Wednesday, November 30, 2011



“Feely blanket.”  That’s what my folks called them.  Mom told me that my very first baby blanket had a satin trim and I would rub the smooth satin between my fingers.  I have no idea how old I was when that smooth satin brought me comfort, but I do remember more recent times when that satin smoothness felt comfortable.  Didn’t need to be a blanket, either. Coat linings have elicited a similar comfort.

This was brought to mind last night because of one on the guest bed. A childhood comfort, returning at a time comfort is a blessing.  Didn't even realize that the blanket had a satin edge, but I found my fingers feeling that satin edge as I prayed.

God's word provides comfort. When we read it, we see people who have been in situations similar to ours.  When we pray, we do get direction to even more comforting scriptures and know that God hears our prayers. Though ‘comforted’ is not used in the Old Testament often as applying to God, Isaiah did use it:

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. [Isaiah 49:13 KJV]

The people didn’t believe him, though:

But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. [Isaiah 49:14 KJV]

Today we have a Comforter with us always:

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]

Although I desperately wanted to believe it was God’s will that my Beloved Husband survive this myasthenic crisis, I know there will come a time when he will leave me and go home to be with our Lord.  It may not occur until after I make my own trip home.  Thus, I know not what I should pray for.  My constant prayer should be – and is -- “Thy will be done,” and leave the outcome in God’s hand. Yet I found myself saying, “Please, please, please,” that we would go home to our house in Paradise, Texas-style, instead of His Paradise, this time.  It’s human to do so.  Praise God, that He knows that.

Yes, we would love to bypass the physical pain, but neither one of us is afraid of death.  We believe God is capable of providing all He has promised.  We believe He is just to a point that mankind does not understand, for our judgments are conceived with prejudices that brush our entire lives. His are not.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. [Psalms 19:7-10 KJV]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Celebration!

I’m shouting to all who have followed my Beloved Husband’s myasthenic crisis – he is able to leave the hospital!!  We’ll find out when sometime today.  I’m using the phone, the blogs and Facebook to reach those who prayed for him.  Even though this verse was written with a different meaning, it comes to mind – I want everyone to hear our personal good news, just as Paul wanted everyone to hear the gospel:

But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Romans 10:18 KJV)

Paul wanted people to know that he had lived through a life-changing encounter with Jesus.  In describing the gospel and those who had followed Jesus through His ministry, Paul included himself:

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. (1 Corinthians 15:8 KJV)

We haven’t seen Jesus, not in person as those listed in the verses preceding this one, but we have seen life-changing events in those who love and serve Him.  In the lives of those who call Him Lord, accepting God’s unexplainable gift of eternal life.

You’ll hear them praise His name for answered prayers, for the mercy He offers, for the peace He brings.  They’ll speak of the changes in their lives, the paths He has placed before them.  You’ll hear how He led them – you may even hear of how they misapplied His teachings, of the thorns along the way in the paths they chose to follow without Him.

There are Bible stories that match these life-changing events. They exist as guides for us, covering the beginnings of many into written histories of God’s creation.  Study them that we need not be ashamed workmen, but rightly divide His word of truth.

Through it all, especially on days as the one we expect – the good news of one coming home from a hospital stay filled with crisis.  However, please know that if the outcome were different, if the crisis had not been averted by medical professionals, our family’s message would remain:

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalms 148:13 KJV)

Should there by any glory in all the people praying and their prayers, the Bible has a comment on that, too:

But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (2 Corinthians 10:17 KJV)


Monday, November 28, 2011

In The Center?

Sunday night we had a ‘visiting’ preacher – from New Jersey.  You’ll have to admit, that’s not in the middle of the Bible belt and is not known for being a hot bed of Baptists.  But – there he was.  His daughter met a young man in Bible College, who happened to be from our church.  He sent his son with her to visit said young man’s family – he immediately gave up overseeing his sister’s trip when he met a young woman, in a different Bible College, but also in our church.

Thanksgiving he came with his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and grandson to visit his daughter and son-in-law here.  Both son and son-in-law are pastors, too. Tonight we had at least five active or retired preachers in our congregation.  After evening services there were some great photo ops with young people who grew up in our church, babies, new friends, family and extended church family.

And, we heard a very good sermon on being in the center of God’s will.

Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 42:5-6 KJV)

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  A group of people seeking God’s will and promising to obey.  Heard that same song and dance myself.  Actually, I’ve done it myself.  Preacher mentioned those of us who seek counsel for a decision, and continue to seek – until we find someone who agrees with what we were thinking any way.

Doing it our way is just soooo much better, isn’t it?

Well, keep in mind what happened to this group who came to God’s spokesman for advice, dissembling in their hearts, knowing if the answer was not what they wanted, they would do as they pleased:

Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn. (Jeremiah 42:22 KJV)

Both the preacher and our Pastor gave a couple of examples that will remain in our minds.  We know the easy part of staying in God’s will – follow his commandments.  We’re not very good at that part either, are we?

What then should we do?  How about simply reading His word, learn His ways, follow the successful examples in His word (there are some there to learn how NOT to be, remember) and speak with Him in prayer.

Let me tell you – knowing the prayers said for us since Thanksgiving has been a tremendous blessing.  Crises occur in every life.  We were blessed with a number of people who were in the right place at the right time to provide exactly what my Beloved Husband needed.  I put that in the column “Answered Prayer.”  For your prayers, I give thanks to Him for knowing you and pray that you will come to know Him even better than I do.  May he bless you, every one!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

If I had more time I would have photographed Beloved Husband’s eagle collection.  Well, at least a part of it. There are small toy eagles and large cast porcelain, with several varieties in between.  He’s admired them and added to his collection over the years until we have a display cabinet filled and running over.

As he is in NICU surrounded by tubing, machines, constant beeps and hums, we wanted to put something up to make it more ‘at home’ for him.  Putting up a few scriptures was one of the decisions, and this is his favorite verse.  I found the graphic on Wikipedia Commons, and thought it was very appropriate!

His strength is limited, and only time will tell how much will be returned over the next few days, or weeks.  But – and this is a huge deal for us – his spirit is great!  His sense of humor is evident when he cracks a joke with friends and family filling the room.  Thank God that the neurological ICU allows family members to be with patients.  His breathing crisis was serious enough to require an air flite from our local hospital to the metroplex.  Fortunately, his neurologist is one of the best in the state.

Now, some people would focus on the gravity of the disease, wondering why God would afflict anyone with such a dreadful death sentence.  Frankly, human life is terminal.  We all will face it, and it will never be easy when it is someone we love. It’s hard, too, when it’s ourselves.

Friday he fought to tell me he knew he was dying. He wanted me to know he wasn’t afraid to die, but suffocating terrified him, and he panicked. That is more than understandable. Yet, he was able to tell me that he was not afraid of dying, not afraid of facing the Lord, of joining Him in heaven. By the grace of God and the hard work of many professionals, he remains with us! There is more to come. More verses, too.

You see, he has other favorite, very important verses that will also go up on the NICU wall:

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. …  Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work. (Psalms 62:1-12 KJV)

My Beloved Husband has faced his mortality. He is ready to be judged according to his work.

So should we all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Last week, Channel 11 news had a story, “Experts: Don’t Assume Everyone Can Speak Christianese.” At least the newscast did say that the terms questioned were biblically based.  Such as:

Washed in the blood of the Lamb. That’s from John’s Revelation:

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14 KJV)

The Lamb referenced is Jesus. My favorite reference – think of the Behold as being strong, loud and John’s arm pointed 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)

Born again.  Yep – third chapter of John covers that very well in Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus.  I don’t understand why anyone would find that questionable, if they read this one verse:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV)

Peter backed it up later in a letter:

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23 KJV)

Blessed. That should be easy.  Bless or Blessed is used 96 times in 91 verses in the King James New Testament, and the dictionary tells us it comes from a Germanic root “to sprinkle, mark or hallow with blood”, and is defined now as: Having divine aid or protection; held in veneration, revered; worth of worship; holy. I like what David wrote:

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (Psalms 103:1 KJV)

Like Jabez, I call upon the Lord for His blessings, and believe I have received many:

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:10 KJV)

Other words apply to a biblical concept, but the word itself it not found in the Bible.  Rapture and Trinity, for example.  Knowing what is and isn’t in the Bible is very important.  It used to be easier.  A CNN article quoted: 
“If you quoted the Bible and got it wrong then, people were more likely to notice because there was only one text,” he says. “Today, so many different translations are used that almost no one can tell for sure if something supposedly from the Bible is being quoted accurately or not.”
That’s why I always ask that you pick up your Bible and verify what I write here.  As you can see, I prefer the King James Version, the one I memorized from as a child.

Today’s multiplicity of versions tout that they are easy to read.  Do the editors/translators believe that we’ve been dumbed down so much in the last generation that what I understood as a child cannot be understood today?  I would hope my readers retain sufficient intellectual skills that every one of the above verses can be understood here – and when read in the Bible, in context, too. 

If not, please – let me know.

Friday, November 25, 2011

We Have But One Life

Twice Tuesday morning I ran into the same poem.  First time was on a blog I read regularly, Abundant Life Now (it shows up on my Blogroll, on the right) and again with Facebook references on Only 1 Life site. You can read the entire poem on either site, because I’m going to look only at the repetition:

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

One FB poster was connected from Michigan through South Carolina to the Philippines with that phrase. A few posts down was a believer in Africa, praising sound doctrine. Another wrote:  “For many years it has hung by our front door as a reminder of the important things in life.”

Another had heard it at a funeral.  Still another wrote she heard it as a child and it remained with her. Another paraphrased ”What shall u gain to have the whole world and loose ur soul?” :

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:25-26 KJV)

What do we have to offer God to purchase our souls?  Will good works buy it for us? Not according to several Bible verses, including:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5 KJV)

The good works we do are the fruit of the Spirit within us. And, they are all done for the glory of Christ, not for salvation but because of salvation. Paul continues:

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.  (Titus 3:8 KJV)

Good works in and of themselves do help others, and when men of God cease to do good works, they are no longer glorifying God as He intended.

Jesus of Nazareth lived but one life. Thirty-three years of that life was here on earth. John knew there was more:

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. (John 1:1-2 KJV)

Every person living on Earth has been affected by His life. The Tanakh prophesied His coming.  Though many do not believe Jesus was the Messiah, they hear from and about those who do. The Quran speaks of Him, too, though rejecting the doctrine He preached. Atheists battle to keep His name from being spoken aloud in public. The beautiful feet of Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15 have gone about the world preaching the gospel.

Still, the question remains in each of our hearts:  What have I done for Christ, today?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Hymn Of Thanksgiving

If you’ve read here for a while, you know that Fanny Crosby remains one of my favorite lyricists, mentioned in 2008, 2010 and again earlier this year.

Even better, though, in expressing how we should spend Thanksgiving Day is Psalm 105.  Now, that’s a hymn for thanksgiving!!
Praise ye the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary:
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts:
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:
praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals:
praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD.
(Psalms 150:1-6 KJV)
That’s where we should be – giving thanks to our Lord and praising Him for all that He’s done for us.
Can’t think of anything? That I could not understand. Begin with the world He created and has given us to live in. Thank Him for this day – here in America it is set aside specifically to give thanks.  It has been since the early Massachusetts colony gave thanks for their harvest.

Governor Bradford’s proclamation called for the colony to go to the church from 9:00 to noon to give thanks.  We don’t do that today, though.  It has become a day for families to gather, serve a huge meal and watch a series of football games.

We’ll do that – with 34 other family and extended family members. We will, however, give thanks beyond saying grace before our meal.  We will praise His name, too.

By the way, I also give thanks for those who read here.  I appreciate your stopping by and sharing the words God has given to His people. I pray they help in bringing His words to life for you and that you choose to read more.  God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Can I Lose It?

Some Christians are baffled by our doctrinal belief that salvation is a one-time, life-time event. We believe that when we are saved, our eternal life begins.

Now, to me, that’s very easily understood.  I did nothing to achieve salvation, therefore how could I do anything to lose it.  The Bible tells me:

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

Not everyone is given that gift. There are qualifications:

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)

Jesus explained more to Nicodemus:

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)

So far each of these verses can be understood when standing alone, and when read within the context surrounding them, their meaning remains the same.  Easily understood, and they are the basics of understanding, then accepting God’s grace.  It is rather simple.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:13-14 KJV)

Once a person has given himself to the Lord, how could they possibly be lost?  Could they sin enough?  Why would being bad enough do it when being good enough isn’t possible?  Salvation cannot be earned.  Once saved, how can someone be lost?

Wait, I know what examples you are going to give of specific church members who turned their back on God and returned to a life of sinfulness, quite satisfied to remain there.  First of all, church membership is not required for salvation. Good works are not required for salvation either, but James connects the two in a positive way:

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:17-18 KJV)

The deeper we go in faith, the more fruit of the spirit we will display.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

Where does faith originate?

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


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Preparing Eggs

Beloved Husband walked into the kitchen as I was taking the picture for this post. “What are you doing?”

Personally, I thought it was fairly obvious – woman holding camera taking a picture, of eggs. Now you know why he shakes his head every once in a while when he sees what I’m doing.

But – I stopped washing the eggs as I remembered First Daughter’s somewhat-city cousin asking her as she cleaned eggs from the henhouse, “What do you have to do to them to make them like in the store?”

That’s what I was doing when I decided to take the photo.  Washing them off, putting them in the carton – just like they are in the super market down the highway from here. Only I was doing a dozen and a half rather than a truckload. They’ll sit in my fridge until Wednesday, when I’ll boil them.  On Thursday they’ll be sitting on a dish, ready for the Thanksgiving table.

The illustration is much like becoming a Christian.  What do you have to do?  Be there.  We need to be cleansed before God puts us to use, but we can’t do it ourselves. 

No, I don’t mean that the whole egg story is like mankind.  Not all of us will be cleansed.  That is the choice we make, whether or not we’ll put ourselves in God’s hands. Our illustrative henhouse eggs do not have a choice at all.  Mankind, a greater creation, given breath directly from God, makes a choice where to spend eternity.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV)

That choice remains for all of us – along with God promise, not just to Israel, but to all who love Him and chose life.

That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:20 KJV)

The land promised is no longer that here on earth for the Children of Israel, but much, much more.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:6-7 KJV)

That’s what I’m looking forward to. His coming, quickly.

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20 KJV)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just A Laugh

OK, even though I’m from Texas and a presidential candidate is, too, this is NOT to be construed in any way, shape or form to be an endorsement of anything more than this one quote, from November 19:
"If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans"
With that I can agree, whole heartedly.  First, God must have a sense of humor.  Have you taken a close look at some of the animals He created?  Even besides humans, some of His creatures are designed for laughter. Star Trek’s tribbles had to be based on the cute kittens that curl up against us, purring their way into our hearts until they are ruling our homes. Mine, I think, have inherited memories of when their ancestors were worshipped in Egypt.  I think they expect the same.

How about human babies? God has to have a sense of humor to give us these crying, messing, spitting, wetting bundles of joy that we coo at as though they could possible understand. Why do pro-abortionists  speak of viability outside the womb when these wrinkled containers of loud cries can’t survive without daily care and feeding? And, we love doing it.

Have you ever laughed at children’s plans? Before she was five, my First Daughter decided she would walk the mile from our house to my parents.  This was in a city, not here in the country where a neighbor may be a mile away. I knew her plans were laughable, but instead of doing so to her face, I explained that she would have to pack her clothes, because she would need them when she got there. I also explained she would have to pack a lunch.  It was nearly lunch time and she would get hungry before she got there.  Before lunch-making was finished, her plans had changed and the bag remained unpacked.  But, we’ve laughed over those plans for years.

Why would God laugh at our plans? Because we can’t consider all the ramifications or results, and He knows them, all.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV)

Christ knew what was ahead of Him when He prayed in Gethsemane. He knew the cross stood before Him, and after that came the return to what He had always been.  Yet, He prayed that it might pass – three times, the same request:

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. (Matthew 26:42 KJV)

Even when we believe we are in God’s will but aren’t, and especially when we know we are not, we think we’re doing the right thing.  It feels right. We want it.  Many times, we’ve asked for it. And, perhaps God laughs, knowing that when we do walk with him:

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)

Maybe we think we need more than sufficient?  Do we want God to laugh at our efforts, or smile while we're accomplishing His will.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

They Are Just Words

Doesn’t matter how good they look or sound or who is speaking or reading or who is listening.  Words simply make up sentences, displayed in a book, on a screen or simply flow out of a person’s mouth. Even the written word of God is inactive until it is applied in a person’s life.

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV)

A very good example falls just a verse below that one:

Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. (Proverbs 30:8-9 KJV)

Solomon at least gives a reason for his request.  He understands the outcome of either extreme and he shows consequences.  One would be truthful in saying that he had the riches, though.  That it is much easier for a rich man to be content with what he has than it is for a poor man.

Richness truly is relative, though.  Esau would be considered a rich man in many ways, even though he sold his birthright to Jacob.

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews 12:17 KJV)

They are just words when we deny the Lord or take his name in vain. They were just words when Esau exchanged his birthright for a bite to eat.  Those words change the course of lives even today.

More words are thrown out for people to read today than every before in the history of mankind.  They don’t tell us anything new.  Mine sure don’t. Mine speak of the old, true and faithful.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV)

There will come a time, however, when all is new. John saw it and used words to describe what was new, and what happened to the old:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1 KJV)

Some words are lies, and we believe them. Some are true, and we ignore them. God's word is true and faithful.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:5-7 KJV)

That is the God I serve. That is the throne I will stand before for my judgment. Praise God, I thirst.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Little Politics, A Little Religion

The result, most likely, to offend all, but it’s on my mind.  A quote from an MSNBC article on OWS:
"Inherently, in asking for demands, you are accepting that there is a power greater than yourself, which is something that this movement is categorically against," Patrick Bruner, a 23-year-old protester, told the group. "This movement is founded on autonomous action and collective wisdom."
With the current methodology of updated stories, adding to or rewriting entirely instead of new reports, this may be changed by the time someone clicks on the above.  Sort of 1984’s newspeak. Of course, that book is no longer something to be concerned about in the future – we’re 27 years past that worry, right?

We’re more than a century past the Gettysburg Address, too, where Lincoln affirmed that, united, the States remained “… a government of the people, by the people, for the people” and would remain so in the future.

I look upon the Constitution as a contract.  The people gave power to the government, and the people – using the Constitution – can remove power from the government. While the government retains the given power, its authority is greater than the individuals who vote candidates into positions of power.  In this instance, complaining people rail against current problems without seeking solutions, without ideas to rectify the problem. We have to do that in the voting booth.

Contracts involve responsibilities on both sides.  Voters may combine into groups to help redefine government’s responsibilities. Special interest groups have done it quite successfully.

Religion is a bit different.  It’s not a negotiable contract.  God is the greater power, shown from the beginning:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

Though there are many other scriptures that speak to His power, I personally like a couple of Isaiah’s verses:

I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: (Isaiah 45:5 KJV)

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6 KJV)

We are encouraged to approach Him with our petitions:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6 KJV)

Earthly authority exists because God allows it.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1 KJV)

We are to pray for those in authority, too:

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

The accumulation of wealth is not a Christian doctrine. But, it is within Christ’s teaching that we are to respect authority, pray for those in authority as we strive to lead quiet and peaceable lives.

Returning to the political, please study the issues, the political platforms and vote for those that match your principles.  Wouldn’t hurt a bit to become actively involved in the democratic process, beyond the vote.

Friday, November 18, 2011



Long before this scene, Pharisees were looking for any excuse to, literally, nail Jesus to the cross.

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. (Mark 3:2 KJV)

In the above scene, plenty accused Him:

And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. (Matthew 27:12 KJV)
And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. (Mark 15:3 KJV)
And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. (Luke 23:10 KJV)

They didn’t like what He said.  They didn’t like what He did.  They didn’t like that people followed Him.  They didn’t like his doctrine, how He looked at scripture and how He explained scripture to his followers.

There’s quite a bit of accusation tossed toward Christians today – as it has been for millennia.  Sometimes it’s one Christian denomination accusing another. I think it would be a good idea to keep Gamaliel’s logic in mind:

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)

It would do each of us well to refer to the Bible when doctrinal questions arise.  Yes, I know there are differing interpretations of specific doctrinal issues, which means we need to be certain how and why we believe what we do.  Yes, we accept in faith, and that faith tells us:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)

Know the scriptures! Christ used them in answering His temptations. Remember, there is something out there seeking Christians, with a specific purpose:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8 KJV)

The Bible tells how we should endeavor:

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 KJV)

That is not advocating acceptance of error – which will be found in congregations – but discussing error in love. Thus unashamedly, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting What We Ask For

Vallotton drawings _Good news bible <br />Collins Fontana 1976<br />British and foreign bible societies<br />146 Queen Victoria Street London<br />Annie Vallotton drawings

There are examples in the Bible for every day in our lives. One of the things Christians do every day is make specific requests of God. We’re not the first to do that, and today we’re going to look at something Israel requested of God’s prophet, Samuel:

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. (1 Samuel 8:5 KJV)

The people were concerned that if Samuel’s sons served in the place of their father that things would really go down hill.

And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. (1 Samuel 8:3 KJV)

This was a repeat of Eli and his sons. Israel did not want this repetition, They wanted a change.  Instead of asking the Lord for His choice, a right priest, a holy prophet, Israel asked for a king, so they could be as the other kingdoms around them.  This was not God’s plan. Samuel knew that, but although he was displeased, Samuel took their request to the Lord:

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  (1 Samuel 8:7 KJV)

They got what they asked for, and within a generation Israel reached the height of its Golden Age under David and Solomon.  But what would they have received if they had stayed within His will? We’ll only know in eternity.

Now, back to us in our daily lives.  Do we continually make requests of God based on what we want, where we want to be, what we have in mind?  Instead of listening to His plans for us? What are we missing that would have come to us in His plans?

We’ll only know when we pray, “Thy will be done,” not mine. So – how do we know what He has in mind?  We have to stay in touch. Samuel made the commitment to his people:

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: (1 Samuel 12:23 KJV)

We can do for ourselves what Samuel promised to do for Israel – pray without ceasing and learn the good and the right way.  Where do we find that?  My first suggestion is to read your Bible and pray.

Oh, my – isn’t that what I’ve been suggesting for years now?  Yep, it’s always the right message!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As A Child

I follow several blogs.  One is written by the author of "I TALK...GOD LISTENS" Beth Amatelli.  This week she repeated an earlier blog that speaks of coming to Christ as a child.  It does bear repeating, especially the last graph.
Find the child in you today!  Praise him like you did that day you realized you were his child!  Don't let the enemy drain you of your joy and love for him!  He's worth much more than the best of the best!  He set the bar so high that no one could measure up - but all can pass through!
I also follow Abundant Life Now, by author Robert, who also wrote of 2 Births, one physical and one spiritual.
For many it may be helpful to realize the term “born again” has its roots in Judaism. The term was used in reference to a Gentile who was formally converted to Judaism.The Talmud, or oral law, states, “One who has become a proselyte is like a child newly born” (Yevamot 48b).
Nicodemus would have known this.  That explains Christ’s words to him during their discussion regarding salvation:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (John 3:10 KJV)

These two articles are so different from each other, and neither has the focus on what it brought to my mind – our youth who made a profession faith, then left the church.

They experienced coming to Christ as all Christians do, as a child.

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

Some were soon, perhaps easily, led astray.  I would not want to be the one to lead them away:

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)

Not all of the youth rebel. Some stay, serve and grow in faith and the grace of God is with them.  They are blessings to others!

Of those who leave, some return in early adulthood, seeking the faith of their youth – others grow old with only faded memories of what they felt when they walked down the aisle and joined their soul with God. Those are the ones Beth spoke to:
Find the child in you today! Praise him like you did that day you realized you were his child!
I had one such prodigal tell me, “I wish I had your faith.”  I knew he had made a profession of faith as a youngster, many years ago. I also knew he wanted something different than what the church could offer, so he turned his back and walked away – from the church, from his faith – toward an intellectual understanding that God no longer mattered in his life.

For him, and those who also walked away, I pray they will listen to the child inside, praise God who loves them and return to the faith that brings His promises.

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Others

Last Sunday’s sermon used Luke 23:32-43, and I’ll be using these verses for future blogs, but today I have 39-43 on my mind.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

How many times have we used that logic:  “If there is a God, He would …,” and (of course) what He would do benefits us.  He would provide what we wanted – not necessarily what we needed, but our wishes. It might be detrimental for us, but it’s what we want, at that time.

We use similar logic to determine God doesn’t exist: “If there were a God, this would not have happened!”  ‘This’ being something that happened that caused us pain, perhaps even physical damage.  Maybe not to us, but to someone we loved.

We seek signs.  We’re not the first to do so:

And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. (Luke 11:29 KJV)

That very important sign – three days in the tomb. Then, resurrection!!

Others accept reality without signs.  I know that sounds odd when speaking of spiritual faith, but the second malefactor did face reality:

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

This man faced his sinful life and confessed he deserved condemnation.  He knew the sentence was just, based on his own deeds, his own actions.  He earned his place on a cross.  He recognized Jesus was different – a man who did not belong with them. One who, just a few verses earlier, forgave those who did not know what they were doing.

Then the malefactor, the dying thief on the cross, accepted Jesus for what he saw, for what He was.  The Messiah.  The One sent of and by God to accomplish His will.  This dying thief could see the kingdom, and asked to be remembered when Christ rules.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:39-42 KJV)

If the story ended there it would still be an example of how the gospel is received today.  Some believe Jesus is the Messiah, others do not. There are different paths followed from that decision.  The thief who asked nothing more than to be remembered received a most awesome promise.  From a man dying on a cross with him came the promise:

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43 KJV)

“To day.” Not, “When I return.” Not, “When the kingdom comes.” Not, “Your sins are too great.” None of those possible answers, but verily, the Greek ἀμήν, amen, “firm, trustworthy, surely” you will be with me, in paradise.

That is what I expect.

Monday, November 14, 2011

For Church Members Only

Non-believers don’t need to read any further – this blog is for church members.  It’s about where they fit in their congregation.

My friend Darla wrote on Facebook:
I read the other day that there are four types of Church members: Mary, Martha and Lazarus: worshipping, working, witnessing members.
I’m a Mary.  I love to hear of God’s word and His work.  Writing about Him, speaking of Him, teaching young ladies about Him, being in His house worshiping Him – those are things that not only fill my life but bring great joy. I enjoy the sermons, the music and my heart is lifted. I’m not a Martha, and I know it, though I'm not proud of it.

I do so admire the Marthas’ energy and their results!  My mother and my Second Daughter are Martha’s progeny. There are many of Martha’s examples I could list – bundles of energy that see to it things get done!  Tables were decorated Sunday for our ‘dinner on the grounds’, a part of Roundup Sunday.  Food set out, tea and coffee made – all accomplished by Martha’s example setters.  It’s not confined to ladies, either.  There was a train, horseback riding, jump houses, all accomplished in the same spirit through men in our church.

I’ve known Lazarus’ examples, too.  We’ve seen miracles, where a near death experience turned out to be a time for joy and celebration. There are so many ways to witness for Christ.  Dying isn’t necessary to be a Lazarus – unless you count dying from the old way of life to live following Christ as a daily example. Martha’s work is an example of witnessing, too. Their service to Christ reminds us of His disciples, spending their lives seeing to others’ spiritual needs.

But, not all of them.  We do have another example of a Christ follower who can still be found in our congregations today.  Ones that the world points to with cries of, “Hypocrite! You’re no better than I am!” and they are right, as in Darla’s last example:
The fourth was Judas: a worldly man in a Christian environment that kissed the cheek of Heaven and went to Hell.
The son of perdition, Christ called him:

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:12 KJV)

Apoleia, ἀπώλεια, in Greek, damnable, eternal ruin or loss. That’s the word for perdition, for Judas.

Unfortunately, it is also the definition applied to some whose names are written in a church registry, but not in the Book of Life.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12 KJV)

Some tell us this judgment will not take place.  The Bible says it will. It also tells us to what degree we will be judged:

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)

The choice has always been ours – follow Christ, or not.  That choice and our subsequent actions will tell others if we are an example of Mary, Martha, Lazarus – or Judas Iscariot.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Much Filtering?


Food Safety News has an article on filtering honey, removing pollen.  Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?  Isn’t pollen responsible for a lot of sneezing (especially this time of the year)? Some articles mention that local pollen might be helpful for easing allergies, but there are no studies that show results.

So, why the controversy? 

Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey.

And, why does that interest me?  Because I’ve seen the Bible filtered, with heated discussions, watered down to the point that the doctrinal sources are no longer identifiable.

That’s one reason why a Bible version’s source, reason for existence and translation methods are vital.  Paul was very concerned about source:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8 KJV)

The Bible tells us that if anyone, even an angel preaches any other gospel, he should be accursed.  Have you heard of such an other gospel of Christ?  Why should there be anything different from the words written by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John that give the good news of Christ, from His birth through His resurrection?

Most of the remaining New Testament is a history as that gospel is spread.  It consists of admonitions and exhortations of how to adhere to God’s commandments to love Him with all of our hearts, and our neighbors as ourselves. Get close to God, get those two right and we’ll walk humbly with our Lord.

Listen to a man, or an angel, giving us any other gospel and we’ll miss out.

Where else do we read:

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)

Where else do we hear that God loves us?  Where else do we find Abraham’s prophecy fulfilled:

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (Genesis 22:8 KJV)

To deny that God loves us, that He provided Himself as a sacrificial lamb for us is changing the gospel message at its very core.

I see no reason to do so.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Now a Present Progressive Verb

Hopefully, even when you aren’t familiar with football, you’ve heard the name Tim Tebow (OK, that may only apply to Americans.)

Tim has been very open about his belief in Christ.  In college, instead of a single black streak of black under his eyes during games, his eye black spelled out Bible verses.  It was noticeable, and controversial then. Christians are at the least laughed at if not derided for openly displaying their beliefs.  What they do becomes open debate, which is where Tebowing comes in.

According to CNN, following the October 23 Bronco over Dolphin win, Tim Tebow knelt in prayer while his teammates celebrated on the field. That moment was caught on film.  It resulted in a new website,, with more than 600 shots of people “Tebowing”.

Some are making fun of the pose.  Others are people humble before their God, or at least are accepting of those who are.

That’s what what is expected by our Lord:

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)

That’s what the first man did, walking humbly with God in the cool of the day, until sin entered in:

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8 KJV)

Why then, is it socially, even politically, correct to laugh at anyone’s faith, whether it is private or public?  Other groups take offense at such discrimination.  Is it OK to discriminate against a majority?  Or, as we must consider, does being open about one’s Christianity make one part of a minority?

Wear a ring on the third finger of the left hand and we’ve told people openly we’re married.  Wear a cross or Star of David and tell people we have faith and we’re open to public ridicule.

CNN reported Tim Tebow’s viewpoint:
"It's not my job to see people's reasons behind it, but I know (of a kid) with cancer that tweeted me, 'Tebowing while I'm chemoing' — how cool is that? That's worth it right now. If that gives him any encouragement or puts a smile on his face, or gives him encouragement to pray, that's completely awesome."
There are no specific instructions as to where and how to pray for Christians.  The Bible has several verses about prayer, though, and I think this one’s applicable:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isaiah 45:22-23 KJV)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Another Veterans Day

The loss of a single soldier costs families their future. The death of John Clarence “Jack” Blickensderfer in World War II changed our family forever. It is in honor of his sacrifice for his country that we personalize Memorial Day each year.

Our family has been fortunate that later service -- honored each Veterans Day -- was not as costly, but it too changed our family. This year three generations of veterans represent three different branches of our military. My husband, my son-in-law, my grandson each chose a branch for a variety of reasons – none of them for military tradition. Their service was not a career choice, but was service in time of need. Each returned to their family, to ‘every day’ lives.

Jack, too, responded in a time of need, at nineteen years of age. Within just a few months he graduated from flight school, celebrated his 20th birthday, flew a bomber to England and died in the skies over Hoorn, Holland on July 7, 1945.

In remembrance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month ending of World War I, we wish to honor not only our family’s veterans, but all of the American servicemen who lay aside the every day activities we take for granted. As Jack did, they literally laid down their lives for their fellow citizens. With deep gratitude, we appreciate the large numbers who are returned to their families.

None return without scars. Some physical scars, some with scars on their very souls. They have submitted themselves to the will of citizens whose votes determine the leadership of their country. At times that will fluctuates, at others it swings widely. But the respect our nation holds for those in service remains strong.

So, on this very special day, a grateful nation (actually, several such nations!) bows its head and says “Thank you,” praying for those still in harm’s way. God bless them and return them to their families. Keep us ever mindful of their presence, let us never forget their service. When the opportunity arises, thank them personally.


It is impossible for me to say, “That’s my favorite verse.”  I can’t even find my favorite psalm!

In the dark of the morning, awakened with a panicked dream, I find solace in His word.  Reading another’s blog, what came to mind was:

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

By saying “we will rejoice and be glad,” it reminds me of Daniel’s purposing in his heart.  No matter that panic woke me and sits at the edge of my fear, I will rejoice and be glad in this day created by God.

The dream poked at my complacency.  Thinking about it afterward did give me a perspective on what caused the fear, and I must face its reality.  I’m not alone in that.  The other blog that brought to mind this psalm was written by a wife facing the diagnosis of a malignancy in her husband and the treatments that must follow that diagnosis. Harsh reality.

The reason that verse comes to mind, though, goes back almost two decades when I was at the hospital for pre-op.  Alone, waiting for the nurse to take blood and ask a multitude of questions, a lady stopped by the door and asked how I was doing.  My response was that it was a great day, “How else could it be when it is the day the Lord had made and we are to rejoice!”

Instead of just passing by, she said, “You must be a believer,” and stepped into the room for a chat.  I learned that she had just been appointed as a chaplain, this was her first day on the job, and finding a fellow Christian first thing in the morning was a lift for her.

Which one of us did God place there to help the other?  Doesn’t matter – we both were blessed by the experience.

So many verses I know have a similar application in my life.  They are verses shared by or with others.  I’ve seen them at work in people’s lives, and have been blessed through them.

I haven’t memorized the rest of this psalm, but from its beginning it is a blessing:

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 118:1 KJV)

Heading toward the end of the chapter is a firm statement of the author’s faith:

Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. (Psalms 118:28 KJV)

Then the chapter closes as it began, giving thanks.  Now, couldn’t that be an absolute favorite?  Until we get to so many of the other verses I’ve quoted over the years.  And, the reason for doing so:

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)

See, another awesome verse – and there are sooooo many more!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Loss, and A Find

I do visit the list of blogs I ‘follow’ on Blogger.  Every once in a while I have to make a change to the list.  The change this week as the loss of “Morning Cuppa With Glenys” for her site is no longer reachable.  That concerns me, because of her health, so I’ve put out feelers to see how Glenys may be.

I have not removed my sister-in-law’s listing, The Groves and Their Branches.  She posted a dozen times this summer before her heart surgery and the story of her miracles will reach others.  She wrote, “This is my life and I am opening it up to you,” and she did. When she went home to be with our Lord this last October, I decided to leave the link, for what she wrote may be the most important thing someone reads.  She lived her life knowing her Lord provided for her in the past, and that He always will provide for her.

Without knowing Pascal's Wager, she lived it and wrote it for her obituary:  “I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find out there isn’t. Than to live my life believing there isn’t a God and die to find out there is.”

I’ve also added a blog to the list, The Act of Jochebed, pictured above (don’t you just love those eyes!!) and written by a real Mum in Nairobi, Kenya.  I enjoyed the first of her blogs that I read, My Boss. Children never cease to amaze us, do they?

This Mum loves our Lord, as I do.  “My experiences, my ups and downs, but most of all, share the love of Christ to Mums and Mums to be! I love the Lord dearly!”  It warms my heart to find our Lord actively sought by mothers around our world, teaching as commanded:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 KJV)

Christ summed this when He was asked which is the great commandment:

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)

If we can live those two commandments, the remainder will fall in place.

It is a blessing to me, though I lose loved ones along the way, to meet younger generations, scattered around this beautiful world, teaching their children our Lord’s love and commandments.  Their living the words today provide a continuous path of examples to continue the journey as the older generation goes home.

May God bless the mothers who teach their children.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


“The first and often the only person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiving. When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us. “
Lewis Smedes

This really doesn’t relate to my recent post on “Amish Grace” but forgiveness is extremely important to our spiritual and emotional health. Grace is the “free and undeserved favor … especially of God.” As we are supposed to become more and more like Him, we need to understand how to offer free and undeserved favor to others.  To those we need to forgive, whether we think they deserve it or not.

Some would look toward self-help books to clear grudges that grow greater rather than dissipating over the years. The best example I can think of comes from the prayer Jesus gave us:

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 KJV)

Each of need to determine if we can safely pray this sentence.  Do we really want our debts forgiven in the same manner we forgive others? The same manner as that group of Amish families forgave Charles Roberts? You know, forgiving without holding back the hurt, the humiliation, the anger that goes with holding on to a grudge, without counting times or saying who did what first.

The person being forgiven isn’t carrying our hurt, our humiliation, our anger, though they may have their own. Why then do we want to hang on to our? Isn’t it a heavy burden that we don’t have to bear?

I’ve seen the best example in my Beloved Husband, who exchanged his burdens for another’s:

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30 KJV)

What have I seen?  I’ve seen him provided a home for the birth mother who signed him away for adoption, later abandoning four other children. I’ve seen him provide loving comfort to the adoptive mother who once told him she didn’t want to adopt him.  He held her hand in the hospital, brought her the requested malt to give her comfort during her last illness. Minor events among many others, but they speak of his lovingkindness.

Matthew added two thoughts along the same line after our Lord’s prayer:

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 KJV)

There are consequences, not only for our actions but for our lack of action on God’s commands and His will. Allow Him to search your heart, then clear it of grudges, anger and hatred by forgiving the unforgiveable. It will bring healing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ulu Knife

This is very similar to the ulu knife we picked up in Alaska.  Ours does have the map and “Alaska” on the blade, and the same plastic handle. I like them so well I've given as a gift.

Why am I showing it to you?  Well, first to tell you how well this shape works when finely chopping.  There are cutting boards available with that same shape, in a circle, that keeps what is being chopped confined to your work surface.  I use mine on a flat surface when I’m cutting onions, carrots, celery for soups and sauces, more than anything else.  It’s also good for slicing meat for stir-fry.  An all around handy gadget.

As with ceramic knives, this one has an extremely sharp edge, and it travels through the veggies very smoothly as you rock back and forth, slicing ever closer to your fingers. Sunday night, I rocked once too far and I felt the blade on my finger tip. I can’t describe the adrenaline rush.  It was too closely followed by a panicked search for blood.  Instead, I found a surface nick on my middle finger’s nail bed that had to be filed down.

After a prayer of thanks, and a promise to take better care, I thought of how quickly things go from good to bad.

That can happen in our daily lives, only the item in danger could be a soul.  That’s a bit hard for me to say, too, for I believe in the Baptist doctrine of “once saved, always saved.”  This doctrine teaches that a person who believes that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, that God provided, and accepts the gift of life God offers, that person is eternally saved.  Their soul was given to God:

Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 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 1:11-12 KJV)

He is the one able to keep, not me.

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, (Jude 1:24 KJV)

Nope – I’m really not concerned about my soul.  I am concerned about my witness to others,  and the impact on their soul.  I don’t want that to go from “bad to good” at all.

Not that I’m good, mind you.  I’ve been an example of how not to live a Christian life, and I don’t want to be such an example ever again. No one is good enough. As Jude wrote, God is the only one one able to present us faultless before the presence of His glory – and for me that is great joy!  I know He is able to keep and to present me faultless, and you, too, when we pay attention and follow His instructions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daylight Savings - Revisited

Although this post was written in the spring of 2010, I feel the same way when we switch back in the fall. Being retired, we don't have to pay attention to the clocks - except for church services and doctor appointments. The cats and dogs don't quite understand why things are a bit different, but they look upon us as being weird. The working neighbor does get some backtalk from cows, goat and donkey about being fed an hour later as she goes to work. Not my concern!! The rest of this post stands today as it did a year and a half ago: My lights are on. My computer is on, too. My television will be after I complete my Bible reading and this blog.

No children are standing at school bus stops in the dark – only because Spring Break begins today. Our small herd isn’t moving in for their feed yet, either.

So, what’s changed about Daylight Savings? We’re up an hour earlier and our household pets roam around wondering what’s going on. I tell them, “It’s our government at work.”

Thinking one size fits all, the government has attempted to solve a potential energy problem with our clocks. Has anyone seen an analysis of whether or not such a disruption is energy saving and, if so, is that savings sufficient to offset the disruption? Or, do we citizens simply follow along because it is easier to do so, knowing our government is non-responsive?

I found at
Mosaics From Home such a study, done in Indiana. A search led me to the Working Paper in PDF format, done by Matthew J. Kotchen and Laura E. Grant of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The results state:

“In conclusion, we find that the longstanding rationale for DST is questionable, and if anything, the policy seems to have the opposite of its intended effect. Nevertheless, there are other arguments made in favor of DST. These range from increased opportunities for leisure, enhanced public health and safety, and economic growth. In the end, a full evaluation of DST should account for these multiple dimensions, but the evidence here suggests that continued reliance on Benjamin Franklin’s old argument alone is now misleading.”

Note that “other arguments made in favor of DST” have not been studied to confirm positive results.

So, why are we blindly following along?

Some aren’t. Some are questioning, such as
The California Energy Commission.

Why is it we will accept as fact, as truth, what our government does to us, then toss aside God’s word as not applicable today. His truth has withstood the test of time. Do we not all wish that others would follow His Golden Rule?

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6:31 KJV)
Why, then, do we not ask, seek and find what His word has for us?

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Luke 11:9 KJV)

Instead we ignore religion just as we ignore government, leaving it to others to determine what is to be said or done. Do we think that neither has an impact on our lives? Or do we believe we have no impact?

Take time to study God’s word. Ask Him in prayer to direct your study.

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)

Seek the answers He has for your life.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (Isaiah 55:6 KJV)
The knocking you hear is that of our Lord, who said:

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 KJV)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

“Amish Grace”

Isn’t this the way we think of the Amish?  Being passed by progress?

Our family’s history tracks back into Switzerland in the late 1600’s. My Beloved Husband’s birth and adopted emigrant ancestor was named Hans Jakob – one Graf, the other Pleickensdoerffer (as written on a lease in the Palatinate after their move.)  Both were called Anabaptist. Both were followers of Menno Simons.  Both Mennonites and Amish have roots in the Anabaptist beliefs.

Both the Graf and Pleickensdoerffer families had members who were persecuted for their religious beliefs.  Both had members who emigrated to the new colonies between 1690 and 1734, both seeking religious freedom.  Both families spent time in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, then both families moved on into Ohio in the early 1800’s

I thought of how closely aligned they were to those followers of Jakob Amman, and how the Amish have retained the outward separation, while most of we Christians decline to consider:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV)

Read the verses around that one.  Become familiar with the reasons God breathed them, inspired Paul to write them. Matthew Henry’s commentary describes it as staying away from infection, “for fear of taking infection.”

All of that – and much more – went through my mind as I cried my way through “Amish Grace.”  Do you remember the horror in 2006 when Charles Roberts shot the school girls? I did, and I think the movie well presented the story.

Forgiveness. Offered out of pain and sorrow, with understanding that holding on to anger destroys more than had already been destroyed. Isn’t this a display of Christ’s meaning:

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:36-38 KJV)

Why, then do we cling to perceived slights?  Why do we hold grudges until they become part of the structure of our lives?  Every unforgiven thing in our live becomes a boulder we use to fence ourselves in – and another person out. 

Is that the way we want to be judged?  Forgiveness withheld? Or forgiveness given, that “it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over”!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Can We Turn It Off?


I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? (Job 31:1 KJV)

Someone recently told me about a couple in their church who were “weird”. They were engaged, but had never kissed.  They intended that their kiss at the altar as they married would be their first. I replied that I knew several couples like that, and I didn’t think it was weird at all, I thought it was precious and showed a loving commitment to each other and their faith.

I could name five such couples I’ve known in the last few years.  All young people who dedicated their lives in service to their Lord. They made a covenant with Him to be pure.

Job speaks of a covenant that he made about purity.  Therefore, why should he even think about a young woman?  If King David had made – and kept – such a covenant with his own eyes, he would not have thought about Bathsheba, much less had Uriah killed to obtain her. A psalm speaks to such:

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:  (Psalms 101:3a KJV)

Yet, I do.  We have a television, rather elderly and definitely non-digital, in our den.  A lot of time during the day it is on, though it goes unwatched.  Sort of “white sound”, which we recognize is somewhat ridiculous, but it’s habit. A lessening habit.  Reception isn’t good as far out in the country as we are, so we have satellite. Recently, realizing how little attention we pay to shows, we dropped back to the very basics.  I wish we could select just the channels we actually enjoy, and those would be few.

Yet among those few are “wicked things.” One we watch is a forensic mystery, most likely including a murder or two.  Even it has a sexual innuendo or two. Many shows go well beyond the innuendo stage. Certainly a “wicked thing before mine eyes.”

So, what do we look for?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)

If none of that is on our televisions, we should turn it off and pick up a good book. Perhaps go so far as to pick up the Good Book?