebrews 10:37). HMM


From Institute for Creation Research.  By Henry Morris

Sunday, September 11, 2011

MIRACLES

Blinded

This world is upside down.  It is easy to become overwhelmed in our circumstances.  We are sometimes blinded and we lose sight of trusting and hoping in our great God and how He is able to do far more than we can imagine.  Sometimes life seems too much and too difficult.

I can’t see it any more.  I can’t see how things will turn around.  I can’t even see how God can mightily move and work things out.  The time has been too long.  The evil perpetrated too deep.  The LORD desires willing repentance and so He will not force people to repent.  I just can’t see it any more.  My hope is fading.

Blinded

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1

"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
Hebrews 11:6

Thank you, LORD.  You lifted my head.  You used one of Your dear handmaidens to remind me.  I was again lost in a sea of fear and hopelessness, but You touched me with Your gentle hand.  You lifted me up to remember.  I remember now that You are the One and Only.  You work behind the scenes.  You do Your best work in private.  You work miracles.  Someday we will look on in awe, and glorify Your name.  But right now I will lift my banner of praise in Victory of things I can not see and wait again for Your perfect timing.

"The LORD will give strength to His people;  The LORD will bless His people with peace."
Psalm 29:11 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Orange Juice Goes to War

1940s

OJ was just a seasonal treat until WWII, when the government charged the Florida Citrus Commission with finding a way to ship vitamin C-packed juice overseas to prevent scurvy among the troops.  Their solution, frozen concentrate, was literally created in a vacuum---and gave rise to a major new U.S. industry.  By the war’s end, reconstituted juice had reached the front lines.  And by the 1950s, housewives across the country were stirring up OJ for breakfast year-round.

An interesting bit of trivia from Parade, August 2011

Thank you, LORD, for Oranges!


Friday, September 9, 2011

God's creation


PEANUTS
                                                   by Charles Schultz

Thank you, LORD, for Your creation. In easy times or difficult times we can see, enjoy, and be reminded that You are in charge and we can trust in You.

Psalm 148 

Now that we have all gone numb...

This says it all.  A Culture Gone Coarse. 

May the LORD find us faithful.  May we be a light to the world.  May the world see a reason in us to listen.  May the reason be the love of Jesus in us. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Seeking God's Truth

This comic has fascinated me.  I knew I wanted to use it, but how? 

I see this comic from a Christian perspective where a person has claimed the name of Jesus, but when things get tough they abandon the faith which they may never have really accepted.  We need to come along side each other, and encourage each other in the LORD throughout life. 

God made us to fellowship.  I think the Body as a whole has forgotten what fellowship really is.  Fellowshipping is not just the twenty minutes on Sunday morning between services or a potluck every few months.  Fellowshipping is coming alongside, caring about each other, praying for each other, following up with each other, noticing each other's needs, being there for each other.  As a Believer we need to make commitments to truly fellowship.  

The second way I see this comic portrayed is as a person beginning to escape a legalistic group.  Having personally been caught up in a groups' legalisms for a few years, I see myself  jumping with a safety net because I am not trusting or believing the legalistic group any longer, but I am still going along with them so as not to get in "trouble".

In any controlling and manipulating group there may be people who are finally seeing and knowing the group is wrong, but they are afraid to leave.  Just the thinking of truth could be the beginning of their escape from the group.   In this comic I can see beyond this picture where the one who is not completely following the legalisms any longer is eventually thrown out of the group and then cruelly shunned because they are no longer worshipping the legalistic leaders 100%.

The world is full of deception.  The Christian community is not excluded; in fact, it may be even more dangerous because tricksters use enough of God's word to make their falsehoods sound good.  You must pay attention to what is taught.  Even people's behavior or their traditions can be red flags of danger. 

 Let's not forget the big picture. We are to seek and worship the God of the Bible in truth.  It is His truth so we must be always alert for falsehoods or twistings of His words into falsehoods.  Becoming a Christian doesn't mean you "made it" and the work is over.   Being a true Christian means you've just begun being a Berean.

Do you want to follow the LORD or a person's wrong teachings in which they misuse His words?

Be on the alert!

I will be your shield

My child, are you discouraged
By the sorrows of the day?
Does it seem that life is crumbing,
The skies have turned to gray?

Don’t forget I gave you promises
To guide you every hour.
In the moment of your heartbreak
Let Me show you My great power.

And I will be your shield
When the battle rages on,
And I will be your light
When the way ahead is dark.
I will be your strong tower
And guide you every hour,
Just place your life
Completely in my hands.

I know it won’t be easy
I never said it would,
But My grace will always be there,
My plans for you are good.

Remember that your weaknesses
Are perfect in My sight
Only when you hand them to Me
Can I turn them into might.

And I will be your shield
When the battle rages on,
And I will be your light
When the way ahead is dark.
I will be your strong tower
And guide you every hour,
Just place your life
Completely in my hands.

And someday you will understand
Why I sent this trial,
And someday you will see the end
And know it’s overcome.