Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Controlling tears: Red Flags

Poor Lucy, now being used by me as an example of Control and Manipulation. Well, her character is written with many of these sinful qualities so she makes a good lesson for me.

When I read this comic, immediately certain cult-like people came to my mind.  They talk so sweet, but then venom comes out, and everyone is damaged, at least emotionally.  It use to shock me, but now I expect it. Pathetically, I suppose I am old hat at it now.

*Scripture examples to heed:

"His speech was smoother than butter,
But his heart was war;
His words were softer than oil,
Yet they were drawn swords."
Psalms 55:21

"A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin."
Proverbs 26:28

*But you can choose to run to the LORD with your injuries from Manipulators and Controllers:

"Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You."
Psalms 55:21-23


Tuesday, September 27, 2016


"Charlotte Elliott was born, the daughter of a pastor, in England in 1789.  She was a talented woman with a lot of zeal for service in Christian work. 

It’s not certain when but, as a very young woman, she became invalid with severe sicknesses.  Not only was she physically ill, her unrelenting diseases caused a great deal of emotional anguish and spiritual conflict.  She felt useless and uncertain of her ability to please God in any kind of service.  Feeling increasingly unworthy of God's grace and incapable of facing a perfect and righteous God, she started church-hopping and visited many churches.  And she sought the counsel of many different pastors, all of whom instructed her to simply pray more, to study the Bible more, to perform more good deeds, and to resolve to do better...

...After some time, she met a preacher named Dr. Caesar Malan.  She asked him, just as she had asked many others, how she might be saved...  

...“You must come to Him just as you are.”

Those words would later change her life and inspire the composition of her best-known hymn...

.... she began to write out ‘the formula of her faith’ as she reconsidered the Gospel of Peace, the promise of pardon, and the hope of Heaven.

From those notes, she formed the verses of a poem that became the hymn, JUST AS I AM WITHOUT ONE PLEA...  

The song is a testimony to God’s grace in and through all kinds of suffering."

Read the whole post from Ralph M. Petersen at Hymns that Preach.

Just as I am
by Charlotte Elliot

1. Just as I am, without one plea, 
but that thy blood was shed for me, 
and that thou bidst me come to thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

2. Just as I am, and waiting not 
to rid my soul of one dark blot, 
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

3. Just as I am, though tossed about 
with many a conflict, many a doubt, 
fightings and fears within, without, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; 
sight, riches, healing of the mind, 
yea, all I need in thee to find, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

5. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, 
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; 
because thy promise I believe, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

6. Just as I am, thy love unknown 
hath broken every barrier down; 
now, to be thine, yea thine alone, 

O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Glorified Bodies

by Joni
in More precious that Silver

"... Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve." 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5

People who return from the dead -- whether from the tomb or off the operating table -- aren't, like Christ, able to appear and disappear, walk through walls, or transport themselves through time and space with a single thought, such as Christ did on the road to Emmaus.  Jesus was not revived, He was resurrected.  Today's verse speaks of the sort of body which Jesus assumed for forty days on earth between His resurrection and ascension.  People saw with their eyes a real resurrected body!

But the resurrection body is not all there is.  We know our present bodies by experience; we know the resurrection body only through Christ; but our finally glorified body we only know by a few suggestive hints in scripture.  

1 Corinthians 15:49 tells us, "... there is also a spiritual body... just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven."  

1 John 3:2 hints that, "... what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 

No one has ever seen a body glorified -- not even Peter and the Twelve when they saw Christ.  

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).  

Our glorified bodies will be of an entirely different dimension than anything we know or have heard of on earth.

Here's an analogy:  On this planet, we take the shape of squares; in heaven, we will be like cubes.  Here, we are triangles; there, pyramids.  Here, circles; there, spheres. 

Somewhere in your broken earthly body is the seed of what you will enjoy in your glorified heavenly state.  Your image in heaven will be "you," but a much better, brighter "you" in a new dimension.  At all times and in all places, you shall be perfectly fitted for your new environment, whether it be the new heavens or new earth.  Rejoice in this today.

I have so many questions, Lord... there's so much I don't know.  Nevertheless, thank You that one day I'll step into a new dimension, and the gift of a new glorified body.  My aching bones thank You!

P.S. Mary Nell would have LOVED this one!

Choice and precious in the sight of God

"Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

For this is contained in Scripture:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

“The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”


“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."
1 Peter 2:1-17

She was a gift

What a gift the LORD has given me seventeen years ago.

I was a young mom with teens, we had moved across the country, I felt so very alone even though the LORD had moved us, but I had even younger moms asking for me to be their "Titus Two Mom".

I was thinking in my head, "Me?! I am the one who needs a Titus Two woman in my life!"

So as I agreed to come alongside younger women I was crying out to God, "Why haven't I ever had any older women in my life?!"  Life went on, I did next things for the LORD, and young moms were in and out of my busy life.

Then something happened which I did not see coming as I continued to live for Him.  In one of my many 'reaching outs' to other women I met Mary Nell and a HUGE handful of her friends.  Mary Nell was the youngest of them at ~30 years my senior.

Mary Nell and I connected right away.  Soon enough she was calling me "her other daughter".  

She loved me up, she loved everyone I knew just because I loved them.  I also had this huge handful of the other ladies who loved me up, and each of them loved everyone which I loved just because I loved them.

All of these ladies deeply loved the LORD Jesus, and I came to discover they actually loved everybody up!

Without even trying I had more Titus Two women in my life than I could handle! 

How can I express the joy it has been to have godly women in my life who have walked with me in my agonies, and rejoiced in the joys of my life? 

All I can do is praise the LORD and glory in His name!  He had blessed me in ways I did not expect.  It has been a priceless gift.

The years have slipped by, and one by one some of these precious sisters in Christ have gone to be with Him.  And precious Mary Nell has gently gone to be with Him.  She sees His face and is finally rejoicing in His presence! 

She was a gift from my LORD to me.

These last years she would ask, "When did we meet? I was just talking with Geneva about it and we just couldn't remember."

We would laugh about those first times and say, "It must have been 20 years ago," because time goes by unmeasured when you just live. 

Last night I asked my Beloved when it was, and he figured it out.  It has only been seventeen, but it seems like a lifetime.  They have filled all the voids, taught me how to walk even when I didn't want to walk any more, and they showed me how to live in the LORD's joy even if you cry while doing so.  

My life was forever changed when these ladies came into my life.  Thank you, LORD!

Of all of them whom I dearly loved, my Mary Nell was my most precious.  I would say, "You are a gift from God to me," and she would say to me, "Well, you are a gift from God to me!" 

Mary Nell loved me unconditionally.  She told me everything that happened when we would visit together, and then she would listen to every single word I said no matter how silly it was.

She told everyone we met that I was her "other daughter".  Everyone I met would say, "Oh, so you are her other daughter."  Every doctor, nurse, aide, neighbor, grocery man, bank teller, mailman... 

How do I express my grateful heart to the LORD? How do I say thank you? - it isn't enough, never enough.  And so I praise His name! 

These lovely ladies, my Mary Nell was in His timing.  He blessed me when I wasn't looking in ways I never expected.

I will miss this precious woman so very much, but I know that I will see her again in glory! 

Our legacy in this life is to continue to come alongside others, love them up unconditionally, and glorify God as we live in His strength.

Philippians 1:21-30

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 
But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; 
and I do not know which to choose. 

But I am hard-pressed from both directions, 
having the desire to depart and be with Christ, 
for that is very much better; 
yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain 
and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 
so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus 
through my coming to you again.

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, 
so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, 
I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, 
with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 
in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, 
but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. 

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, 
not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 
experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, 
and now hear to be in me."


Friday, September 23, 2016

We all have dumb days

We all have dumb days, but what joy to know that we can survive them when we trust in the LORD with all our heart.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Blessings in a little furry body

Merle continues to visit us for a whole week!  Maybe he will stay!

The LORD does sustain those who love Him

"Give ear to my prayer, O God;
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,
Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the pressure of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble upon me
And in anger they bear a grudge against me…

…For it is not an enemy who reproaches me,
Then I could bear it;
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me,
Then I could hide myself from him.
But it is you, a man my equal,
My companion and my familiar friend;
We who had sweet fellowship together
Walked in the house of God in the throng…

…As for me, I shall call upon God,
And the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur,
And He will hear my voice…

…Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken…"
Psalm 55

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I am becoming allergic

LORD! have mercy on us!

Sometimes the church body is more difficult than the pagans!

"My soul languishes for Your salvation, I wait for Your Word."
Psalm 119:81


Longings for our Heavenly Home

“Instead , they were looking for a better country —- a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Hebrews 11:16

excerpted from Joni, Diamonds in the Dust, June 23

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Not a spirit of fear

 "...I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God 
which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, 
but of power and love and discipline."
2 Timothy 1:6-7

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Faith that Pleases

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6

How do we speak of our faith in God?  

What words would we choose to describe our faith in Him?

“I stand for Jesus!” many would say, or “I am firmly commented to the LORD!”

Faith, to some, is best described as an allegiance to Christ, a kind of siding with Him and His cause.  This, they feel, is faith.

I don’t think so.  Faith has little to do with commitment, or allegiance.  

When we place our faith in Christ, we are not so much taking a stand for Him as we are acknowledging the stand He takes for us.  

Faith is self-despairing trust in the LORD.  It is coming to Him in empty-handed poverty.  Faith is surrendering all, even our sense of duty, allegiance, or commitment.

People of great faith are not measured by their shining commitment, but by the humbling degree to which they recognize how poor, absolutely dirt poor, they are in spirit.  Their faith has power because they realize no good thing dwells within them.  They bring to the LORD nothing but their open hands, ready to humbly receive whatever God in His mercy will give.

Faith means being sure of Christ’s commitment to you, rather than your commitment to Him.  Faith is having confidence in His love for you rather than your love for Him.

So if you want to place your faith in Christ, surrender all, everything to Him.  

This is faith that pleases God.

Joni, Diamonds in the Dust, June 30


"Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck."
Proverbs 1:8-9

Sunday, September 11, 2016

You, Lord, are my light!

"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God."
Isaiah 50:10

"...You probably have days that seem like deep, cavernous holes.  Days when you can't find your way because of the darkness and you search for a single ray of light and see absolutely nothing.

Don't be alarmed.  Remember that your walk is not by sight but by faith.  And God, according to Isaiah 50:10, agrees with you: There are times when it is hard to see even a single ray of brightness in your circumstances.  But even in the blackness, God promises you will find Him. 



He says, "You're safe, I would never lose you."

Lord of Light, thank You that You are the One who brightens any darkness. You are always close and near.  

Bless You for being ever-present, no matter how dark the circumstances.  

You, Lord, are my Light!

*excerpted from Joni, Diamonds in the Dust, July 4

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Merle the Squirrel has come to visit us at last!

When you live in a former soy bean field it may take over a decade for Merle to find you!  Hope he finds a home here!

It was good for me to be afflicted

Life is Hard

"We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in the faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials.  You know quite well that we were destined for them.”
1 Thessalonians 3:2-3

Sometimes life seems to be one long, unending string of trials.  What words of encouragement does the apostle have for us?  

“You know quite well that we were destined for them.”  

But he doesn’t stop on that morbid note.  He adds: 

 Be strengthened. 

Be encouraged in your faith.  

And don’t let trials unsettle you.

We are destined for trials.  In other words, life is supposed to be difficult.  Yet is’s amazing how many people believe that life should be easy.  They bemoan the enormity of their problems, feeling as though their difficulties are a unique kind of affliction that should not be.  They feel that affliction has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families and not upon others.

Life is a series of problems to be solved.  Yes, solving problems is a painful process, but it is this whole process that gives our life meaning.  

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.”  

And the psalmist said long before him, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.” 
Psalm 119:71

So be strengthened and encouraged in your faith.  Don’t be unsettled by your trials.  You know quite well you are destined for them.  And for good reasons.

Trials are not for pleasure;  they are for our profit. Once you accept this truth, you transcend it.  Once you truly know that life is difficult, then life is difficult no longer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Even the darkness is not dark to You

Psalm 139

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.

Darkness and light are alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with You.

O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.

Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way."


Husbands and Wives

Ephesians 5:25-33

"Husbands, love your wives, 
just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 
so that He might sanctify her, 
having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 
that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, 
having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; 
but that she would be holy and blameless. 

So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. 
He who loves his own wife loves himself; 
for no one ever hated his own flesh, 
but nourishes and cherishes it, 
just as Christ also does the church, 
because we are members of His body. 

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother 
and shall be joined to his wife, 
and the two shall become one flesh. 
This mystery is great; 
but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 

each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, 
and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Near the Cross

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain—
Free to all, a healing stream—
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.

by Fanny Crosby

Monday, September 5, 2016

It is the gift of God

Just a week has gone by.  Now the deep green of the Soy Beans has begun to turn lighter and they have yellowed. The corn is golden rust across the rows of rolling hills.  It is lovely.  

Autumn is coming.  We have had cooler days this very last week, although this week has a hot, muggy wind from the south scheduled.

I am thankful.  The LORD is my safety.  He is my shield.  Another spring and summer has come and is almost gone.  

I use to worry.  I worried about everything.  Eventually, in my young Christian days I learned to trust in the One and Only.  The LORD is my rock and my deliverer.  It has been a new and different life now that I do not worry as I have done before.  

Even so, with every new year, with every new season my agonies bring on such new grief, and old griefs also.  I always pray.  I always cry out to Him, but this year I preached to myself.

Spring began to emerge and it was wonderful, but my inner person trembled.  I was worrying deep, deep within me. 

I grieve and I have real reasons to grieve.  So, like always, I gave my grief, sadnesses, agonies, and traumas to Him over and over.  Soon enough summer began which was much sooner than normal.  My inner struggles of fear, worry, dread ~ whatever it was, quietly nagged at me.

This sounds silly, seems silly, but it is a real struggle for me. 

The LORD holds me, and I do not need to be afraid.  I live every day.  I continue to do next things for Him, and because of Him.  I did not want to just live another summer where it just went by.  This is when I began to preach to myself.

So, including the LORD, I said to myself, "This summer is going to happen, and each day I am going to live fully.  I do not need to be dreading each day as it arrives, even in my inner most being.  I can live and enjoy each day knowing that soon enough it will be autumn.  There is no need to be fearful."

And so, today, I realized that the summer has gone by.  Last week the Soy Beans were deep green, but now they have changed.  Autumn is upon us.  

I have lived each day. I may have struggled here and there, but I was not fearful like I have been.  I had often reminded myself that the LORD was with me, and that summer would continue until it was autumn.  Now it has come to fruition.  

The LORD is my provider in so many ways. He can be your provider also.   Ask Him. 

Praising the LORD!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
There is an appointed time for everything. 
And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 
I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
He has made everything appropriate in its time. 
He has also set eternity in their heart, 
yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice 
and to do good in one’s lifetime; 
moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—
it is the gift of God.


Pointillism and the LORD

"Strictly speaking, Pointillism 
refers to the technique of using 
dots of pure color in such a way that, 
seen at the appropriate distance, 
they achieve maximum luminosity."

Personally, I find pointillism fascinating!

See the article:
God's Providence is like a Pointillist painting

"...It could be said that the Lord is painting a picture...

...It could be said, that the earth is the canvas and the people are the points of paint He daubs precisely here and there, working toward an end..."

Georges Seurat

*Very well said by The End Time, Elizabeth Prata.