Sunday, February 28, 2010

Firm Foundation

I am sitting comfortably in my den, multiple pages open before me with written news and photo spreads that are all too familiar. The earth beneath our feet is not firm and solid. We’ve been given multiple examples of this fact. This is neither new nor different.

What happens along the coast of South America has literal ripples across the Pacific basin. The greater the happening, the higher the ripples. Saturday, more news was coming through Twittered accounts, Internet phone service and social networking to news services than ever before.

Within a few hours everyone with a television or Internet connectivity had the news. That does make our information age different than before.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6-8 KJV)

All of the above have happened before and most likely will happen again. Whether or not today is the day of our Lord’s return is not known, will not be known.

The 24th chapter has clues, sign, and confirms for us:

So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Matthew 24:33 KJV)

But still, we will not know for certain.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36 KJV)

So, what are we supposed to do about this? Many have destroyed their lives and bent God’s message in attempts to be ready. They forgot to believe God’s word.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:42-44 KJV)

Our concern should be doing God’s work NOW, simply because He has said to do so. Isaiah and Malachi wrote of the prepared way of the Lord. Matthew, Mark and Luke spoke of the man who did prepare the way. Should we do any less than Christ’s cousin John?

He is twice quoted, pointing to Christ:

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29 KJV)

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! (John 1:36 KJV)

As I sit here and write this to an unknown, unnumbered audience, I do the same. And pray that these words might lead someone to do as two disciples then and billions of us later:

And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. (John 1:37 KJV)

Before His return.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: (Hosea 13:2a KJV)

What is it today that we worship? In some instances in today’s world, people still look to craftsmen to create an image of their worshiping focus. Replicas of tribal gods or goddesses are available on shelves to decorate homes. Some are sold as such, others sold as souvenirs of an exotic vacation.

The verse is speaking of specific deities worshipped at the time which Israel took in to replace worshiping the Lord their God. We still do that today – replace worshipping God for something unworthy.

God has lain before us what is due Him:

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, (Deuteronomy 10:12 KJV)

Do we fear Him because of His power, or because of His love? Do we walk in all his way? Love Him? Serve Him?

This is where being a Christian moves beyond the gift of God’s salvation and becomes a life of service to God, with all our heart and with all our soul.

Do we gather with likeminded believers to worship God?

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (Romans 15:5 KJV)

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)

Do we serve Him on what are considered social issues?

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? (Matthew 25:42-44 KJV)

Do we consider lost souls, serving to convert them?

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 KJV)

It’s a matter of understanding what God has in mind for us. His word is available and He’s told us to:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 KJV)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Defined Requirements

Some people make serving God exceptionally difficult. He has made it very simple. The difficult part does come in when we are not close to Him, when we don’t follow what He has shown us.

Very clearly has He laid out what He expects. He has told us what is our duty.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)

He has laid out what is required.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8 KJV)

He has defined all of His commandments.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

There is more, of course, but this is the simplicity of a child, as Christ said we must be to come to Him.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:15 KJV)

We do not do our duty. We do not meet the Lord’s requirement. We cannot keep all of His commandments – not even the two on which hang all the law and the prophets. We cannot earn the right to come to Him.

God knew this from the beginning and planned ahead. He laid out what He was going to do for us – offer mercy through grace.

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, (Acts 15:11a KJV)

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5 KJV)

Paul repeats that, as though we can’t possibly hear it enough, just a few verses later.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

We always come back to faith. That which so many have lost. Without it, we cannot come to God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)

Yet God has given instructions on how to gain faith, to grow faith – and the means to do so.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Closed Doors

It has to be difficult for someone, called of God to His purpose, to find doors closing. One particular situation brought up the thought, but I know of many people who thought they were following God’s will for their lives, only to find doors slammed in their faces.

It’s difficult for the layperson who loves God and is seeking His will, but it is more difficult for a layperson to watch a preacher, a missionary, an evangelist – one who has been dedicated to God for full time Christian service, come to a closed door.

As always, the Bible has examples for us. A good one is Paul. He had completed a missionary journey that was in all accounts successful. Now he was heading out for his second. He had every intention of carrying the gospel to Asia.

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, (Acts 16:6 KJV)

God said “No.” Plans altered.

After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:7 KJV)

God said “No.”

Paul complied. Then the new door opened.

And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. (Acts 16:10 KJV)

Reading from 16:1, watch the pronouns. “he”, “they”, third person designations. Here in verse 16:10, “we” were endeavoring to go into Macedonia. Luke, author of the book of Acts, joins with Paul, going through God’s open door.

I’ve had doors close. I’ve received lay off notices. Beloved Husband and I had to make life-changing decisions when doors have been closed. These are not unique experiences – they occur daily. Let me assure you, it is much easier making decisions with God’s help than to ignore what He plans.

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)

He has a purpose, and He will direct us.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:6 KJV)

That’s a very good verse for memorizing. Nice and short, and full of truth! Yet there are even better ones at the first of the chapter.

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (Proverbs 3:1-2 KJV)

Good advice for his son – better advice for those of us who wish for long life and peace. Open the door to God’s will.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Lord's Day

Yesterday, my first day of training, did not start out well at all. The snow was supposed to go south of us, yet there was more than an inch of the fluffy stuff I had to sweep off my car and the roads were already slushy.

I had awakened with a sore throat, coughing (AGAIN!!) at 4:00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. That did not bode well at all for being awake in the afternoon.

So, I left the house about 7:30 to go 25 miles. Of course, with only a quarter a tank of gas, I planned to stop for fuel (and somebody else’s strong coffee) so I headed out. Let me tell you how grateful I was to God for providing a TXDoT truck on the Farm Road, spreading sand before me! Then at the State Highway, there were no cars coming for a mile in either direction. My confidence grew, and the snow began slowing. This did bode well for the morning.

Stopped for gas, picked up a Vanilla Frappuccino, 13 oz size for long-term caffeine, some cough drops for the throat (and cough) and headed down a clear road without snow. Better and better!

Except – I would arrive almost an hour early, so I pulled in a parking lot and sent off some e-mails and drank most of the coffee. Then started the car.

Well, I tried to start the car, to hear only clicks. A mile from the training, 33 degrees with 15 mph winds – I did not want to walk that mile. My, could I even walk that mile, realizing that every bit of it was up hill.

Thus I abandoned the car, called my son-in-law and left the body in his capable hands (Beloved Husband was in Tulsa celebrating his brother’s birthday, or he would have fixed it.), called my new supervisor and begged a ride. Disturbing the class and arriving late. What an entry!

But – I’ve had some good examples. Moses had to leave Egypt, demoting himself from pharaoh’s palace to a shepherd’s tent. Yet, he accomplished God’s plans.

Or, David, anointed to be king, yet being driven from the palace by his best friend’s father. Yet, he also accomplished God’s plans.

Or Peter, who swore he would never deny his Lord, did so just as predicted. Yet he, too, accomplished God’s plan.

Some don’t.

Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. (Colossians 4:14 KJV)

Paul put Luke and Demas in a similar category – men who journeyed with him to spread the gospel.

For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; (2 Timothy 4:10 KJV)

Daily we must decide whether we love this present world or do we believe what the Bible says:

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24 KJV)

With lack of sleep, scratchy throat, snowy morning, dead car and delays, let me tell you for certain that Tuesday was a day which our Lord did make and I’m still rejoicing over the blessings He provides.

Please join me in praising God for every day we have.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I first read this phrase in a fellow IFB KJV Directory blog. I’ve found it through Google in over 5,000 places on the web, yet have not discovered it’s source.

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."

A truism, no doubt. We do control our own happiness. But I’m going to suggest that we not keep it in our own pockets. Instead, I suggest we turn it, along with everything else, to Jesus Christ.

He keeps His word, as the Psalmist confesses:

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. (Psalms 25:10 KJV)

Aaron and his sons were to say to Israel:

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: (Numbers 6:24 KJV)

Jesus spoke specifically about keeping those who come to Him.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:37-40 KJV)

Nothing I have ever given Him has been lost. Paul knew very well that He was able to keep what Paul gave Him.

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV)

Paul also knew:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 KJV)

The happiness comes when we know our treasures are safe – and we know where they are.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 KJV)

Now, I must admit to lots of happiness here. Family. That is the source of a great deal of happiness and I am so very grateful to God that the majority of my immediate family have chosen Jesus Christ’s promises as theirs. Friends. The same is true.

Yet some have not, and I pray that they, too, will place their happiness, and their lives into the hands of He who created all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Root of Bitterness

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Hebrews 12:13-15 KJV)

Our personal root of bitterness affects many people. Just as a gnarly root, it reaches out to touch everything around us, defiling those nearby.

I just
read of a young mother, rejoicing with her first daughter on the imminent birth of her second. She wrote so well of her labor, complete with photos (women of my age cannot even imagine!), family surrounding her when her baby girl is born, the umbilical cord is clipped and she first looks into the eyes of the child she is to love. And, recognizes the unmistakable features of Down Syndrome.

Should she be bitter toward a deity that would allow this injustice?

How about the high school senior at a fellow student’s party, held in a place designed for teens without alcoholic beverages. Yet in the soda she left alone for a moment, someone slipped a drug that fortunately left her without memory of how she endured the violent bruising and abandonment.

Where does her bitterness lie?

You doubt these? You and I both know of many others among family and friends. What bitterness is held in your own heart? Does it grow? Blooming at odd memories here or there? Does it breed new plants that spring up to trouble you, defile others?

Bitterness can. I can tell you that the young mother wrote of her experience with love and she looks forward to the beauty in her child’s life. I can tell you that the student graduated and moved on the college knowing her future was hers to build upon.

They looked diligently and removed bitterness that would have strangled their hope, their love, their future – and the future of those around them.

Let it rather be healed. That’s what they’ve chosen. The past has not been nor will it ever be undone. But bitterness has no roots.

Well rooted bitterness is hard to pull out. Touching seems to stimulate its growth. Think about it and all the worldly justifications for its existence invade memories.

And make straight paths for your feet. David knew about this.

Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. (Psalms 5:8 KJV)

Isaiah knew of this straight way.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3 KJV)

Matthew, too.

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Matthew 3:3 KJV)

Then, he met Him.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


It is an age old question: “The thing I can’t understand … is that if God was taking care of her, then how and why did this happen in the first place?”

This is a question that plagues people today just as it did millennia ago. In a way, I believe Christ addressed it.

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5 KJV)

Neither those of Galilee nor those of Siloam were better, or worse, than anyone within hearing distance of Christ’s words. It not only rains on the just and unjust (Matthew 5:45), tragedies with grief and exhilarations with joy also are split between the just and the unjust.

Christ explained that, though our errors may bring consequences, we are not punished here for our sins.

And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (John 9:2-3 KJV)

So, why does it appear that God has spared a life? Simply, their time had not come. We each have an ‘expiration’ date. God knows the lifetime of every hair on our heads.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30 KJV)

He knew us before we were formed.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; (Isaiah 44:24a KJV)

And, as Esther, He has plans for each one of us. If we are spared, there may be His work yet to do.

… who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b KJV)

Everything we do should be to glorify God.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV)

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11 KJV)

God saves us, not from everyday life, but to be eternally His.

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Usually around the age of 16, our teens have learned to drive. Most of them upon the bruised egos of their parents. Also usually, they have learned in their parent’s vehicle.

Whether it is a suburban family sedan or our country pickup trucks, the pedals are in basically the same place. That makes it fairly simple to transfer the driver’s knowledge from one vehicle to another.

Most of the time.

Recently, I drove my husband’s pickup truck. The pedals were in the same place as in my Cruiser, but the gearshift, windshield wipers, lights, etc. were not. As the rain started, my attention was diverted to finding the wipers.

This same distraction is covered in a recent
MSNBC article. Confusion combined with unexpected acceleration becomes a lethal combination.

I believe the same is true when someone determines that “You are really saved, if …” and then adds something more than is laid out in the Bible.

Paul, a stickler for detail, gave a simple answer to a complex question.

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31 KJV)

Jesus was just as concise in His answer.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Just as it took thousands of years to reach the completion of God’s plan of salvation, there are many complex issues involved in living within God’s will. We’ve been given a manual with answers for those questions. Our problems ensue when we add to those biblical answers.

“Yes, we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, by God’s grace. But if you’re really saved you’ll …” What? Through which hoop must one jump to be considered saved?

It is important to consider, for we are witnesses for Christ. Our testimony must be biblically factual. To do so, Bible study is necessary. We must always be beam inspectors before inspecting motes:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. (Luke 6:41-42 KJV)

Just remember: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Surprise Her!!!

If you have access to e-mail and you have more than ten friend’s names and addresses in your e-mail, you most likely have seen the mail making the rounds about Kathy Griffin.

It is about remarks she made during the 2007 (not the most recent) Emmy Awards program. The remarks were removed by E! network prior to broadcast, but they made the news then and the e-mail (as do all forwarded items) has taken on a life of its own and continues to show up years later.

I will not repeat her remarks – they were made by a non-believer and were both derogatory and took the Lord’s name in vain. I dislike giving her or her remarks any more attention than they deserve.

What does deserve attention is a response sent by a Christian gentleman after he received the e-mail and a follow-up e-mail with another’s response. Here is his:

“I have heard her and think she is rather caustic and offensive, but I would have to say that I agree ... Why should we expect anything less from a non-believer? The thing that will draw her to Christ is not our outrage and judgment, but our love for her in spite of her hatefulness. The kind of love that Jesus showed when he came to die for me when I was in the midst of my sin and hatred. May we be challenged to love the unlovely, and pray for those who are far from Christ. How can we, who have been forgiven so much, do any less?

“God, would you surprise Kathy Griffin with a love that she has never seen before – your love? Would you draw her to yourself by your grace, and would you allow us to be a part of that process by the way we care for her (and the other Kathys out there)? For your glory. Amen”

What a beautiful prayer!! I join him in praying that God surprise her and all other unbelievers with His love.

Yes, we are not to be yoked with unbelievers. We are to be a people apart. But we are also teachers, exhorters, and disciples.

We cannot walk up to everyone’s door and knock, but He can. We cannot witness to everyone, but He can see that the right person does.

We can join in prayer for God’s will to be done.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45 KJV)

While we should discerning, we need to understand that God is not willing that any should perish.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 KJV)

We know that He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12 KJV)

We should want that life for everyone.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I once heard a motivational speaker give an illustration. It’s been at least twenty years ago and I regrettably cannot remember her name.

The gist of the illustration was that she missed an appointment to interview a hugely successful businessman. A variety of interferences delay her and she knew he would not wait past the appointed time. “I’ll be fired,” she thought. Then she thought about what would be worse than being fired. As she drove up, the limousine was pulling away. She called out, “My family is fine!”

What is the worst thing that can happen to you?

Being fired is not it. People are let go every day – many more over the last few months than have been in many years. Yet they continue day by day to work to improve their situation.

Loss of a spouse isn’t either. It is painful, whether through death or divorce, to have part of one’s life ripped irreparably away. There is no recovery from such, only a moving forward. Some cannot, others find completeness while building a new relationship, a different future.

Loss of a child, as painful as that is, is not it. No, I have not experienced that – but I know people who have. They miss that child for the rest of their lives, but they continue forward. Often the loss of a child breaks a marriage into pieces. Yet, even then, the ex-spouses move on with their lives, often building new marriages, new families.

All of the above are treasures we have here. And they hold our hearts.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21 KJV)

Yes, our greatest treasure is in Jesus Christ. Why not give Him our lives, our spouses, our children, laying these treasures up with Him in heaven?

Doing so allows us, as women, to be in compliance with God’s plan, submissive to our husbands:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Ephesians 5:22-23 KJV)

This allows our husbands to treat us as Christ treats His church. They will hear Him as He tells them:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)

This is laid out for us all.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:33 KJV)

Then, the children.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. (Colossians 3:20-21 KJV)

Place them in God’s hand, knowing that He is able.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 KJV)

(King Tut's treasures - source not cited)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Jesus spoke with His disciples about mustard seeds a couple of times. I used to have one in a glass globe on a bracelet as a reminder of the potential in the smallest of faith.

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6 KJV)

I’ve been thinking about potential.

I was looking at apple seeds -- odd looking, elongated and varied in size. Their fruit is good to eat and nutritious, though eaten in large quantity, apple seeds themselves are poisonous. Yet singly, each seed has the potential to repopulate the species across our planet. That's what caught my attention -- potential.

Of course, that's true of any seed, but the apple reminds me more of humans than most others. Their fruit can be pleasantly sweet, or pungently sour; suitable for snacking or better for baking. Whole apples can be stored for months, dried sections keep for a year. Apples are nutritious; they can be eaten raw or cooked; baked whole or made into apple butter; juiced to drink or made into jellies.

We enjoy the trees for the beauty of their flowering, their fruit and for shade. We would miss them if they all suddenly vanished. If there was one remaining seed, it would have the potential to provide new trees, new fruit, then new seeds to plant even more. John Chapman took this to heart and became the American legend Johnny Appleseed.

But, most tree seeds do not produce a plant resembling the parent. Grafting is necessary. When you purchase an apple tree from a nursery, you'll find a grafting scar, Just as Romans 11 speaks of branches “graffed” onto the tree, necessary to provide the right fruit.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. (Romans 11:22-23 KJV)

These examples show us potential – the potential of providing a strong plant with good fruit and spreading it around the world.

We must look at our own potential. Are we capable of producing good fruit? Could we repopulate the gospel over the entire earth?

How prepared are we to fulfill this potential? If we had to, how much of the Bible could we reproduce? Can we name each of the books? How many verses are memorized? Do we know the Roman Road?

How many references do we know to support our doctrinal beliefs? Do we speak of these outside our church? Do we study to learn more? To share more?

Take a serious look at potential – of service to our Lord, of supporting salvation for others. Grow that potential, with the strength and support of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5 KJV)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Harvard vs Religion

My goodness! Harvard can’t cope with religion. Not my statement, it comes from a Newsweek article. Let me quote:

"But in practice, the Harvard faculty cannot cope with religion." I find this odd for a university named for a clergyman, begun as “a training ground for Christian ministers,” whose motto is Christo et Ecclesiae ("for Christ and the church") and whose seal states Veritas (truth).

The article states that Harvard knows the importance of religion. That understanding today’s world holds conflicts that are defined by deeply held religious beliefs.

“The conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians; between Christians, Muslims, and animists in Africa; between religious conservatives and progressives at home over abortion and gay marriage—all these relate, if indirectly, to what rival groups believe about God and scripture. Any resolution of these conflicts will have to come from people who understand how religious belief and practice influence our world: why, in particular, believers see some things as worth fighting and dying for.”

What do we believe that is worth fighting for? Worth dying for?

Some of the Harvard professors hold strong beliefs:

“Steven Pinker, the evolutionary psychologist, led the case against a religion requirement. He argued that the primary goal of a Harvard education is the pursuit of truth through rational inquiry, and that religion has no place in that.”

The pursuit of truth holds no place for religion. That is what Harvard is teaching.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 KJV)

Christ was speaking of freeing us from the burden of sin, but the truth inevitably sets us free in so many ways.

My favorite example, Bereans, used scriptures in pursuit of truth.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, 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)

If I state that Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the scriptures should be searched to determine whether or not that is possible. If the possibility exists, further research should be done in pursuit of truth.

An Ethiopian did so while traveling in a chariot across a desert (Acts 8:26+). He recognized that the scripture he was reading promised a savior. God provided an explanation. I believe He will provide an explanation for everyone who seeks Him. He was speaking to Israel when He inspired:

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV)

Will we become more as Harvard is, denying, refusing to discuss beliefs strong enough to die for? Or do we not hold such beliefs? Will we grow as far from God as this university for Christian ministers?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents Day

In 1880 the United States Congress set a federal holiday for government offices in the District of Columbia, calling it Washington’s Birthday. Of all things, it was celebrated on Washington’s birthday, February 22.

In 1971 Congress shuffled dates by creating the Uniform Monday Holiday Act – giving support to the long desired three-day work weekends. It was still called Washington’s Birthday, though.

The term Presidents Day came in the 1980’s. February 12, Lincoln’s birthday, was never a holiday but many people recognized him as a great president. With Lincoln’s and Washington’s actual birthdays and the Federal Holiday, too much was going on in February. Thus, Presidents Day. How many of today’s students think of Washington and Lincoln as special presidents?

So, Monday, February 15, 2010, what are we celebrating? Presidents past? Present? Future?

Again, I am reminded of how we see the Bible. Many believe it is as changeable as a holiday to fit today’s society. The creation story is seen as a simple allegory, not an inspired description of God’s actions. Christ’s birth becomes simply Winter Holidays, to be recognized with other religions and cultures.

Laws? Civil disobedience changes man’s laws, God’s mostly ignored. They either fluctuate or were negated by Christ’s appearance. When asked about what Christ taught, Matthew 25:34-46 is the center encircled by John 3:16-17, without including John 3:15, 18-19 or Matthew 25:30.

Paul gives a list of things that work to separate us from Christ, and fail to do so, if we remain faithful.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)

How do we remain faithful?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

Is this faith necessary? Only if we desire salvation; only if we desire God’s grace.

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

This does not change. No whim of mankind wipes out a portion of God’s word that does not fit into a person’s lifestyle.

Christ fulfilled much in the way of prophecy, law and sacrifice. Obedience to God’s will changes not.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:18-19 KJV)

So, celebrate Presidents Day with a bit of history, and a bit of Bible study. The Bible tudy will bless your day.

(Photo cropped from Mount Rushmore National Monument website)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gideon and Wool

Gideon’s story has many facets that I find interesting. First he tried to talk God out of choosing him.

And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. (Judges 6:15 KJV)

Just as He chose David, the least of his father’s sons, He chose Gideon.

Second, Gideon followed God’s instructions – but not openly in the daylight, nor alone, but trying not to be noticed:

Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. (Judges 6:27 KJV)

He tested God, and God responded. Not just once, he did it again.

Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (Judges 6:37-40 KJV)

God tested Gideon, too. God wanted both Israel and the Midianites that the battle’s outcome was in His hands.

And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. (Judges 7:2 KJV)

Three hundred men were chosen – the others went home. God completed His plan to save Israel and let the people know He was the salvation.

How often do we live as Gideon? When have we turned down God’s ministries saying, “Oh, no, I couldn’t possibly. Get someone who is qualified.” Instead, we should allow God to qualify us.

How often do we test God? “If God will do [thus] I will do [so.]” Why isn’t it easy just to say, “Yes, I’ll do it.”

Finally, how often do we give God the credit? That is His glory – to give Him credit for what is accomplished. Instead, we pray, God responds – and we go about our business as usual, forgetting to thank Him.

Instead, we forget – just as Israel forgot Gideon, and His Lord, their God.

And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel. (Judges 8:34-35 KJV)

I call upon us all – remember, and thank God.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Decisions, Decisions, again

A seventh-grader who visited our Sunday School class said it was a dare. We were dared as children, too. “Betcha can’t …” jump that fence; climb that tree, swing that high? What were the dares we faced as young teens. The dare to her was to have sex. Her baby was due in January.

How can we tell which decisions will be life altering? Hindsight is good. We can look back and say “Wow, when I did that it changed everything!” Doesn’t help in making a decision today, though.

Marriage, career, home – life altering decisions. Too often we don’t research or plan for them. People marry with the idea that if it doesn’t work, they’ll split, if they marry at all. Careers are based on what jobs are open when one is looking. Homes are based on what is desired instead of what can be paid for. Life altering decisions, made on a single day’s values.

Isaac’s sons provide such an example. As the first-born, Esau was in line to inherit. He had the birth right to his father’s material goods, and was his father’s favorite.

And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25:28 KJV)

Always a problem in families, this making of favorites. Jacob wanted what Esau had, and found a way to achieve it. Esau made a decision based on momentary hunger that changed lives forever.

And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:31-34 KJV)

Do any of our decisions appear as foolish? Are we living today with decisions made earlier that we thought were unimportant? Ones that had consequences we really knew, but ignored?

Are we as spiritually shortsighted? Do we ignore eternal implications for pleasures that last a short time? Are our decisions based on self and now rather than God and eternity? Which decision would you rather live with ten years down the road?

Instant gratification has become the order of the day. “If it feels good, do it” has been shortened to “Just do it.”

Consider just one regretted decision for a moment. Was it based on an immediate want? How would you change it now?

Regrettably, we don’t get ‘do overs’ that clears consequences they way God clears our sins. We must live through the consequences of decisions based on temporal desires. Some of those consequences are long term. Satan can work with them to keep us separated from God if we allow him to do so.

That decision is up to us. Accept God’s cleansing of our sins. We all have them, you know.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 KJV)

For we have heard the truth.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:17 KJV)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Saith The Lord

Do you doubt that it is God’s Word? It took more than two thousand years to be written, and in that written form has held together for longer than two thousand more.

From Genesis through Revelation there is one single phrase that ties all of this together. In 815 verses we find “saith the Lord.” The first comes with Abraham and Isaac.

And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: (Genesis 22:16 KJV)

Moses spoke the words to Pharaoh. Joshua spoke the words to Israel. Again and again the words spoken and written. Through the books of the kings, the histories, the prophecies, into the epistles of Christ’s disciples. Jeremiah and Ezekiel have more than any other books. Some books do not contain the phrase, yet they carry the same message.

In the final book, He tells us again who He is.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8 KJV)

The phrase is used in the New Testament mostly in citing verses from the Old. It comes to mind that Jesus had no reason to use the phrase. When He spoke, it was the Lord speaking!

When He said: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV), He means it.

Faith is important throughout the Bible. We should be able to respond as the blind men did to Jesus’ question.

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. (Matthew 9:28 KJV)

Do we believe that He is able? God’s ability is on display throughout the Bible. My favorite promise is:

… lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20b KJV)

However, that verse is out of context and is incomplete without the first part:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, (Matthew 28:20a KJV)

Even the whole verse is split off – incomplete without the previous verses.

And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:17-19 KJV)

Doubt crops up often. Don’t give it a home. Build faith on God’s fulfilled promises in His word.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Prodigal's Mother

My blogger friend, Glenys, often has essays that touch my heart. This one certainly did. The poem is about the mother of a prodigal son. The biblical prodigal son’s mother isn’t even mentioned. She wasn’t a part of the parable, but he was born to a woman and such mothers exist today.

When their child is separated from the family, whether it is the heavenly family or from the earthly family, too, moms are in pain.

Of course, all mothers experience pain for their children. In so many ways they do not understand the child. Mary experienced that early.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19 KJV)

There was a lot to think about over that past year. Betrothal, an angel, Joseph, Elizabeth, travel, Bethlehem, shepherds, with more to come. Lots of things to ponder, and this was truly a child of God. Everyday ordinary mothers ponder over their sleeping children still today, with much less fanfare, much less surety for the future.

She and Joseph raised Him right.

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. (Luke 2:40-42 KJV)

I wonder who kept Him those years before He was twelve. Who did Mary trust with her child? She trusted Him enough not to watch Him every moment, which can bring fear.

But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. (Luke 2:44-46 KJV)

She trusted Him later in life, too.

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. (John 2:3 KJV)

A faithful son, He took care of her request. And there never was a doubt about His relationship to our heavenly Father.

But what about mothers of the prodigals? These women who pray without ceasing. Who bend their knees before God and pray for their children:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19 KJV)

Won’t you pray with her? Move her from her knees to leaping with joy and headed for the kitchen to prepare that fatted calf?

(Wikipedia Commons: The Return of the Prodigal Son (1886-94)
from the series The Life of Christ by James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Our refrigerator has water and ice dispensers in the door, but don’t try to use them without asking. I’ll tell you that the water doesn’t work, and I’ll tell you whether Beloved Husband has put ice in the holder. Neither work automatically. Same with our friend’s refrigerator. The water dispenses, but not the ice.

My son-in-law was without the use of his vehicle for a few days. The water pump wasn’t working. He used his wife’s car to go to and from work; she used ours when she needed to run an errand. It helps to have a spare available.

Same with a spare tire – very handy to have on hand when a tire fails. Blowout, slow leak, worn treads. Somewhere along the line, replacement is necessary.

Another replacement for us recently was a hot water heater. Ours ceased providing hot water on a consistent basis – sometimes hot, sometimes not. The last straw was when we were faced with hot wiring and a small flashing fire.

All of the above failed. They ceased to faithfully function properly. None of them made that decision, it was simply a mechanical failure of a manufactured item. None of them decided it was too hard to do nor did they have something else to do.

So why, then, are people no more faithful than these goods? Why is it they can explain away not attending services at the church that accepted their membership request.

Each of them walked down the aisle, took a welcoming hand and requested membership in the church to which they belong. The phrase that comes to mind is they attend enough to show interest, but not enough to get involved.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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 10:24-25 KJV)

We need to know our fellow worshippers in order to provoke love and good works. That’s something that cannot be done at a distance.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20 KJV)

While we do have the Holy Spirit with us at all times, all places, there is a special promise for when we gather in His name. Neglect the gathering? For what reasons?

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

The disciples went daily to the temple, daily taught and preached Christ, but they also met on the first day of the week. Would we have stayed through Paul’s sermon?

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7 KJV)

If so, why can’t we spend an hour in church on Sunday morning? Return for another hour on Sunday night? Why aren’t we interested in Wednesday teaching and prayer services?

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10 KJV)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just and Unjust

We were on our way home from a June vacation in Colorado, moving through the center of the Texas panhandle. The skies were partly cloudy when I saw the rain ahead of us. Past what you see in the photo, the shower stopped as quickly as it started. The first verse that came to mind was:

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45 KJV)

Not that I knew of either person under that short shower. In fact, that land might not have held a structure of any kind. Neighbors there were scarce.

Jesus’ words were part of the Sermon on the Mount. People often think of this sermon being given to the multitude, sitting on the side of a mountain, with Jesus above them on a hillside. I ask you to again look at the first few verses. In fact, pick up the last verse of the previous chapter, too:

And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, (Matthew 4:25 - 5:2 KJV)

What I envision is Jesus going up into a mountain and his disciples came. Not the multitudes. It is to those called to His service that hear how followers should live.

After the “Be Attitudes”, visions of salt, light and explanation of the law, He speaks of our enemies, defining their treatment.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:43-44 KJV)

Peter carried the message away with him that day and wrote of it later.

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9 KJV)

Do we? The way to be certain is to place that person on a prayer list. If there is someone specifically identifiable as an enemy, that harbors hate, Christ Himself requires that we pray for them.

What would that prayer be? Vengeance? Nope, that belongs to the Lord. The simplest is to pray that God will hold them in His hand. That God’s will be done in their lives. That God will soften their hearts and they will come to know His love.

What better way for a person to change? What a blessed way for us to have a part in that change.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Many diseases display physical symptoms. Some symptoms appear to be more than one disease. Beloved Husband’s hands were obviously shaking as though he were losing muscular control. The first thought was that this was a symptom of Parkinson’s, a progressive disease.

Instead of worrying about was it was and what would come next, a trip to Dr. Mac got us an appointment with a gentleman who appeared to be Marcus Welby. Honestly! For those of you too young to recognize the name, sorry. Tall, slender, tailor-fitted suited, a sculptured head of white hair, a demeanor designed to acknowledge ability and provide assurance.

A few tests and a diagnosis that has proven true – BET (Benign Essential Tremors.) There is no cure, but the progression is very slow and there is medication that helps.

There are symptoms displayed in other things that require attention. A leaking faucet let’s us know attention is required. The scratch of metal-to-metal bears investigation. A fragrance of heated wiring sends us looking for the source. These are all symptoms.

Paul describes a symptom in his epistle.

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6 KJV)

He’s not talking about the unsaved. He’s not talking about a family member. He’s talking about the Christian sitting in the pew at church.

Disorderly covers a multitude of possibilities.

Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary states these disorderly brethren do not “ ,,, govern themselves according to the rules of Christianity, nor agreeably to their profession of religion; not according to the precepts delivered by the apostle, which they had received, and pretended to pay a regard to. Note, It is required of those who have received the gospel, and who profess a subjection to it, that they live according to the gospel. If they do not, they are to be counted disorderly persons.”

The sad thing is that this has applied to my own life. There have been times I did not live according to the gospel. I did not attend church regularly. I did not speak of my faith to others. Both of those are expected of Christians. I lied. That is not expected of Christians, no matter how “white” the lie might have been. Revelation 21:8 does not omit the white lies of convenience.

These disorderly people also are described in another verse.

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. (2 Thessalonians 3:11 KJV)

That’s not confined to ladies, dear gentlemen. And there are remedies when the diagnosis is confirmed.

And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 KJV)

Don’t ignore the disorderly – even within ourselves. Take time to study this third chapter with some commentaries, while looking into our own eyes before removing motes from others.

"A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination".)

Sunday, February 7, 2010


If you’ve been visiting here for even a few times, you’ve found quite a few Bible verses. I truly love God’s word. Both of them – the Word as described in John 1:1 and His word as given to us in the Holy Bible. But how do we really apply these verses – and Christ – in our daily lives? So I decided to take a look at what the Bible has to say about daily. The first time I found the word it related to Israelites in Egypt working without straw:

And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw. (Exodus 5:13 KJV)

I was struck by Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, even though the material to do so was not available.

Can we do this each day in our own lives? Does God expect us to continue fulfilling our own work day by day when supplies are lacking? Some of the other ‘daily’ verses come to mind as to how we should accomplish our daily tasks.

Praising God for each and every day in our lives, no matter what it brings is a great start.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (Psalms 68:19 KJV)

Ask for His mercy and learn from those who asked for and received it.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Psalms 86:3-4 KJV)

Christ gave us the prayer to take care of our daily needs,

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11 KJV)

And, He gave us the example of daily carrying burdens.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23 KJV)

Each day, He taught in His Father’s house.

And he taught daily in the temple. (Luke 19:47a KJV)

His followers took this example to heart, being in His Father’s house daily (not just on Sunday mornings, thank you!)

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

And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. (Acts 16:5 KJV)

As His words and works were received, they were studied daily.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, 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)

So I read my Bible with daily prayer, I attend services supporting my church, speak of His love and publish in accordance with His word, then go about fulfilling my daily tasks.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13 KJV)

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Do you know anyone who is hard hearted? How about someone soft hearted? I venture to say that you can point to both – and in some ways, it could be the same person.

God was speaking to His chosen people through Ezekiel when He said:

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20 KJV)

It was important enough to repeat:

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:25-27 KJV)

God spoke through Paul on this same subject:

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3:3 KJV)

One of our church teachers gave Jesus’ example of the Parable of the Sower, likening the ground to our hearts. Stony ground equaled the hardened hearts that are easily offended by the word of God. Their hearts have built up a selfishly protective shield. The word is heard, received with joy but when it comes to giving up their selfishness, their heart hardens further.

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:20-21 KJV)

It’s the soft heart, prepared to serve others, which brings forth fruit.

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23 KJV)

Our hearts are very important to the Lord.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21 KJV)

I want mine to be with Him. I know that all the stony pieces must be gone in order for Him to mold me to His will. Just as the potter forming clay is impeded by any stony particles, the pieces of selfishness remaining in my heart must be removed.

I am so grateful to God that I do not have to remove them myself. He is capable of providing the cleansing.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10 KJV)

(Today's graphic is detail from an internet background, edited, cropped and color enhanced.)

Friday, February 5, 2010


(Triangle of Love (TM) see end of post)

My husband’s birth parents, through a series of circumstances, eventually relinquished their parental rights. He and a brother were adopted, becoming part of a completely different family.

Adam and Eve accomplished a similar severing with their Father, terminating their rights to live God’s original plan, creating enmity instead.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15 KJV)

Christ changed that. Only in the New Testament do we find adoption, and find it to the highest order.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 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: (Romans 8:14-16 KJV)

That never ceases to amaze me. God as our Father, by His choice, in His time.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 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 4:4-7 KJV)

God planned, ordained and predestined this adoption process from the beginning.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4 KJV)

Before the foundation of the world, He planned the adoption process.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:4-7 KJV)

So, what do we get from this adoption?

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)

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7 KJV)

A note on the Triangle of Love (TM)

I found the above symbol first as a tattoo.
Searching for why it was a symbol of adoption, I found this graphic on the blog of an adoptive Mom. I also discovered that it was the Trade Mark for The Gladney Center for Adoption.
"Triangle of Love jewelry is a touching symbol of adoption. A triangle intertwined with a heart symbolizes the birth family, the child, and the adoptive family joined together by love, as equal partners in the adoption experience. " Their jewelry selection is available online.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


When the world is telling us there is nothing good, when it says things are falling apart, it’s time to spent a bit of reading and prayer in Psalms.

From the first we’re told to meditate on the Lord’s law.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2 KJV)

Not on His promises, not on what He can do for us, but meditate on what He expects from us. Give Him what is due.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. (Psalms 96:8 KJV)

Come to Him rejoicing.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice (Psalms 96:11-12 KJV)

We are expected to give thanks in all things as we praise Him.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalms 100:3-4 KJV)


That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. (Psalms 26:7 KJV)

His works truly are wondrous.

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. (Psalms 75:1 KJV)

We hear why God leads us.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. (Psalms 23:3 KJV)

Not for our sake, for we have sinned against Him. His love for us is for His sake.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD. (Psalms 25:7 KJV)

What better reason to follow Him could there be?

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. (Psalms 31:3 KJV)

(The photo was forwarded in an unattributed e-mail. Awesome shot!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Praying and Waiting

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8:24 KJV)

One of the things we Christians hope for is answered prayer. Even when it appears to be overwhelming for us, we pray. And, we wait.

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Romans 8:25 KJV)

We’ve had good teachers when it comes to prayer. The Bible has example after example of people who sought their Lord for specific prayers. There are similarities in them – acknowledgement of God’s ability, our lack, our need and the bending to His will with thanksgiving. Even when we do not know what to ask, how to ask or when we are afraid to ask, He tells us to ask for anything (Philippians 4:6 KJV)

When we do, we have incomparable help:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26 KJV)

We have an unmatched intercessor. God Himself, as only the Comforter could, maketh intercession for us. The Creator who so loved us that He gave His Son (John 3:16 KJV) provides the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7 KJV). He knows what we need to accomplish His will, and He provides it to us.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27 KJV)

Before we see God’s answer, we have faith that the outcome will be within His will for our lives, for that is part of our petition. There are conditions on things working together for good:

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)

So, we pray and we wait, knowing that once we have come to the realization that:

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 KJV)

We can also:

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