Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
I know that God is good!

John Greenleaf Whittier, "The Eternal Goodness"

I may not know much.... and that's pretty obvious in the scheme of things...... but I DO know that God is good and that He is always available to me, day or night.  There is no storm that I cannot endure because God is right by my side, to guide, support, and direct me.  The good can always be found if I turn my focus away from the difficulties.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

—Annie Johnson Flint. © Renewal 1969. Lillenas Publishing

This came in an email today and the message really spoke to me.  Life is never easy (obviously), but it should be easy to rest in the arms of my Lord and trust that all is well, regardless of my situation or the situations around me.  God will give me what I need, when I need it, and it's my job (privilege) to trust in Him with all my heart.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life." -Corrie Ten Boom

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

From today's sermon, dedicated to the children and heroes that lost their lives in the CT shootings this week......

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.

They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it?”
They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.

The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him!
(Psalm 64)
The sermon was powerful this morning.  Not a dry eye in the house.  Even as Christians, we certainly don't have the answers behind such horrific acts of evil.  I found Psalm 64 to offer some of those answers and it offers comfort to those who are at a loss for words.  
Here are a couple of quotes from my pastor today....
"When we reject God's governance, there will be evil."
"In a fallen world, there is never complete safety from evil."
What we do know is that in the end, evil loses, and that there is always hope in the darkness for those who believe.  For now, that's where my focus will be. 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:38-39)

Monday, December 10, 2012

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

(Romans 7:21)

I find that evil lurks in my thoughts more than anywhere else.  I'm often consumed with thoughts of revenge, thoughts of doom, worry and concern, whatever.  I control my physical actions and deeds pretty well, but I can't seem to get a handle on those awful thoughts.  I can only keep trying to focus on God and the Holy Spirit that is my source of being.  It's very destructive to let my focus be distracted by evil thoughts and temptations and I will continue to pray for strength to block those thoughts and wisdom to follow God's will for me. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reasons for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.”
Warren W. Wiersbe
This was on FB yesterday and was very applicable.  Holidays are kind of difficult for me, as I only have a handful of family members left ..... all extended, no immediate family. And.... I won't be with any of those few on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  None the less, I'm SURROUNDED with blessings in every direction and I'm very thankful.  It's not about what day it is or who I am with, it's about the strength and comfort found in my faith and the Holy God who will be right by my side in all circumstances, 24/7.  I am not alone......ever!  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

(1 Peter 1:6-7)

In my mind, this is saying that my trials give me a payoff that is worth more than gold.  My faith is priceless, everything else has little value.  I can understand the logic behind this and I can understand the Truth behind this..... but.... I sometimes have trouble remaining strong and faithful during trials and suffering.  My faith certainly has chinks in its armor, so many holes that sometimes I fear that the devil may get the best of me.  I have to keep my focus Above, to the powerful God that gives me the courage and strength to face any opponent.  Thank you, God! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

He loved us not because we are lovable, but because He is love. C. S. Lewis

I think that "lovable" is about the last word I'd use to describe myself.  Isn't it wonderful that God loves me anyway, warts and all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
(Isaiah 28:16)
"A sure foundation."  "A precious cornerstone."  Words that come directly from our God yet I have my moments..... OK, my days, even, of panic.  We're not supposed to panic, or doubt, or worry, if our faith is holding firm to God's sure foundation.  Because I do worry, I know that my grip sometimes comes loose from that cornerstone as I temporarily rely on my own strength and perspective.  It's guaranteed to fail when I slip away from that foundation.  Temptations are around every corner..... challenges present themselves everyday....... hardships are a part of daily life.  If I focus on that foundation, I will be OK, regardless of my circumstances.  Hold firm and have faith!  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.

(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

It always helps to share the burdens of life with a dear friend or loved one.  We know that God is with us through everything, but it's wonderful to have a flesh and blood buddy to provide a soft shoulder and listening ear. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

(Psalm 73:26)

Seems like our mortal bodies just don't hold up like they should, or at least the way I think they should.  No matter, God is walking beside us our entire life.... every minute of every day..... and when we can't walk, He carries us along the way.  

There will come a day when my body will be perfect in God's presence.   :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
(2 Thessalonians 3:16)

I've been MIA for quite awhile.  Life has just been rough and although I have relied on the Lord for my strength, I have been negligent about posting on this blog.  In spite of the hardships, the scripture above is very convicting.  Life is tough, but no matter the circumstances, I can enjoy peace "at all times" because I have my faith to support me in all hardships.  I'd sure love for things to be better in my life, but if they can't be, I'm grateful for the peace that the Lord promises.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
(1 Corinthans 12:9)

Sweet Patti sent this scripture to me today when I needed it most.  I hope it will encourage all of you as well.

I tend to think I have to go it alone, that I have to rely on my own power to get through things, accomplish things, whatever.  This just isn't true.  God is enough.  His grace is enough..... more than enough.  He's there to support me in all that I do.  Let me remember to thank Him for helping me through each day.  Let me be bold and make sure that I tell others of His amazing grace and what He has done for me.   Let me always remember to give God the glory for all that I am. 

I cannot go it alone and I don't have to.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

He became what we are that He might make us what He is.

This came in an email this morning.  Isn't it a beautiful quote?  It's hard to imagine all the sacrifices that He made for our benefit.  I'm not even considering His ultimate sacrifice of death, just becoming human was incredibly unselfish and sacrificial.  He lost everything..... gave up everything ..... became homeless ..... took on all human attributes ..... suffered in the heat ..... got blisters ...... starved at times ...... thirsted for water..... and the list goes on and on.  (The only attribute that He didn't acquire was a sinful nature.)

What this tells me is that when I have a headache..... He knows how I feel.  When I'm crying..... He knows how I feel.  When I'm suffering in any way...... He knows how I feel.  He can relate...... He's been there, He's actually been there.  This makes me feel closer to Him as more than a God, but also as a friend and companion.  He's not unreachable, he's not unavailable.  He's there for me, He's there for you.  He's there for everyone and anyone that welcomes Him! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Instead, they were longing 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)

And while we are waiting to enter His Kingdom .......
May God Bless America!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation
(Colossians 1:22)

Not much in the way of comments from me, just great scripture with promises for all sinners.  Sinners without blemish!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

(1 Timothy 1:15-16)

I love this scripture!  The worst of sinners.....the worst of sinners......ME...... Jesus Christ displays His immense patience to ME....!  It just speaks to me in such a personal way.  God's patience is immense, so immense that I can't understand or comprehend it.  I'm grateful and humbled, not quite able to grasp the whole concept, but trusting the truth in the Bible, knowing that even someone like me can receive eternal life.  Praise the Lord!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
ruin and destruction.

(Lamentations 3:47)

Throughout the destruction is the hope of restoration.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Open our eyes, dear Lord,
That we may see
The far vast reaches of eternity.
Help us to look beyond life's little cares
So prone to fret us
And the grief that wears
Our courage thin.

Corrie ten boom, Each New Day

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:16)

Of course it's wonderful to do good works.  We should all be giving and sharing as much as possible. isn't enough in God's eyes to limit ourselves to good deeds without the commitment of proclaiming Jesus as our Savior. The combination of the two....good works with Jesus by our side..... is glorifying God with trumpets blazing!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 

(Psalm 62:2)

God wanted me to have this scripture today.  I was working on a Bible study this morning and it referenced this scripture.  To read the scripture, I opened my Bible and found myself on the exact page containing this scripture.  No page turning.....there it was.

Now to try and apply it........

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

(Psalm 139:14)

Am I the only one that cannot look at myself and believe that I am "wonderfully made?"  It says so...... right here...... in my Bible, the Word of God.  I see so many flaws in myself, both physically and spiritually, and can only see myself as barely "OK" at best, certainly far from wonderful.  My attitude is insulting to God and I apologize to Him constantly while continuing to see myself as a failure in most aspects of my life.  I know that God loves me and that should be enough for me to love myself.  Sadly, it isn't, but I'm working on it.........

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. 

(Psalm 42:11)

Long week.......... I often get upset with myself and the way I react to circumstances.  I continue to worry about things and get discouraged when things do not get better.  Obviously, I don't trust in God and His plan for me or I would relax and accept things that come my way more graciously. 

I'll just continue to work on my shortcomings.  The good thing  is that God knows everything in my life and He also knows what I'm thinking.  I don't even have to explain myself to Him.....He already knows and understands.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16)

It's very comforting to have friends that you can turn to in times of need and know that not only will they not pass judgment on you, they will offer prayer to help strengthen you.  You immediately feel their support and it gives you a second wind to attack the problem.  Prayer is indeed powerful!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

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.

(Psalm 103:13-14)

My earthly father is long gone but my Heavenly Father remains near. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or John.

C. S. Lewis

WOW....this came in a daily devotion this morning and I said out loud as I read it ...... "Oh wow!"  I hope these words give you food for thought, as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
(Ephesians 6:16)

Pretty good visual, isn't it?!  None of us are exempt from the devil and his temptations, but we do have more power within us than the devil can gather with all of his fallen angels put together.  We have the Holy Spirit and the power to resist anything the devil puts in front of us.  Next time you are tempted.....visualize your own shield and see yourself reflecting every temptation that the devil throws across your path.  You will win each and every battle!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Mark 10:45)

We are all expected to serve..... no exceptions.  Even when we feel limited in one way or another, the Lord will enable us to serve in whatever capacity He sees fit.  No, we are not all going to save the world.... but we can make a difference and those small acts of service will multiply beyond our own capabilities.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:14-15)

One day when we look back, our lives will have passed in a flash.  Things that worry us today will be a dim memory.  I like thinking of my troubles (and my life, in general) as being as temporary as a wispy mist to be blown away in the first breeze.  Our problems will truly be gone some day, replaced by a sense of peace that is beyond my comprehension. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:33-34)

I've used this scripture before.  It's one that I know is true, yet I can't seem to let go of worry.  Just like it says, life is rough enough without adding worry to the mix.  Worry is a worthless waste of energy and actually damaging to my peace of mind as well as my relationship with God.  If I am granted a tomorrow, God will walk with me and guide me through anything that comes my way, good or bad.  So....worry not!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
(James 1:19-20)

My anger sometimes has a life of it's own and is terribly difficult for me to control without God's help and guidance.  I'm not one to fly off the handle without being provoked, but I am one to stand up and fight back when I feel that I'm being wronged.  I have mellowed as I've aged, but I still have trouble keeping my anger under wraps.  God does not approve of my anger and I continue to try and tame it and the hold it has over me.  As usual, the Holy Spirit is my hidden weapon and I need to tap into this amazing resource.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

You are my hiding place; 
You will protect me from trouble 
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

(Psalm 32:7)

Do you hear the songs?  We often get lost in our own songs of despair and don't hear the hope that is offered to us when we are lost and discouraged.  I continue to return to the hymns of my youth and recite the words that inspired me then and continue inspire me today.

Friday, June 1, 2012

 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

I just finished a book called The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn.  The scripture above is pretty much the crux of the book, but getting to this point is quite an adventure.  Although The Harbinger is fiction, it is based on Biblical prophecy and the book references scripture and actual events as Cahn tells the story.

I'm not one to recommend a book very often, but I would step out on a limb for this one.  Whether you are a devout Christian, an "on-the-fence Christian," or not a Christian at all, I believe this book will give you food for thought.
(Thanks, Kathy, for the recommendation!)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, 
to all who call on Him in truth.

(Psalm 145:18)

He is near..... He hears..... He knows our heart.  Even in times when we don't see direct answers to prayer, keep trusting in the Lord to listen and answer in His timing.  Be patient, be trusting..... keep praying.

(Internet issues, so blogging has been sparse.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Not my words today.  This came from Insight for Today and I wanted to pass it along.

May 28, 2012

A Memorial Day Prayer
by Charles R. Swindoll
There are certain scenes that when I come across I always pause and let the wonder in. When our children were very small and we were traveling back from a camp up in northern California, along the side of the road they saw something they didn't understand. On a windswept hillside there were literally thousands of white crosses in perfect rank and file. One of my little children said to me, "Daddy, what is that?" And it occurred to me that the younger generations can come and grow up and never even understand how they could have the freedom to drive along a highway or to sit without their home being invaded or to worship at a church we love . . . because those men and women under those crosses paid the ultimate price for our liberty. And so I took time to explain to them the significance of that hillside. I said, "All around the world there are places like that. None more beautiful than this one." And I quoted them from the British poet, "In Flanders field the poppies grow, / Between the crosses, row on row, / . . . And those birds still singing fly." And I couldn't even finish the work as I was moved to tears.
Today we honor those who are no longer among us. And we are grateful for each one and for you who have served your country and have survived them. I want you again, if you will, military veterans to please stand. (Long audience applause.) Remain standing please. You men and women have known the hardship and the responsibilities connected with serving in places that are lonely and often terribly uncomfortable. I'm confident some of you have known battle. And though others around you may never know your story, God never missed one minute of it. By His grace you made it through, having survived all those dangers. All of us today are in your debt. Thank you for saying "yes" to sacrifice. Thank you for being willing to do what you considered simply your duty, never expecting ever in your life to be applauded for it. But today we respect you and we honor you.
However, today the greater respect and honor go to those who have died in battle, in places around the world, having lived their self-forgetful lives in such a brave manner.
To the end of our lives, our Father, we will be grateful for those who have taken liberty seriously. For those who stepped away from family and home and the love of a mom and dad, a spouse and children, and stepped into the fight. Who wore the uniform proudly and to this day live grateful for the privilege of serving. We thank You for our training, for those strong-hearted men who got us into shape and prepared us for battle. Who with unswerving devotion determined that they had our good at heart and helped us understand what it means to live for others and if necessary, to die. Today we remember those who carry on the fight, whose presence would eclipse any one of ours. They are in those hard places today and they serve You in the air, on the land and at sea, and under the sea. Thank You for each one. Thank You for a country that lives in the legacy of such heroism.
Today, our Father, we acknowledge that there is evil in this world, but this world is still Yours. This is our Father's world. And You have privileged us to be born into this land, the greatest land in the world. We would fight for it and defend its liberty to our last day. We honor You, our Father, for giving us those of whom this world was not worthy. And we pray that You will encourage these who stand and many like them. May this Memorial Day be more than just a celebration of eating and relaxing with family and friends. May we on occasion come aside, pause, and reflect.
Thank You, our Father, for Your presence, Your sovereign hand, whether in war or in peace. Help us, Dear Lord, to survive these times in which we live.
Now we give You our lives and we do so with gratitude, because You have been so faithful to us. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.

© 2012 Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
(Ephesians 3:12)

And because I live in the United States of America, I am able to do this publicly, without fear of being punished for my faith.  Freedom is not free everywhere and I'm grateful that I can publish this blog, carry a Bible, or put a Christian bumper sticker on my car and know that the worst that can happen to me is a little criticism.  Praise the Lord!

Friday, May 25, 2012

If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
(Mark 13:36)

I think the word is "when" He comes suddenly.  The Bible tells us that we will not know the time, day, or season of Jesus' return so we need to always consider that it might be any second.  Am I awake and ready for His return or do I need to change some of my ways and tie up loose ends ......?  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
(1 Corinthians 3:7)

We cannot take credit for our efforts, our work, our deeds, or our accomplishments.  The glory goes to God who enables us to be our best.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

“As long as the earth endures,
seed time and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.” 

(Genesis 8:22)

In these times of absolutely bizarre weather conditions, I find this scripture calming and reassuring that things are as they should be. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.

(Psalm 111:2)

I've been blessed with some delightful sites in the past few days.  Little visual smiles, put right in front of me.  I don't know if they will continue, but for now, I'm simply enjoying the view.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
(1 Corinthians 15:33)

This scripture came in a daily devotion today and it's so true.  It's much harder to keep that smile on your face when someone you are with is down and frustrated.  Before you know it, you are joining the dismal mood, leaving your own uplifted mood far behind. 
I don't think "bad" is stronger than "good."  I just think it's easier to join the bad than to stand up for the good.  Keep that in mind the next time someone wants to mislead you or lead you astray.  Remember that the Holy Spirit will give you the strength and courage to keep your values intact, in spite of challenges or ridicule.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
(1 Peter 4:16)

The scripture above makes it clear that you should set a good example, as you never know who is watching and taking notes.  We aren't expected to soften someones' heart to God, but we are expected to live a life that may make someone draw near to us to ask us what our "secret" to a fulfilled life may be.  Plant the seed.... watch it grow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6)

Endurance...... sometimes I feel as though I have no endurance what so ever.  The problem with this is that I'm relying on my own resources, not the power of the Holy Spirit.  God will give me the endurance that I need to glorify Him in all circumstances.  It's comforting to know that I don't have to muster the strength on my own, that He will fortify, restore, and build me up to tackle any challenge. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14

I think many people think that Heaven has many doors and many ways to enter.  Good deeds, good words, good thoughts, whatever.  The truth, which comes from the authority of the Bible, is that only one door will gain entry into Heaven and that door is "manned" by Jesus Christ.  Good works and being a kind and thoughtful person is absolutely wonderful, it just isn't the way to Heaven.  Jesus Christ holds the key to open the gate and He is longing to share that key with all who will follow Him.   

Friday, May 11, 2012

When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.

(Psalm 142:3)

It's easy (and natural, for me) to blame others for the obstacles in my life.  Traps lie everywhere in our lives, but God is watching over us and the Holy Spirit lives within us to guide us down the right path.  "All" we have to do is accept the help that is put before us and within us by our Heavenly Father.  Easy to write... hard to do. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.   Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12:17-21)

I read this..... I believe this...... yet, I can't seem to turn loose of evil thoughts of revenge and payback.  I get some comfort from the part that says "as far as it depends on you."  This tells me that if I'm doing my part to be peaceful, that's all that can be reasonably asked of me.  I can't do it on my own, try as I might.  It can only be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors. 

(Psalm 27:11)

Although there are lots of outside oppressors, I may be most guilty of being my biggest oppressor.  "Oppress"-- to weigh heavily on the mind, spirits, etc. of: burden.  Yup.... that's just what I do to myself. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

(Proverbs 3:19-20)

God knows what this day will bring and what next week will bring.  His knowledge is infinite and perfect.  I'm praying for one drop of this knowledge as I struggle through life and the ups and downs of daily living.  All things are beyond my control and I have to trust God's timing in every circumstance.  Lord, please help me to relinquish all of my own agendas and submit to Yours, and Yours alone. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today is the 61st National Day of Prayer.  Here's a link for the official site for information and background history.

National Day of Prayer

Prayer should be a daily event, not just for specified days.  I'm always humbled by Paul's devotion to prayer as a major part of his life.  There is power in prayer.  I know that I've personally experienced that amazing power and continue to offer daily prayer for God's blessings and guidance.

Don't know what to pray or how to pray? .....

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
(Romans 8:26)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
(John 5:24)

Death is conquered for believers!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
(Genesis 1:25)

And good, they are.  God has directed several animals into my life over the years and each one has given me joy and enriched my life in ways beyond measure .... each one as unique, precious, and fleeting as one of God's snowflakes. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

They grumbled in their tents
and did not obey the LORD.

(Psalm 106:25)

Centuries later..... this is me.  I may not be in a tent, but otherwise it's the same scenario.  Grumble and disobey.  Even I get tired of listening to myself grumble.  I can't imagine the Lord listening to me (plus billions of others) without wanting to remind me (in a not-so-gentle way) of all of my blessings, all of which were given to me by God, Himself.     

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.
Yours, LORD, is the kingdom;
You are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from You;
You are the ruler of all things.
In Your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give You thanks,
and praise Your glorious name.

(1 Chronicles 29:11-13)

I'm not very wordy today but chose this scripture because it speaks volumes without any insight or opinions from my feeble brain.

Glory be to God in Heaven!

Monday, April 23, 2012

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.
(Malachi 4:2)

The heat of the sun, warming my body, is healing and therapeutic.  I can feel the heat....bone deep.  When I give the glory to God, the warmth also reaches my spirit.....soul deep. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD.

(Proverbs 16:23)

We may call it luck but it's God's will at work.  Everthing is under His control.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.

(Job 37:5)

Job is such a trooper.  In spite of more difficulties than I could begin to handle, he still sees God around him and follows His ways.  I think God's "thunder" may often be soft and gentle, so soft and gentle that we need to make sure we are paying attention.  Other times, He knocks us out of our socks.  No matter how He speaks to us, we are only human and do not have the ability to fully understand the Lord of Creation.  That's OK.....just keep looking and listening!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
(Colossians 4:5)

It couldn't be more can never make a second impression.  It's easy to judge and criticize, especially someone outside of your usual crowd.  The last thing you want to do is turn someone away and lose the opportunity to show them the fellowship of a God-pleasing Christian.  Be gentle with your first impression.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
(Job 2:10)

We can't pick and choose God's gifts and/or punishments.  We get what we get and God expects us to accept both the good times and the bad times with grace and trust.  Maybe it's a test.  If it is, I know that I often fail.  Are we really listening and obeying God's will for us?  Do we learn from the trials or continue on our merry (sinful) way?   Just food for thought today.  What I do know is that no matter what comes my way, God is right by my side.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
(Joshua 1:8)

This is not an easy command to obey.  I don't meditate on anything day and night.  I have the attention span of a flea.  Even so, God expects me to give it quality time.  Life gets in the way, but I have no life without God.  My life is His. I would have abundant time for Bible study if I just made the time available.  It's there.  I can find time for almost anything if I just prioritize my schedule.  I've got an excuse for just about everything but God knows the absolute truth...... I put His Word on the back burner and do other things first.  I can't seem to do this on my own.... I need the power of the Holy Spirit to help me focus. 
Note to self....publish post.... open Bible..... STUDY!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Now God be prais'd that
to believing souls
Gives light in darkness,
comfort in despair!

William Shakespeare
(King Henry VI)

God is light!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I call on you, my God, for You will answer me;
turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer.

(Psalm 17:6)

The power of prayer is huge.  I know it can be discouraging when we don't see a quick answer to our prayers but it can also free us from worrying about the issue, knowing that God is listening and taking it under His wing.  Patience is usually required when we make a prayer request.  That patience may only be needed for a few minutes or it might be needed for a few decades.  It's God's timing...... remember?  Be patient.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
(Luke 7:50)

The woman mentioned in this scripture was considered trash.... a disposable person in her society, a person that would be ignored, perhaps stoned, certainly not someone  that "good" society would associate with.   Yet her humble, from the heart, treatment and worship of Jesus made such an impression on Him that he pardoned her past sins and she was given a fresh start. 

We can all have this forgiveness.  It's never too late and our sins are never too great to receive God's pardon.  We must, however, have the same heartfelt repentance and worship of Jesus Christ to receive this amazing gift.  The choice is ours.  Kind of a no-brainer.....don't you think?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
(Revelation 4:1)

I don't understand the book of Revelation very well.  It's a bit cryptic for my thought processes.  There are, however, bits and pieces of it that I do understand and visions that I'm able to bring to mind.  I can see the door to heaven, welcoming me to enter.  Entering won't be easy.  There are consequences to pay and repentances to make but it will all be worth it.  Someday, I will walk through that door and my life on earth will be gone in a flash, along with all of the worldly trials and tribulations.  Open the door, please ...... I'm ready!

Friday, April 13, 2012

This is my 365th post.  I didn't quite squeeze them all into one year, I went a little over....I started this blog on April 9, 2011.  Life happened along the way to keep me from posting.

My original blogging intention was purely selfish.  I knew that I would be dropping out of Bible Study Fellowship after seven years of study and wanted some sort of accountability to keep myself in God's Word on a daily basis.  This blog did this for me.  Whether anyone was reading or not, it motivated me to blog.  My blogging certainly wasn't as difficult as a structured Bible study, but it still gave me support throughout the year.  My posts were not particularly eye opening or life changing, in fact, they were just simple observations.  Still, I feel like I have completed my goal.  As far as the future, I am planning on continuing this blog.  I may not be as dedicated as I was the first year, but I'm still in a situation where I need daily accountability and will blog when possible.  Hopefully, it will still be daily/frequently.

 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.  Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.  For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
(2 Corinthians 8:10-12) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.

(2 Samuel 22:37)

God doesn't give us a tightrope to try and balance on without falling.  He gives us great latitude to live a life pleasing to Him without making the path narrow and treacherous.  I still stray from that path, finding distractions along the way until God guides me back into His loving arms.  Being on God's path is not restrictive, it's liberating!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Even as a Christian, I still grieve the loss of my loved ones.  I'm not necessarily grieving for them, I'm grieving selfishly for myself.  I miss them..... I'm lonely.....I don't understand why they are gone and I'm still here.  It's just hard, even though I know they are at peace.  On a positive note, I know that I will join them someday when God sends me home to their loving arms.  Meanwhile, I'm hanging in there, living off of memories and waiting for my reunion.
(I miss you everyday, TW)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.
(Revelation 17:14)

We have started a new sermon series at my church called "not a fan.", which is based on the book of the same title written by Kyle Idleman.  The link will give you more information.  Simply put, it's getting down to the basic question of "are you a fan or a follower?"   A fan is kind of like a fair weather friend.....when things get tough, they turn tail.  They seem to be a true friend, say the right things, even do the right things, but they have not given themselves completely.  A follower is a true believer and one who will stand up for Jesus and defend His honor in all circumstances.  I'm just beginning this book, but I can already see that I'm a follower/fan, not a true and complete follower.  I don't want to be a fan......I want to be a follower.

I recommend this book and I hope you will ask yourself the same question and answer honestly.  It will open your eyes to the truth.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;
heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.

(Psalm 6:2)

Rough day..... overdid things....pushed myself too far.....but God will restore my physical body, as well as my spiritual body. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

1. Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus, my Savior!
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus, my Lord!

2. Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus, my Savior!
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord!

3. Death cannot keep his prey,
Jesus, my Savior!
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever With His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Written in 1874

Beautiful words!  We sang this timeless hymn in church this morning, along with other Easter-appropriate hymns.  The chorus was sung acappella and it was so beautiful and moving.

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
(Matthew 28:6)

I hope your Easter was a grateful day of worship.  No matter who you are and what your life circumstances may be, you have the hope of a better life thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
(Matthew 27:64-66)

It was not a trick.  The body wasn't stolen or misplaced.  There was no way for any mortal man to escape this tomb.  There was no way for anyone to enter or defile this tomb undetected, with or without help.  Only the living God could orchestrate this miracle as written in prophesy.  And so we wait..... for the morning of Jesus' Resurrection!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Origins

There are two possible origins for the name "Good Friday". The first may have come from the Gallican Church in Gaul (modern-day France and Germany). The name "Gute Freitag" is Germanic in origin and literally means "good" or "holy" Friday. The second possibility is a variation on the name "God's Friday," where the word "good" was used to replace the word "God," which was often viewed as too holy to be spoken aloud.

Taken from
ShareFaith   (I looked at many sites, most had similar explanations.)

I knew why it was "Good Friday" for me, but I didn't know where the name originated.  "Good" is hardly a word that I'd use to describe the horrific ordeal that Jesus endured and I often find it difficult to even use "good" in my discussions or thought processes about this Holy day.  The Bible often replaces "God" with "good" in scripture and this explanation is one that makes the most sense to me.

Regardless of the name, we know this to be the day that Jesus gave up His life for all of the sins of the world.  How do you feel about taking the blame for something that you didn't do?  It's a rare day when I'll take the consequences for someone elses' bad behavior.  As with many of my posts, it's just hard for me to fathom the sacrifice that Jesus made for me....I'm unworthy of any such act of selfless love, yet I know that He died for me.  He died for you.  He died in order for all of mankind to receive the gift of eternal life.  I'm blessed....I'm blessed beyond understanding.