Saturday, January 31, 2009


Be cautious with changes. God’s message should not be changed from the Word He gave us.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:8-10)

What is the origin of this gospel Paul preaches?

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12)

Which gospel?

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; (Mark 1:1)

Why do we have it?

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31)

And, when He reigns?

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31-33)

What will the sheep receive?

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34)

What did they do to deserve this?

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (Matthew 25:35)

Remember, Paul wrote, and it appears so often to fall among that which we cease to recall:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Oh, yes – mustn’t forget there were goats. There are consequences for goats.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Time to Die

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a, 4a)

Even knowing this, when we are faced with a time to die, a time to mourn, it is hard to accept.

This week brought the time to die to four families I know. The losses ranged from a ninety-three year old woman to a man whose age was not given. Four families impacted by the death of a loved one. With advanced age and long illness, the prognosis is not unknown. We are, however, never ready for the grieving for our loss.

Two were mothers, widowed, their children by their side. Two were husbands, with wives left to contend with red tape, funeral homes, decisions they had not anticipated. In some cases, there were questions not yet answered.

So – today I have some suggestions for people who love their families.

Take time to discuss the facts of death with your loved ones. Let them know your preferences, and be certain you understand theirs. Discuss others’ funerals – what you liked, what you would expect. Do not debate the aptness of preferences.

Take time to discuss medical decisions before one must be made. What would be included in a Living Will? Who would be given responsibility – power of attorney? What is necessary to make that legal? What about long term care? Hospice?

Take time to discuss what is important in life and how that importance should be shared.

These are painful subjects for many, but they are a lot less painful discussed over the dinner table than over a hospital bed. Some would ignore the subject, finding it embarrassingly difficult to broach.

Yet, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, and a time to die does fall into that category. For ourselves, and for those we love. Please, love them enough to help them before they mourn.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

About Me Today

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)

Believing this does not lesson my concerns today. For the first time in seventeen years, I’m taking an employment test. Amazing how high school fears return!

It’s a timed test, too, adding a second level of stress. A sample test was provided, so I’ve had a taste of what it will be like. Beloved Husband set a kitchen time – the “tick, tick, tick” type, not the quiet one on the stove. Wow! There is an impact when noise is being made. I found my mind trying to count the beat. I feel for game show participants who have distracting music in the background.

This is not a pivotal job. It is not necessary in providing sustenance, but luxury. Additional income will provide ease in paying for new hearing aids for BH, true. But we could do that without taking on a new job. What it might offer would be a big luxury – an absolutely great vacation cruise.

So I’ll go in this morning and take the test. Nervous, yes – simply because I’m being tested and want to show my best. But not concerned about my abilities. They exist. I am good at what I do, and some of what I do excels. Makes me ordinary, and that’s a good thing.

Your, Dear Reader, will eventually read of the results. I don’t know when they will be made evident, but there will be a reflection in my blog. Either nothing will change, or I’ll have a bit less time to write.

Pins and needles time!! Which will it be?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Necessary Death

Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. (John 11:50)

He said that in a successful attempt to convict. The next verse tells us why:

And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; (John 11:51)

Thus, Caiaphas was a man doing his job – prophesying as Israel’s high priest. Had he been in prayerful contact with God would he have realized the rest?

And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. (John 11:52)

So much of the New Testament reflects this prophecy:

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (1 Corinthians 15:3)

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)

When we come face to face with physical death, we are comforted through our sorrow with the sure and certain hope written for us:

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; (Hebrews 6:18-19)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Storm

The setup is classic. Cold arctic air flowing south along the plains, plunging temperatures thirty to forty degrees in a short time, with overriding warm sub-tropic, moisture laden air headed north above the cold, dropping the moisture along the way. What starts as life sustaining rain, ends up freezing on the way down and the ice builds.

This morning our roads appear clear, but Momma Dawg came to the back door with a layer of ice building on her thick coat. The vehicles are already covered with a thickening coat of ice. My girls are on the road to work in the dark, and my son is one of the DOT employees making it safer for drivers. I pray for their safety.

Ice storms frighten me. Driving in them was a nightmare, knowing that my own driving abilities were impaired by unknown conditions – and so were those of all who had to be on the road. We have them each year, and toward the last of my career, I found working from home such a blessing.

Those days, as today, I remained warm and dry inside, just as I do today. I pray for those who are not so fortunate. For those whose jobs are such that they cannot work from home, I pray for their safety.

The aftermath of Tulsa’s 2008 ice storm is still evident. Even in the spring, new greenery could not hide the scars of the broken trees. In the fall those leaves dried, died and fell, the damage again displayed. Huge trees lift truncated branches, accompanied by death still lying about their roots. Even with millions of dollars spent on cleanup across Oklahoma, even with hundreds of tons of mulch created from destruction, much remains on the ground. Such is the damage ice can achieve as it builds.

Day after day after day homes were without electricity. Some lines broken due to falling branches, some broken simply because of the weight of ice on the wires. Some downed as cars took down a pole or two.

Job understood, as he described winter brooks: Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: (Job 6:16)

The psalmist, too: He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? (Psalms 147:17)

But I should not be afraid. From Genesis to Revelation there is a constant admonition to “fear not.” Instead, we are told to “know that I am” able to care for us in any and all circumstances.

It is up to me step aside. Allow Him to do so.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Where was Jesus left?

If you haven’t had an opportunity to hear Dr. Reno Likins (from the Gospel Light Baptist Church in Hot Springs) you’ve missed a very lively sermon.

The scripture reference for Sunday morning was Luke 12:41-49. There were several points to his sermon. But today I want to think and comment on “Where was Jesus left?”

No, not by his parents. We know they left Him in Jerusalem. They weren’t the only ones to assume that Jesus was with them, headed the same direction, yet they walked off and left Him behind.

Dr. Likins pointed out, quite graphically, that it does take longer to go back after taking a wrong direction. Joseph and Mary were a day’s journey away from Jerusalem, but it took them three days to find their son.

But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; (Luke 2:44a)

And it came to pass, that after three days they found him (Luke 2:46a)

Do we make a similar assumption? That we are walking with Him, cease to pay attention and find that we’re a long journey ahead? I believe I have at times.

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)

Get that? Let me make it plainer: FOLLOW. Not lead, but follow Him.

Matthew got it: And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)

There were some places where He could not be followed, except by a selected few: And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. (Mark 5:37)

There are some who turned back, ceasing to follow: From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:66)

Some turned back to find Him: And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, (Luke 17:15)

We must be certain it is Jesus we are following, too: And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. (Luke 17:23)

There are consequences to our following Him: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)

This, then, is where we stand. We should check our leader, our direction, our walking companions. If necessary – if we find ourselves without Him – we need to go back to where we left Jesus, return to following Him instead of leading astray.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Skeptical about the timing, I truly am. There are two ethical issues centered on embryos. Human embryos. These are not lab rates, captive monkeys nor death-sentenced pound dogs. If they were, PETA would voice opposition, very loudly.

From the MSNBC article regarding embryonic stem cell testing set to begin:

“In fact, the company says, the project involves stem cells that were eligible for federal funding under Bush, although no federal money was used to develop the experimental treatment or to pay for the human study.”

Why, then, wait for this announcement to follow President Obama’s tossing federal funds into the research?

Everyone, on both sides of the question, knows that there was no federal regulation limiting embryonic stem cell research. That only federal funding was withheld – going instead to umbilical stem cell or adult stem cell research.

Neither involves creating and killing human embryos.

Human embryos. Human rights. Don’t Americans holler really loud at other countries who do not pay attention to human rights? Why then do we trade one set of humans to better the lives of other humans?

And now, as the result of President Obama’s abortion support, we are exporting to the rest of the world financial aid to increase abortions in other countries.

Oh, how I wish we could export a better product than loss of life.

There was an anti-abortion e-mail making rounds some time back. A fictional woman went to her doctor and requested one because she could care only for the child she had, not the one she was carrying. She did not want her husband to know. Besides, it was her decision.

The fictional doctor suggested that she kill her little girl and carry the baby to full term. She was appalled at the suggestion, as we all should be. How could she choose to kill – either of them? Why should she be able to kill her husband’s child – either of them? Yet, our laws allow this and our federal funding encourages the death of one, but not the other.

As I’ve said before, when I think of these millions upon millions deaths, I am reminded of one verse:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

The result of all the embryonic deaths America has sponsored creates a cloud of witnesses testifying to failure and death, not to the faith of the scripture reference.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Missions Accomplished

Reposted, now that our president can state: "Missions accomplished."

How quickly moral issues are reversed. From MSNBC:

“Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.

“Bush's August 2001 decision pleased religious conservatives who have moral objections to the use of cells from days-old human embryos, which are destroyed in the process.”

The second quick reversal stated would be:

The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.”

The very issues the Pope, evangelicals, and many other Christians, were in agreement that should be considered in this past election.

Have you prayed today?

Have you prayed today? Do it again.

Come on, it’s good for us – and it’s good for so many who need our prayers.

We’ve given thanks to our Lord for His creation and expressed our gratefulness for His love and mercy. Take time to find three specific items that deserve special thanks to Him just for today. No, you don’t have to stop at three!

We’ve prayed for those close to us. We’ve given thanks for those who have given their lives in service to Him, and for those we know need Him in their lives so desperately. Did we thank Him for bringing them into our lives?

The disciples must have seen the impact of prayer Christ’s life for them to have asked Him how to pray. What He gave them serves as our example today – do we use it as our template? Or do we use it in place of what we need to say.

I love the psalms – where David often says, “O Lord,” in much the same way two men called to Jesus: And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. (Matthew 20:30)

Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake. (Psalms 6:4)

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalms 25:4-5)

The sixth chapter of Second Chronicles speaks deeply of praying and answered prayer – but it is it is in the seventh chapter that we receive our greatest promise concerning prayer.

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

This is a great promise for His people, but what of one man? What happens when one man prays?

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. (Acts 10:1-4)

There’s a bit more to the story, and a wonderful lesson for Peter lies between these verses and the result of Cornelius’ prayers to God. Eventually, Luke writes of the result:

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (Acts 10:43-44)

Paul tells us about praying, too: I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Friday, January 23, 2009


My family history is rather mundane. For the most part they were farmers from their landing in the New World, migrating from Virginia or Pennsylvania into the Carolinas or Tennessee, then moving south and west. In three hundred years, they only made it to Oklahoma.

My husband’s lines were similar, but much more interesting. Of course, not much of the North’s courthouses were destroyed so records abound. Thus we have information on the trial of Sarah Veale, wife of Thomas, who was sentenced June 4, 1651.

There must have been some animosity pre-existing for Thomas Veale to complain to the court that his neighbor trespassed into the Veale home – uninvited, of course. I don’t have notes on the cross action George Wood files, but the court backed away from the arguing neighbors, acquitted and dismissed both parties.

According to Richard M. Bayles in his Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County ..., in another case a woman so charged stated her cause, “saying that her husband had brought her to a place where there was neither Gospel nor magistracy."

Apparently in a wish to prove Sarah wrong on both counts, the Southhampton Magistrates tried and found her guilty “for exhorbitant words of imprecations” and sentenced her “to stand with her tongue in a cleft stick soelong as the offence committed by her was read and declared.”

Nowadays some are utilizing the magistracy to rid themselves of the gospel. Unlike Sarah (Wentworth) Veale, they wish not to hear the gospel, nor even hear of the gospel. Further, they do not wish to hear of God nor people’s faith in God. Sarah wasn’t a widow, but her story reminds me of one Jesus described:

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: (Luke 18:2)

That’s not the type of judge I would wish to face. But, it is part of the story where Christ tells us always to pray, and not to faint:

And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. (Luke 18:3-6)

So, we’ve covered five verses, and have not seen God at work. Which is a very good reason not to build our faith out of context. For there is more:

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (Luke 18:7)

I cannot imagine the feelings of abandonment that went through Sarah Veale’s mind as she stood with her tongue in a split stick. If it were I, hopefully I would recall a verse:

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10:36)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

His Word

So you want to be a Christian? Are you ready for this?

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12-13)

How do we know the deceivers?

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

Did you stop to think that the holy scriptures Paul speaks of do not include this verse? That Paul is saying that what we know as the Old Testament are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul also tells us who authored these scriptures: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

An, he tells us why we should care: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:17)

Luke gives us Christ’s parable in Luke 8 as to what happens to the word:

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:11-15)

How is our ground prepared? Is evil allowed to take it away? Are there rocks that keep roots from growing? Are there thorns prepared to choke?

Prepare the ground to receive the seed – the word of God. Remove that which would take it away, remove the temptation, the riches, the pleasures of life that do not fit within God’s will. Bring to studies of the word an honest and good heart.


Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Barack H. Obama

We are told in the Bible to pray for President Barack H. Obama.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)


For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (1 Timothy 2:3)

Who, where, and when?

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8)

We are told that President Obama’s election is ordained by God, for God’s own purposes.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: (Romans 13:1-3)

Further, Paul wrote to us:

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. (Romans 14:7-8)

None of the above is different from, nor cause any change to, Christ’s word:

They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (Matthew 22:21)

We owe our county, and its leader, our allegiance – our loyalty and our respect. There is a process in place that allows for change. The process has been used for many generations. Respect its use today, and pray for our leaders.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Offensive Weapon

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:13-17)

We think of armor as being defensive. The items called for are protection for loins, breast, feet and a shield for the entire body. Protect the head with a helmet. From head to toe, putting on the whole armour of God provides defense.

But we’re also told to take an offensive weapon the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

We are told that God’s words are pure and serve as our protection: Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)

Jesus told us that men live by the very words of God: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:4)

Jesus also tells us we become His family when we hear and do God’s word: And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. (Luke 8:21)

He told us that we are blessed by hearing, and doing, God’s word: But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke 11:28)

Paul told us it is the basis for faith: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Paul said the word of God is effective: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

It is so much more than we know: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

From the beginning, as we read And God said, (Genesis 1:3a) we know of the power of His word. We are not surprised, then, to read: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3)

Nor are we surprised when it is revealed God’s word is more than scriptures: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13)