Sunday, May 31, 2009


Ooops, I have them out of order biblically, but they are chronological. Nehemiah fits after Esther, though the description could fit a number of nations:

The nation was in crisis. Drought brought a lack of food, though the very wealthy and those in political power were able to take care of themselves. Workers were spending so much time on rebuilding that they had no time to gather their own food. Landowners had mortgaged their homes and farms because of the drought and were unable to pay back, losing their homes, income and heritage. Taxes, too, were high. The nation came to Nehemiah crying out against those in power, their own people, asking for help:

And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. (Nehemiah 5:1-4 KJV)

How different is that from today?

Nehemiah’s reaction is much as ours is today, too:

And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. … Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? (Nehemiah 5:6, 9 KJV)

It does make a difference how others perceive us. Our actions reflect upon on our beliefs, our morals, the very fabric of our lives – whether as a family, a community or a nation. How do we wish others to see us? Fractured and vulnerable, or strong and working together?

Nehemiah set the example for the nation.

Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. (Nehemiah 5:14 KJV)

Unlike previous governors, Nehemiah did not take what was due him, laboring instead along side his people people. That gave him the opportunity, the right, to ask those in power:

Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. (Nehemiah 5:11 KJV)

Following his example, their response was:

Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. (Nehemiah 5:12 KJV)

Those who do so can pray with him as he did in the chapter’s close:

Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. (Nehemiah 5:19 KJV)

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Sunday we leave the historical books and move into Esther. Well, it’s historical, too – but it has several differences from those we’ve read for the past several weeks. Books and movies have told, retold and romanticized the young girl and the mighty king. The 2006 “One Night With The King” is the latest movie. I have my own favorite scenes just from reading the book.

I admire Vashti’s refusal to respond to the king’s command:

To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on. (Esther 1:11 KJV)

Talk about a trophy wife! For seven days male guests have been drinking:

And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king. (Esther 1:7 KJV)

And now the king wants her to show up just to show off? As a result of her refusal, she never saw the king again:

If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she. (Esther 1:19 KJV)

So the search for a replacement begins:

And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. (Esther 2:3-4 KJV)

The story continues with love, hate, intrigue, murder – plots thick enough to keep books and movies coming for thousands of years.

God is not mentioned in Esther. His name does not appear in the book at all. Israel is not mentioned. Jerusalem is mentioned only describing Mordecai:

Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity (Esther 2:6a KJV)

Esther is the first book in the Old Testament that uses the word Jew. Esther is neither a judge of her people, nor a prophet. When she becomes queen, it is not as a queen of Jews. There are many things that set this book apart from the others.

Worth the time to study? Absolutely!!! God’s planning is evident in the events. Allow God’s work to be done through us, or watch it work through another and be forgotten:

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14 KJV)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Not Forsaking

Have prayer meetings been held in your home? David and Mary Jones in San Diego hold them, and may not be able to in the future, according to Fox News (but not to be found on CBS, CNN or MSNBC)

"On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county." David Jones told FOX News.

"We told them this is not really a religious assembly — this is just a bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all," Jones said.

"The implications are great because it’s not only us that’s involved," Mary Jones said. "There are thousands and thousands of bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future."

That’s San Diego – California. In the good old US of A. Remember a rather short document that includes as its first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Can you imagine living in an American city where religious meeting in one’s home is taxed as well as regulated? You see, a city official told the Jones’ that if they pay several thousand dollars for a permit, such meetings could be held. Perhaps there is a good lawsuit pending here. How about re-reading that paragraph just above – the one with the word “free.”

That amendment gives us the right to comply with the New Testament exhortation:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 KJV)

We are given examples of opening our homes to the church:

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (Acts 2:46 KJV)

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42 KJV)

And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. (Acts 12:12 KJV)

The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. (1 Corinthians 16:19 KJV)

Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. (Colossians 4:15 KJV)

Need we a reminder?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Do You Think?

Jesus asked the Pharisees a question that is raised today when men hear of Him:

Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. (Matthew 22:42 KJV)

He was asking their opinion of the expected messiah – not whether the Pharisees thought of Jesus as being the Christ, but a generic question, “Who is the messiah’s father?”

By saying “David,” they were not expecting a new son from a dead king, but that the messiah would be a descendant of King David (which the genealogies in Matthew and Luke show for both parents.) However, that creates a small problem, which Jesus addressed:

He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? (Matthew 22:43-45 KJV)

Today, their answer remains:

And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:46 KJV)

The answer lies in the gospels:

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:16-17 KJV)

But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Mark 14:61-62 KJV)

Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.
(Luke 22:67-68 KJV)

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. (John 4:25-26 KJV)

We, as the Greeks who came to worship, still ask of our pastors, preachers and teachers:

Sir, we would see Jesus. (John 12:21b KJV)

Then, we must answer the question: … What think ye of Christ? (Matthew 22:42a KJV)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Jason Pugh’s sermon Sunday night touched on how paradoxical Christianity is. How we look so odd to those not familiar with our lives.

We expect adults to become children.

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 KJV)

We expect the great to become humble:

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4 KJV)

We expect them to understand that to save their life, they most lose it:

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25 KJV) (That one is of such importance that it is repeated in each of the gospels – Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24.)

We expect those who have nothing to be able to give:

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:6 KJV)

We expect belief without seeing:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

We know they hear foolishness:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

We speak of thirst and water:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

The best we can hope for is that the Holy Spirit is preparing their hearts and that we follow Peter’s example:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15 KJV)

Prepare for the questions!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The World

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:34-35 KJV)

It is in this belief that missionaries carried the message further and further from Jerusalem. It is this belief that shared the gospel message that

… God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Around this world people come together on the first day of the week to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s resurrection. They read from God’s word. They sing songs from their own and from others generations and cultures.

It touches people I may never see face-to-face, but share a moment or two each week through the internet. I read their blogs, they read mine. I see their photos, they view mine. I learn of their lives, they learn of mine. And in many instances, we share the love God has shown to us, holding it up for others to see.

We are told Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (Matthew 5:14-15 KJV)

But sharing this information is not what the gospel is about. The word ‘share’ is not found in the King James Version. What we are told to do is ‘give’ as He has given to us. We are not to keep a portion for ourselves, but to give freely, as He has given to us.

We are promised rest: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 KJV) I need to provide rest for those who need it, too.

We are promised accountability: But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36 KJV) I need to be accountable for my words and my actions.

We are promised the ability to give what we have: Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:6 KJV) I need to look beyond wealth and give of God’s love.

Jesus spoke of the greatest gift:

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (John 4:10 KJV)

Paul found it, recognized it, and gave it on to us:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

That is the message our world gives. It was freely given to us and is available if thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (John 4:10 KJV)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

CNN’s Rachel Rodriquez called and asked to use a photo and comments I wrote about Captain John Clarence Blickensderfer. You can find the first page of the Memorial Day memories here

Jack’s photo is the first on the second row, and his story is on the timeline at 1944. That will take you to his photo and a short article.

We remember Jack each Memorial Day, and share his memory with others. Jack was co-pilot of one of the planes that crashed at Hoorn, Holland, 7 July, 1944. The loss of a single soldier costs families their future

Today, he is honored, as are all of those who died defending our nations.

The graciousness of southern ladies has been noted for generations. Northern ladies have shown centuries of hospitality.

And in 1866 they combined their attributes to honor fallen heroes.

Petersburg, Virginia, is recognized as the place where a school teacher and her students placed flags upon the graves of Confederate soldiers. Mrs. Jonathan Logan (wife of the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic Association after the war) noted this honor and encouraged participation. General Logan officially proclaimed the first Memorial Day, May 30, 1868. Although recognized throughout America during the next century, it was 1971 before our government set it as a national holiday.

General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech was given to the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point May 12, 1962.

He spoke to duty, honor and country. According to him, “…unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.” And, they have, continuing to do so.

MacArthur continued: “The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training - sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.”

Christ’s words confirmed this: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)

MacArthur’s words are as valid today as in 1962: “Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

“These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.”

Our soldiers have understood, as “…civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government…”,

We offer our soldiers medals for their valor, honor for their courage. Let us always offer them our respect, our thanks and our love, for their sacrifice. This year, as decades past, we will specifically remember the sacrifice given by Captain John Clarence Blickensderfer, a 20-year-old US Army Air Corps pilot who did not return from a bombing run.

Please pray for the families who continue to live with loss. And for the men and women who continue to stand in harm’s way.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Looking Good

Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? (2 Corinthians 10:7a KJV)

An MSNBC article about tight jeans causing nerve pain through compression quoted one sufferer as saying:

We buy things, we know they’re going to hurt — but they’re going to look good.
We say, oh well, it looks good, so it’s fine.

Think that sort of sounds funny? Don’t. It’s applicable in so many other ways. Reminds me of verses that continuously surfaced in the Bible:

… every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6b KJV)

Even though it was repeated, many did not learn the full lesson:

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25 KJV)

Why are we so concerned about how we appear to others – and give no thought for how we appear to God?

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 23:27-28 KJV)

Paul wrote what to look for, and which has value:

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV)

James warns against weighing rich appearances as better:

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: (James 2:2-3 KJV)

Christ tells us how to discern the better choices:

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24 KJV)

Those that do so will wear crowns – of rejoicing (1 Th 2:19), righteousness (2 Ti 4:8), life (Jam 1:12; Rev 2:10). Only those who feed His flock will wear those crowns of glory (1 Pe 5:4) – how blessed they will be for serving us for our Lord.

That’s what looking good really is.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


My Beloved Husband is an adoptee. When we met he told me that he did not know his birth parents. He fell into the category Ezra described:

… but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel: (Ezra 2:59 KJV)

There are long stories about why we searched and how we located his birth family, but the focus today is on our own adoption.

God not only created us, He adopts us:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; (Romans 8:15-17a KJV)

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:6-7 KJV)

Before Paul wrote these verses, Jesus taught us that God is our father, and that we should look upon Him as such in our prayers:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)

Whether we know our birth parents or not; whether we know our families or not; we can know that we are children of the King. And why do we want to know this?

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13 KJV

Friday, May 22, 2009

Falling Away

I am not the least bit concerned about whether or not Christ will return in my lifetime. There are people who write about it as though they knew the very moment. I doubt that:

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. (Mark 13:32 KJV)

Was Christ speaking of His death? Destruction of the temple? His return? Doesn’t matter to me, for many other verses speak of His return. Only one book offers blessings simply for reading it, and that book is all about His coming.

What Christ said would continue to apply:

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: (Mark 13:35 KJV)

There are two things of great concern – our own efforts to keep from falling away from Christ’s calling, and our love for those in our life who have rejected His divinity.

Paul was concerned about churches being deceived:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 KJV)

Those are words of alert, so there is no reason to be surprised. Christ Himself has told us:

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Revelation 3:11 KJV)

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (Revelation 22:7 KJV)

While the prayer exists daily for His return to be moments away, the timing doesn’t matter. He has taught us to accept things in His time.

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (2 Thessalonians 2:6 KJV)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sewing It Up

There are many different sewing machines on the market, from basic models to job-specifics that run thousands of dollars. Mine is basic. Using it recently brought home a lesson we’re apt to forget, some never to apply again.

My sewing machine has been used by a number of people. My daughters, my granddaughter, and on a lesser scale, myself. There are basics to its use. When something is not correct, the machine will not function as intended.

It is easy to check along the threads, upper and bobbin; to check the tension, foot feed, needle. Sometimes it is just as easy to overlook the error. When that happens, it is best to start from the beginning, verify all settings and rethread from the instruction manual.

A Christian’s life is often that same thing.

At times things are not working as expected, as promised. Promises include joy and a glorious future. Here and now, there is trouble and faith is wavering. There are events that bring sadness, sorrow, frustration, anger, fear. Were not the promises that these burdens would be placed elsewhere?

Some will look upon this as failure of the promises, and God who made them. Some will decide that if those promises were not valid, neither is God who made them and turn away from Him.

It would be better for all involved if we returned to the basics. Turn to the manual God has given us and understand that we are not removed from this world, but are promised a future that is eternal.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalms 51:12 KJV)

That’s an exceptional prayer. It admits something needs to be restored, something that existed at one time. It recognizes that salvation brings joy, and that joy is currently missing. It acknowledges the need to be upheld, and that the strength to do so is freely available. Finally, the source is not within ourselves, nor this world, but is spiritual.

Without rethreading, the process will not work properly. The instructions are in the manual several different times, but one of the best spelled out appears to me to be:

If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:10-16 KJV)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

E-mail is out. Snail-mail is open to me, but I’m out of that habit. Calling contacts is possible, but getting photographs in for deadlines – well, only FedEx would work, at a much higher cost.

Research from home is out. Reaching into Texas Library Databases, which hold a wealth of genealogical information, is out. It was possible to work on my genealogy database – correcting entries, rewording notes for clarity, generally cleaning up for the upcoming reunion where it will be shared with family members. It would be possible to do the research at a nearby library, but only if it has connectivity. The best research library is a hundred-mile round trip.

Without internet service for a couple of days - once again missing out on a number of habits and routines. Friday afternoon and Saturday mornings usually include a bit of time checking fotofriday’s Picture Perfect postings. With a single theme, dozens of people from almost as many countries take time to share their thoughts and the photos they’ve taken. Can’t do that without the internet.

The communication offered by the internet is cost saving, at the very least. I miss it when it is not available. I miss all of the above.

Most of all, I miss the continuity of posting a daily devotional. I appreciate so much those of you who do visit regularly. Thank you for your time.

I miss my family’s comments and PMs. I miss seeing and hearing the girls from Society, who brighten my day with their pictures and videos from their church. I miss the allotment updates in a British accent, and the family pleasures shared. I miss the southern charm of two sisters, and their daily walk with God through shadows. I miss a Bros. Bible blogging, seeing scriptures from another perspective. I miss hearing from those on my own prayer list. I miss the Mom of hungry children, the cook who shares great recipes.

These habits have been broken before, and may be again. But God’s word remains with me because I built a habit – of memorizing verses.

Should, for any reason, a Bible not be available for me, verses closest to my heart will remain. The earliest is the good news in a single verse:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Then there are examples of how to do it, and why:

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:11 KJV)

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)

Keep a few of these with you, too. It’s a very good habit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thanks for your patience ...

... and stopping back by. Our internet tower went down last week and they restored it with new equipment, which meant our older receiver dropped off. It was replaced late this evening and I'll be spending some time looking around, getting caught up.

Again -- thanks for stopping back by. Devotionals will return in the morning!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Still Adjusting

Still needing an attitude adjustment!!! I do believe I was getting over a couple of heavy-handed backhands, when a couple more come along.

The silver lining is that these are only financial – so far no major health hazards to face, for which I express my gratitude to God. Neither are they life threatening, only blood-pressure raising if I allow myself to forget that: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV)

If I had only those two verses, I should be able to adjust. However, there are more:

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5 KJV)

As I was searching for comfort (and it is there, in His word) I noticed another verse.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4 KJV)

As a woman, Paul is not telling me to become a preacher – but I can spread the word whether the world is ready to read it or not. I must do it when it is not comfortable to do so, when it is not politically correct to do so, and it must be God’s word – not my interpretation of it – to be true doctrine. That’s one reason why I point to specific scriptures, though my own words may come before or after.

What was prophesied here has come to pass. In order to enjoy their own physical pleasures, men have found teachers who will tell them what they wish to hear – anything is OK because God does not exist. Careful. Just because I write something down, that doesn’t make it truth.

To know the truth, follow the Berean example, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

God's Word

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:10-11 KJV)

I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. (Psalms 119:15-16 KJV)

VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. (Psalms 119:41-42 KJV)

ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalms 119:49-50 KJV)

Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Psalms 119:66-67 KJV)

All of the above are from just one Psalm. And, they are but few of the many references made to God’s word. They are among my favorites, each containing the same message in different wording – God’s word directs our lives.

Whether it is Micaiah: And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak. … Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: (1 Kings 22:14, 19a KJV)

Or Elisha: Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, (2 Kings 7:1a KJV)

Or Isaiah: And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD. (2 Kings 20:16 KJV)

Or any of the others -- God’s word was spoken, written and proven true. If we hear, read and follow, His word will become a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105b KJV)

And why would we want that?

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; … So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:8, 17 KJV)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

His Time

Sarah couldn’t wait for the Lord to fulfill the promise of a child. She found a solution, but it turned into serious difficulties when God’s promise came in His time.

Waiting for God’s time is one of the most difficult things to do. The Preacher wrote of His time:

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV)

Nope – we cannot find the beginning, or the end, for He is eternal.

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 KJV)

Why, then, do we become so impatient and ignore what is being given to us. Have we come to the point that we believe God does not care for us?

Have we forgotten why we love Him? We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 KJV)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

It’s not just one gospel writer that is trying to get the message across. God has / does / will love us forever. Time is of no importance when we understand that He is timeless.

Why, then, do we get in a rush and waste the time we have each day. We need to be stewards of our time as well as our finances.

In His time, we will receive what He has in store for us.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalms 27:14 KJV)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Being a pastor is not an easy job. With that understatement out of the way, let’s look at some of the reasons they might be worried.

It is hard to imagine the annual performance reviews. Ezekiel was given a description:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. (Ezekiel 34:10-11 KJV)

God does find fault with his shepherds when they fail Him:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15 KJV)

Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2 all discuss millstones and how to get them tied to you simply by misleading people.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6 KJV)

Instead, a pastor’s job is to bring the flock to the Good Shepherd:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (John 10:11-12 KJV)

The focus is not on the congregation, but on Christ. Who tells us again that He is the Good Shepherd:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (John 10:11-12 KJV)

So, why in the world would a man accept the responsibility of shepherding a flock here? There is great reward for those who do so to glorify our Lord:

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1 Peter 5:2-4 KJV)

The Crown of Life is promised to those of us who love Him (James 1:12); the Crown of Righteousness to those of us who love His appearing (II Timothy 4:8.) But the Crown of Glory is only for those who feed God’s flock. What a reward!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

II Kings 4:1-7

Go ahead, please, look it up, because I’m not going to quote it all. These were Sunday’s verses for our pastor’s sermon. I know specifically of one individual’s belief the sermon was meant for her.

She was not a member of our church. Her attendance was by chance (or such a time as this?) and our pastor had no knowledge of her coming, or her financial situation.

… my husband is dead … and the creditor is come to take (from 2 Kings 4:1 KJV)

Her husband, who died earlier this year, was not a prophet and there are no sons to be lost in bondage, but she related to the similarities the widow shared.

After the services, the visitor’s determination was set to find the answer to tell me, what hast thou in the house? (2 Kings 4:2 KJV)

My own determination was found in verse 3: borrow not a few. (2 Kings 4:3b KJV)

The number of vessels is not given in the scripture. The sale of the oil resulted in enough to clear the debt her sons inherited and provide care for a time. Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. (2 Kings 4:7b KJV)

What if she had borrowed fewer? What if her faith in God’s word was so weak that she only borrowed two? How many would I have borrowed?

That’s the real question – how many vessels will I now borrow to hold the blessings God has to give His children?

There was more to the message – how we must to be aware of those in our congregation who are in need. We who have been blessed are in a position to be of help. Why should a widow be in need when we’ve been given God’s message:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27 KJV)

If we do not, James tells us:

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (James 1:23-24 KJV)

Sunday, May 10, 2009


FUNDAMENTAL -- Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation. Hence: Essential, as an element, principle, or law; important; original; elementary; as, a fundamental truth; a fundamental axiom.

I agree with Websters (and Wiktionary) as to the meaning of this word. Some are turning it into a pejorative when accompanied by the word Christian.

The combination, fundamental Christian, simply means that we (yes – I am one), that we believe the Bible to be the word of God and that it contains the fundamentals of our faith.

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. (Psalms 119:10 KJV)

We believe that In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV), though we may differ in how we think He accomplished the task.

We also believe that He gave us specific commandments, reconfirmed through His son: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

From the first to the last we are told there are rewards – and punishments: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14 KJV)

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14 KJV)

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36 KJV)

Jesus explained the need for a strong foundation:

He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:48-49 KJV)

I am responsible for each word written here – as well as the words of my unbridled tongue. I am responsible for correctly quoting His word and using verses and examples that fit within the context, not as how I wish them to be.

I do wish that everyone I know and love would automatically be on a direct path to heaven, but the Bible tells me this is not so.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (Matthew 7:13 KJV)

That is a fundamental – not all will reach heaven. It is also a fundamental that we must consider “Why?” As Pascal did, we must know that God is, or He is not. To accept that He is, it becomes necessary to learn of Him. To learn the basics, the fundamentals.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


1Ch 1:1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh,
1Ch 1:2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,
1Ch 1:3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,
1Ch 1:4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth

How interesting is that? We’re still in our ‘read through the Bible in a year’ and do an overview of each book in Sunday School. Of course, I hadn’t read ahead, barely keeping up, and find that this week we’re doing Second Kings – and First and Second Chronicles.

They weren’t new to me – I do have some familiarity with all three books, but had looked upon the Chronicles as sort of a second story of the Kings. I had forgotten how genealogical the books were, even though their purpose is stated plainly:

So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression. (1 Chronicles 9:1 KJV)

There were other books written, and known of for a long time, but were not considered scripture to include in the Bible:

Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, (1 Chronicles 29:29 KJV)

There many things to ponder in these genealogical histories. Second Chronicles tells of the kings between David and the Babylonian captivity, ending with Jehoiacan:

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 36:9-10 KJV)

That just piques my curiosity – was that eight year old so much as his father? And why was he made king instead of his older brother – mentioned in the last two verses:

Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 36:11-12 KJV)

Which is why Bible study remains important to me. There is always more to read, more to be discovered, more to be understood.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Day of Prayer

According to Newsweek’s article, no one is happy therefore it must be a good compromise.

On the one hand, Shirley Dobson, as National Day of Prayer Task Force chair indicated disappointment “in the lack of participation by the Obama Administration … we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer.”

From the other side of the coin, “ … Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-Director Annie Laurie Gaylor welcomed Obama's more subdued observance but said she has been shocked by his administration's strong defense of the day in court.”

Frankly, I find the lack of interest by Americans in this National Day of Prayer to speak loudly of their lack of interest in prayer in general. Opponents are expected to use all tools at their disposal. The majority of Americans appear not to be using prayer as a means of change and are depending on their government to do so.

Elijah was not afraid to call upon the name of his God in front of others – and dared his opponents to do the same:

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. (1 Kings 18:24 KJV)

The challenge was accepted:

And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. (1 Kings 18:26 KJV)

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. (1 Kings 18:36-37 KJV)

Is that what we pray? Let it be known this day that thou art God ... and that I am thy servant

Are we His servants? Do we wish that this people may know that thou art the LORD God?

During this day of prayer, didl my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways?

So that God may keep His promise: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

That does not require a proclamation from the president, nor an act of Congress – just the decision within the hearts of each of us.

I pray that you used yesterday’s National Day of Prayer to speak to God.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joy In My World

Something good can happen and the result is happiness. It’s rooted in the very word. We can make ourselves happy; we can get happy, we can feel happy. But that is not true of joy.

Joy is a fruit of the spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22 KJV)

The seeds of this joy come from God and is rooted in our relationship with Him in salvation:

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalms 51:10-12 KJV)

I mentioned my need for an attitude adjustment. The process is laid out for me in this verse. God cleanses my heart and renews the right spirit within me. He is the restorer of my joy.

The greatest joy was given to us in Bethlehem:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10 KJV)

And it remains with us as the Comforter Christ promised:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16 KJV)

Even angels express joy, it is not confined to us here on earth:

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 KJV) Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:10 KJV)

Jesus also said:

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15:11 KJV)

What He spoke to us is life changing – and provides great joy:

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:7-10 KJV)

As John did … these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:4 KJV)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Retread

I'm reposting today. That's unusual, but I need some extra time for an attitude change -- and I do not wish to share my current attitude while I'm in the process of shedding it!

This was originally posted a couple of years ago when I ran across the following quote attributed to John Ruskin:

"What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do."

I wanted to find out more about him before I posted the above and found that someone wrote "John Ruskin was born in London on 8 February 1819. He was one of the greatest figures of the Victorian age, poet, artist, critic, social revolutionary and conservationist." I also found that, as many do, he wavered within his faith, moving through statements of beliefs. What never left him, it is written, "was belief in divine wisdom and a God of peace."

Based on his expressed belief, I can understand the above quote -- we can believe anything in our hearts and God will know it. But what remains with our fellow man is what we do. Our witness is to those who see the consequences of our actions, so we must let them see what is in our heart -- to let them see how we love our God.

Oh, we can be seen as the pharisees were seen by their people -- but what they showed was outward only, not what was in their heart. What they showed was for people to see, not for people to understand the depth of their love for God. Every day we have opportunities to show our God to people we know, and to people we don't know.

At one stop I left another pamphlet, right next to one I had left months ago. The old one was on the table in plain view, a little dog-eared because it had been read. While we were at this place of business (only fifteen minutes) at least ten people came through. How many read the pamphlet? I'll only know when I get to heaven. But when I do, "then shall I know even as also I am known." I Corinthians 13:12b, so my actions here had better speak louder than my thoughts.

John Ruskin has many quotes on one website. I enjoyed them, and hope I learn from this one, too: "Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It is understandable that our Vice President would be concerned about his family’s health. We all are. It is refreshing to have heard his candid remarks as to how he would suggest his family protect themselves from exposure to the new influenza virus.

It is disconcerting to observe how quickly the White House squelched his refreshing candor. It was crushing to watch his forced ride on the train to reinforce the squelch.

It brings “Political Correctness” to an entirely new level.

The disciples faced squelching, too – imprisonment for their ministry:

And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. (Acts 5:18-20 KJV)

And, they did so. Their ‘prison break’ was not the usual run and hide. Instead, they stood outside the temple as instructed. It became more than obvious that the disciples were not concerned about political correctness. It became evident to the court that sentenced them:

Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. (Acts 5:25 KJV)

Easy to find, the disciples were picked up in front of a crowd. Taken into custody calmly, then brought before their judges, who asked:

Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. (Acts 5:28 KJV)

Peter’s answer was so to the point. No condemnation about how Christ’s blood was spilt. No accusations, no defensiveness. Just a simple statement of truth:

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29 KJV)

Peter went on to repeat God’s message. The hearers had but one response:

When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. (Acts 5:33 KJV)

How does mankind respond to God’s biblical truth today? Often, in the same way. Perhaps they could learn from Gamaliel’s counsel:

And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. (Acts 5:38-39 KJV)

Monday, May 4, 2009

If - Then

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; (2 Chronicles 7:13 KJV)

He can, you know, and has done so. Examples abound where God says “If” and explains the “Then”. The next verse in Chronicles, is my favorite and comes with a tremendous promise:

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 KJV)

Such is the gospel message:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (Ephesians 1:7-8 KJV)

This is what Christ sent His followers to do:

And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. (Luke 9:2, 6 KJV)

If the message is received, then …? If it is not?

And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. (Luke 9:4-5 KJV)

Again, when He sent the seventy, the instructions were similar:

And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (Luke 10:6, 10-11 KJV)

If, however, His message is rejected, then shall come a terrible result:

But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. (Luke 10:12 KJV)

Sunday, May 3, 2009


And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men. (2 Samuel 23:15-17 KJV)

Their king longed for something not within his grasp – a king under siege. He longed for drink of water from the city of his birth. These mighty men – the valiant warriors – loved their king above their own lives and brought him water from the well.

He could not drink it. The cost was too high. So, he poured it out – as an offering to the Lord. The gift of the mighty men was fit for an offering, not for a mere man to drink.

Our Lord’s disciples were not mighty men. Nor would they be considered warriors. When He was a captive they not only did not bring Him water, they abandoned him, denied him and hid. When He cried “I thirst”, none but a Roman soldier offered, and that a bitter drink, not the cool soothing waters from the city of his birth.

Yet, which group of men turned the world upside down? The warrior names we know from short stores in the history books of the Bible. The names of the disciples are not only in the New Testament, but in secular histories, religious histories, theological studies and many others. They are quoted, discussed, argued and studied for centuries.

These men followed Christ, and repeated over and over again the word about water:

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (John 4:10-11 KJV)

He gave her the answer as freely as that living water is given:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14 KJV)

Then, that wonderful pronouncement, the outspoken truth of who He is:

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. (John 4:25-26 KJV)


Saturday, May 2, 2009


In the spring, as we’re planting vegetable gardens, I always think about Christ’s parable of the sower:

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:3-9 KJV)

To those who study the Bible, this is one of the better examples of why some reject it. Of course, our understanding is made easier because He gave a full explanation:

The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. (Mark 4:14-20 KJV)

How is your reception of His word? The first on the list is Satan taking away His words. That’s probably the easiest accomplished. He easily changed Eve’s mind with the simple lie that God is jealous of mankind. Afraid that mankind will learn too much. Tells mankind lies: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5 KJV) His biggest lie is that God does not exist.

How about the stony ground? Those seeds that quickly sprouted, began to grow well, but when their roots hit rocks decided to give up instead of seeking deeper soul. Then were offended by His word because they could not retain the faith.

Did they, as well as those among thorns, have the same opportunity as the seed in the good ground? Certainly they couldn’t pick up their roots and move, could they?

Yet – they do. We see plants growing in the most inopportune places, how could they? A tree growing out of what appears to be solid rock. A flower in the most arid dessert. Even salt marshes bring forth fruit.

The roots seek out nourishment, and the plant grows. The same with the word of God as it is sown. Want to grow? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Things About Me

“My things about me.” Just a snippet from my all-time-favorite-move “The Quiet Man,” where Maureen O’Hara said it to John Wayne. I thought about that line as I went through the last couple of weeks trying to have my things within reach so I could make attempts at not being bored.

All of those meaningful things about us – the ones we’ve moved from room to room or house to house – aren’t really ours. They, along with everything else in the world, belong to God. Doesn’t matter whether or not we acknowledge it, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 KJV)

The psalmist said it a bit better: The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalms 24:1 KJV)

The best of life here comes, however, when we do acknowledge God’s sovereignty in our own lives. We become both stewards (As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10 KJV)) of His creation and joint heirs with Christ (And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17 KJV))

Talk about the best of both worlds, as children of God, that is what we’ve chosen. And, as shown above in I Peter 4:10, we are called to minister to each other. No matter what God has in mind for the whole of your life, there is always room to minister to each other.

Check out teaching in Sunday School. Move from singing in the shower to singing in the choir. Lead an AWANA class on Wednesday nights. Drive one of the vans that bring the little children to Jesus’ house. Visit shut-ins, or witness to the unsaved. Accompany a youth group to camp. Join the children at Vacation Bible School. And that’s just the top of the list – there are many more opportunities such as participating in a prayer team, assisting the church library, spending time in the nursery. Yep, the rest of this page could be filled with opportunities within His church.

Here’s your promise of reward:

He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (Matthew 10:40-42 KJV)

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: 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: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:34-40 KJV)