Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Think

Today I would like to encourage us all to think.  I mean it.  Let's really think, discern, and contemplate which is completely different than following what we hear in the mainstream media.

Now, when I say, think, I do not mean, think how you feel or think what is good for you.  If you are a new creation in the God of the Bible then you need to think Biblically.

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
Isaiah 1:16-18 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Subtle errors can be devastating

Error May Be Subtle over on The Watchman's Bagpipes is enlightening for any age: 


 ...false teachings are often very subtle because they cross back and forth over truth.  All cults and false teachers have some truth in their teachings, which makes discernment of the utmost importance.  Often it is the true parts of their teachings that draws people unwittingly into the false, not being able to discern where the line was crossed

It is important for every Christian to be continually in the Word of God so that the line we follow is the true path, and so that we will be able to recognize the false teachings whenever they cross our line.





Grace vs man made rules

Praise God for His Holy Spirit in us!  We are more than conquerers because of Him!

But sadly...some people are not aware of what this truly means and how it effects our entire life as a Believer.  Simply not knowing our gift of the Holy Spirit in us is sad, but adding man made rules instead of trusting ourselves to Him can become so legalistic and imprisoning.

Once again I am sending you to Recovering Grace for an excellent post by Ileata, January 18, 2012, "Finding the Key", where her testimony makes clear what joy it can be when we discover how precious is having the indwelling of Him:

Sometimes, I think the story of my Christian life, up until recently, could be summarized in another verse from Galatians. “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

Even though I (hopefully) had looked to Jesus alone for Salvation, I was looking to the flesh for sanctification. Just following Him wasn’t enough to avoid sin. I had to add a few extra rules.

But, that doesn’t keep me from sinning. Sure, I didn’t kiss my husband until our wedding day. I kept my promise. But does that mean I didn’t sin during our engagement? Absolutely not! Not kissing him didn’t prevent me from wishing I could kiss him and then some. And it didn’t conquer lust.

Ileata ends with:

I’m so thankful for the realization that it’s “Not by strength or by might, but My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6). I’m so excited about this life that is completely by grace through faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Talk about limitless possibilities! And limitless power to conquer sin. Again, I realize that God’s way really is best! “Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

Glory to God for His grace to give us the Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Entangled

Sin is so easy, and it easily entangles us.   The sin of pride can be the root of many kinds of sins. 

Just one thought that you have the "right way" and you can head down the trail of aberration from God's truth in His word.  The trouble is that a person's pride can get in the way, and you can think you are Biblical and true when in actuality you have missed the mark by at least one degree.  Now you and whoever follows you is on the wrong path, which could lead to destruction.  The wrong path can also be destructive emotionally and spiritually.  If you do not have the Biblical view of the true God then your whole life can be off track.

At Recovering Grace you will find an excellent post on the movie, Tangled, which is an animated Rapunzel story.  If you have ever lived under control and manipulation, you will identify with Rapunzel's story.

Not only does the writer of this article give great analogies from the story as to how the LORD is our Father, but also a wonderful encouragement to reach out to others who may be in situations where they need guidance to see God's truth.  You could be the one who begins to open their clouded vision to see the truth.  What a beautiful way to glorify God by being part of setting those who are entangled free.  

The Recovering Grace writer says:

So, what do I take away from “Tangled?” Well, for one, it was a great movie! But even more, I found a strong reminder that there are many more “Rapunzels” locked in emotional and spiritual towers, not knowing that there is a King who wants nothing more than to wrap his loving arms around them. I pray that you would look for them in your sphere of influence, that you would take it upon yourself to guide them to the King, and that you would show them the love that they so desperately need.

I had a mother who read to me

I had a Mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of Ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust til his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings--
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold,
Richer than I you can never be--
I had a Mother who read to me.

Strickland Gillian

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free time


One thing that seems to be lacking for decades in our children's lives is "free time".   When I say this I do not mean the time they are able to watch television, be on the computer, or use their communication devices.   The "free time" I am speaking of is when they can use their imaginations, play, build, contemplate, read.  This is a relaxing time in their childhood to just be.  It is an time of no schedule and no rushing.         

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trials

God's call may lead us to a season of difficulty and opposition from the enemy (Matthew 4:1). Trials do not indicate that we missed God or somehow lost our way. The very thing that God most desires to accomplish in us and through us is the very thing that the kingdom of darkness wants to oppose. We should not allow difficulties and discouragements to prevent us from obeying the call of God. If we obey and trust God's call, the Lord will be glorified by our obedience and our faith will grow exponentially.

--J. Sidlow Baxter

Friday, January 13, 2012

Our scarlet sins whiter than snow















Yesterday was our first snow storm of this winter.  I spent most of the day just looking out, but it was difficult to enjoy the snow as it fell, while it was flying by my eyes horizontally at 30 miles per hour. 

The official amount of snow is about 5 inches, but don't tell me that after I blew two foot drifts off of our drive and walks for two hours.  As our eccentric neighbor use to say, "now that the ambulance can get in" I can breath a sigh of relief.   Poor thing, she was about one of the meanest persons I have ever met.  I do hope under her anger, for her life was a sad one, she actually loved the LORD and is with Him now with no more snow or sorrows.

Our sorrows can lead us right into sins.  We can blame everyone else for causing our sorrows, but the choice to sin is our own.  Bitterness and anger, to name only two, can rule our lives if we allow it.  We have the choice to give up our anger and bitterness, etc. to the LORD, and when we choose this choice God is glorified.

The choice may be a tough one to live out.   Just like every discipline (teaching ourselves to obey) it may take some time to master it.  The LORD is our strength and we have the Holy Spirit in us to overcome our struggles.  Your struggles may still be like a roller coaster because this life is tough and we will not reach perfection on earth.  Eventually you will realize, though, that you are actually better at running to Him with your struggles.  Do not become weary in doing good, for in due time you will reap.

"Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow;  Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
Isaiah 1:18

Galations 6:6-10

As I drove to the store earlier, and now as I look out at the blanket of white snow, it is gently snowing.  We have had a mild winter so far and the landscapes were mainly brown with greenish tinges, but the angles seemed so jagged.  It wasn't that bleak, but now that the blanket of snow covers the land it looks beautiful and softened. 

What a wonderful analogy to cover red with white.  In reality the color red is difficult to cover.  But the LORD uses this verbiage to have our scarlet sins covered with a blanket of white snow turning us into beautiful, softened, saved people.


"May You purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;  May You wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
Psalm 51:6























Thursday, January 12, 2012

Show compassion to this wicked world

"People will forget what you said; 

People will forget what you did. 

But people will never forget how you made them feel."

Colossians 4:1-6
"...Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."

This world is wicked and the level of wickedness is increasing rather quickly. 

You have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  In this wicked world you can show Jesus' compassion and love to others.  The "others" do not have to be only unbelievers.  There are plenty of Christains out there who need a good dose of compassion and love.

People notice kindness: kind and compassionate words and actions speak louder than any monetary amount, and they will remember the compassion you show them and others.

May our actions point others to the Savior and be a sweet sacrifice to the LORD glorifying His name!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Mother's hands

I was thinking of my mother as I drove into town this past week.  


The sun must have been at an angle across the back of my hands and I noticed some age spots which reminded me of her.


She had beautiful hands.


My hands do not look like her hands as mine take after my father's hands.  Her hands were slender with long fingers.  


Eventually she had age spots and arthritis in her knuckles, but they were just as beautiful to me.


Her gentle and loving hands which I remember did absolutely everything from dainty handiwork and holding babies to every difficult and dirty job a mother needs to accomplish throughout her day.




Even though my hands do not look exactly as my mother's, I see her in mine, and I am thankful for her example to me as I grew up under her care and also as I left the nest as an adult.


It isn't what you look like, it is your behavior which matters...


"...so the word of God will not be dishonored."
Titus 2:1-5


  




Monday, January 9, 2012

Perpetual Vacation!

When we reach heaven there will be no more tears.  The Lord will be there and we will be in His presence.  There will be safety in all things including pure worship.


There will be no more aberrations, no more heresy, no more luke warm teachings, no more bad preachers, no more cults, no more false teachers, no more self centered "worship" songs, no more talk of evolution, and no more deceptions!


In heaven we will finally have pure worship!


There will be no more need to have Christian Apologetics, thus no more Christian apologists.


It is kind of strange for me to think of this because our work here has been long and constant as we defend God's word with apologetics.  When we are in glory we will not have to defend the faith, because we will all be on the same page.


It will be kind of like a perpetual vacation for apologetic ministries!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bitterness is like a weed.  Once it starts growing, it covers everything.

"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 4:31-32

I have seen bitterness full grown in people.  I have witnessed the ugliness of it showing on their faces after years of living in their bitterness.  These people have everything they ever wanted.  They have won every evil battle they have fought and yet even in their shallow victories they are not happy.  They must continue to fight wicked battles to win.

But to win what? 

Cutting people away, destroying lives, controlling every aspect, thinking they are making their lives into what they desire, and yet someday they will lose everything because of their pride.


LORD, have mercy!

The saddest part is that they claim to be Christians.  Full of pride and the desire to control, manipulate, and win at any cost has only brought forth more bitterness.  It becomes a never ending circle of wasted lives.  A Twilight Zone of their own making.

Each of us must be very careful!  Christains are not exempt from pride or bitterness.   None of us want to turn into what I have just expressed.  Bitterness can begin very, very tiny in our minds.  We must capture it, repent, give it to God, beginning again and again.

Sometimes we have done this over and over and we think we have conquered it, but all at once the bitterness leaps out when we least expect it. 

Take it captive again!  Do not let it grow.  Run to the LORD who is your strength!

Bitterness is an ugly, ugly character quality which we want to overcome and we can in Christ!

2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Saturday, January 7, 2012

She who was forgiven much, loves much

Luke 7:36-50



36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.

37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,

38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 4

5 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.

46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.

47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”

50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


Let each of us contemplate and realize how much we have been saved from and what our Savior did for this precious salvation we embrace.  When we truly realize the cost we can then forgive others more easily because we have been forgiven MUCH.

May God be glorified!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A beautiful, brand new Ferrari

"Men, protect your daughters!" over on Sola Sisters is worth the read and rumination.  Thank you, Christine and Cathy.





Even though this points to men to step up and protect their daughters....it certainly goes for women also. Both fathers and mothers need to protect their daughters AND sons. This is an evil world and we must proactive in our walk with the Lord.

Capture joy of the holidays everyday

Here we are the week after the holidays have been celebrated, and perhaps much of the putting away and finishing off of all the food and decor is coming to an end for many of us.

As daughters of the King of Kings, we may do lots of different activities which keep us full and busy through the holiday season, but we also love and cherish what we are actually celebrating.  We do not forget the season is about our Savior, Jesus; how He came into our world, why He came this particular way, what His appearance points to---His death and ressurection---and how this means everything to us.

You may be reading this realizing that the season went by way too fast for you to get everything accomplished and you never really did slow down to contemplate the "what and whys" of Jesus.  The whole thing is over and now you are all consumed with the aftermath, which is all about cleaning up.  Everyone else got to be happy and joyful, but you somehow missed it.

Don't despair!  The holidays are over, but you really don't need them to be happy.  It isn't the time of year, the decorations, the gifts, the food, the people.  You can be happy, joyful, and content any time, anywhere.  Even when among chaos you can experience JOY.

Chaos is sometimes the norm in life so don't wait for it to leave before you can relax and be happy.  To remind yourself of this you need to make a sign for what reality actually is: 

"The only thing normal around here is a setting on the dryer"

The way to be happy and joyful every day is to run to the LORD no matter what time of year it is.  No matter what your chaotic circumstances are, when you run to the LORD and choose to trust in Him and rest in Him, your outlook on anything in this life will change.  The circumstances of your life may never change, but because you are choosing to trust in the One and Only who can do far more than you can imagine, it is you who changes

You must chose to trust Him.  This means laying fears, doubts, anguish, chaos...at His feet and continuing to do this constantly.  If you have never really chosen to do this before, then you can not imagine the difference in living it can be.

Not just happiness, but outright JOY--His joy will permeate your life if you allow Him to be the center of you and all you do.  This choice is not flippant.  You must go into it as a determined child of God.  He will help you, but He wants you to desire it and do it.  When you choose this, He is glorified!

The road to true joy is through Him.  Let's get walking on that road!

"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 glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

One and Only:  John 1:18NIV

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who's listening to you?

Who is listening to you and who is watching you? 

It would be good for us to always remember that we are not alone and others see our behavior.

Gentle ladies, since we are justified and adopted by the LORD through our salvation, we must allow ourselves to be pressed into His image as we draw near to Him in our sanctification.  If we do not allow this, then we will be like the world - and how will God be glorified? 

Our behavior in the way we act and what we say really does matter.  We never know who is paying attention to us.  Our character matters to the LORD, and so it matters as we are out in the world for who is watching us even when we would rather be invisible.

There are many examples I could give in this entry of how behavior matters and how it has affected certain people.  Today I want to share what happened a few days ago, and it wasn't about my behavior on that day at all.   

A young woman I do not know made a kind and generous comment concerning me.  I was privately taken aback and it took me a day to figure out how she knew anything about me to be able to say these kind things.   

We were attending a retirement party for a former co-worker of my husband.  I shook hands with many employees that day, whom I had met through the years, and also met some new ones while at the party.   When I was being introduced to one new person, the young woman whom I had met only a few times helped with my introduction by saying the many kind things about me all, of which were concerning my character.

Fast Forward to my quandary of how she knew me:  I am just the wife of a former fellow employee of hers, so how could she know anything about me?  This is when I eventually deduced where she learned to know me.   It was from my Beloved who had obviously spoken of me so much that she "knew" me.

This is significant to me in 2 ways. 

It showed me the love my Beloved has for me, how he respects me, and cherishes me so much that he would share my character with others.  No doubt the young woman was also ministered to by what was shared by him.  This career woman heard a man share rightly about his wife.  From him she heard of and saw how he spoke of me and of the godly characteristics she may not even completely understand.  Even so, her knowledge of me affected her enough that she desired to introduce me so kindly to the new employee.

I was greatly humbled by her introduction, now very touched, and so blessed by my Beloved for something he did at least 2 years ago. 

God is glorified by our behavior. 

Let us be witnesses to world who needs to see God through His people.

"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man."
Proverbs 27:19 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Romans 5:1-6

  Results of Justification
 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom also we 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.  
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Psalm 63

The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God.

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.


3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.


4 So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.


5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.


6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,


7 For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.


8 My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.


9 But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.


10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.


11 But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.

The LORD is my portion

Gentle woman...perhaps you are in a difficult season of life which seems will never end.  

The LORD sees you, though, and He hears you. 

Are you like me with a continuous agony that "follows" me around no matter where I go or what I do?  If so, I encourage you to run to the LORD, hunger for His word in your heart and mind, and also be aware of Him in your everyday life.

He will rarely choose to be "loud" to get our attention.   Instead, most often, He will probably be quiet in His mercies which He showers upon us.  His hand will be shown to each one of us if we open our weary heart.  In these moments He will lift our head and we will be strengthened to be carried by Him to the "next things".   He will not leave us~~~ever

For me He is in the tender letter or text message from a dear friend, an invitation to a quiet get~together with loving people who know I ache, or in a little bird I have never seen at our feeder, who reminds me how much more He loves and cares for me.  He is the peace I experience even when I am all alone and living in chaos.

Most people around me can't understand "how" I continue.  They are amazed at the things I can continue to do for Him.  They think and say that they would never be able to carry on if this had happened to them.  Even though they also love the LORD, the situation seems too huge for them.  They do not understand the words I say to glorify the Father in how He works in me.  I marvel at Him also because I do not understand it either, even though I live it.  

And thank God! I live it!

Where would I be without Him?  How could I have survived these many years, but through how He gently has carried me, lifted me up, allowed my tears and then wiped them away in His compassion.

You will find that some people you would have never guessed do understand you, even without many words.  They are in their own agonies and they have chosen to look and listen and live in His mercies also.  These dear people will be your prayer partners as you choose to uphold them to God in prayer as they do you, for as long as it takes.

As you "pick up" the rest of the holiday leavings and your heart is as heavy as mine has been, run to Him in this new day!

My LORD:
Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.  
Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
to the person who seeks Him.
Lamentations 3:19-25