Sunday, September 30, 2012

Looking To The Future Through The Past

Being ill has physical effects. Combine weird side effects from a variety of medication and the world simply turns upside down. This happens to me every couple of years when my allergies combine with bacteria and make my physical life miserable. I knew I’d written about this before, so I’m taking you back with me, just a few years, when I wrote:

My mind remains a bit muddled – medicine to treat my symptoms, I think. To get rid of the itching eyes (thank goodness it’s not itching ears!! II Tim 4:3), runny nose, stopped up sinus, scratchy throat, etc., one gains a muddled mind. (This year it’s an awful cough!)

This morning I decided to scan what Bible verses have the word “sick” in them. No, I didn’t expect to find healing, but neither did I expect to find so many different stories. I got past several until I came to:

At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. (1 Kings 14:1)

What surprised me was:

Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. (1 Kings 14:12-13)

A child died because good was found in him. His father would be destroyed because Jeroboam: … hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: (1 Kings 14:8b-9)

Jeroboam’s punishment would be to lose everything – including this son. Yet this son would go to the grave mourned by all, because good was found in him.

The writer of Hebrews, when speaking of Christ’s death, gave a truth for all men: And as it is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27a) Abijah’s death was not a punishment for him, but was a result of his father’s evil above all that were before.

Muddled mind or not, I know we need to get past looking at death as an ultimate tragedy and understand that it is simply a moving from one place to another. In addition, we get to make the choice of living arrangements after that move.

I’ve selected a mansion built by a Jewish carpenter.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. (John 14:2-4)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rumors of War

In this screen capture, we have Taiwanese fishing boats along with Japanese and Taiwanese Coast Guard ships. Click on the graphic and you can read one of the stories about why the ships of several countries have an interest in what is happening in the China Sea. We can be grateful it’s only water they are shooting at each other, but consider the delicate maneuvering required to keep from creating an international incident that will escalate tensions.

Emotions run deep and memories long. Both are exacerbated when new slights or hurts are perceived. Talk Middle East and thousand-year-old crusades become part of the topic, or two-thousand-year gone nations.

Humans carry a lot of baggage into their future.

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. (Matthew 24:6 KJV)

That verse is a comfort. These rumors of war, and actual wars, have never ceased, so we need not be concerned as they occur. We have other things to think about.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (Matthew 24:7 KJV)

Of course, the more we learn about earthquakes, the more we realize how much there is to learn.  Read here about one that barely made news headlines, but was different from what we’ve known before. No tsunami, no loss of life, but things changed. Our knowledge banks changed about earthquakes in diverse places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:8 KJV)

I’m skipping a couple of verses to get to the center of what I’m seeing in our religious culture:

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12 KJV)

Do you find that to be true, too?  That it seems as though what we consider wickedness prevails and good things fail. When what we hold as absolute truth is defined as irrelevant in today’s society. In spite of that we care about such verses as:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 KJV)

And, we strive to remain on the path God has laid before us.

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalms 119:101-103 KJV)

Because of this and many other verses, we look to the future knowing much of the past will be repeated, and there remains work to be done:

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:13-14 KJV)

Not yet the end, still work to be done.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Free –Take One

I noticed this empty Take One box just a day after seeing a Free brochure holder, also empty. So many things leave us with empty promises, don’t they?

God doesn’t. His promises cover so much more time, and while they are free, they do have requirements, just as anything else that is offered to us free – only His are never, ever empty.

The first freebie we received is the ability to recognize Him as our Lord and commit to His service here on earth.

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3 KJV)

Hmmm. I sure don’t remember being brought out of Egypt, but I do know that in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth. That’s why the next verse means so much to me:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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 3:14-16 KJV)

The world. Not those brought out of Egypt. The world.  That’s me. And, you. For God gave, freely:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32 KJV)

Just in case we didn’t catch that the first time, Paul says it again:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:12 KJV)

So, what are the requirements? Back to Exodus for the first part:

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)

I didn’t say it would be easy. Then we have to understand the answer to the jailor’s 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)

Not easy. But, it is free. Never empty, always free.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

For A Lifetime

There’s an article on that helps teach that “life” does not mean from now until death.

The map shows in blue countries that have done away with life sentences – the ones in red still include sentences that put criminals into prisons until they die. The mapper did not identify the countries in gray, but from my own research, some of them do include imprisonment for life for some crimes, so I’m not certain why they were left gray. I’m not sufficiently curious to find out why because any such map will show that “life” does not mean from now until death.

We attended a marriage this past weekend.  There were many couples there who promised “till death us do part.” Some were still dancing with their partners in the Anniversary Dance when the DJ called “Over 50 years.” Several previously married couples, though, attended with their ex and their current partner. Death did not part them, divorce courts did. “Life” did not mean until death.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46 KJV)

Again, biblically, “life” does not mean until death.  Here, it means being without beginning or end; existing outside of time; continuing without interruption; perpetual; forever true or changeless. No death included.

Why is the Bible so often speaking of eternity? Because that is God.

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14 KJV)

He is the God of the living, too:

But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Matthew 22:31-32 KJV)

Go back up to Matthew 25:46 – get that part about everlasting punishment? The parable Jesus gave spoke of those who stand before the king’s judgment seat, a picture of God’s judgment:

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:11-12 KJV)

Don’t forget that “everlasting punishment” part.  Just as so many other things we’d like to overlook, or simply deny, it’s still there and must be faced.  Once we face it, we have to decide whether or not it applies to us. There are only two situations given. Are we righteous? How did we get there? Why aren’t we there? Lots of questions, with a very good answer available to us:

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)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Looking For A Caption


Maria Elena of Love in Action Christian Outreach in the Philippines placed this photo on her Facebook page September 25 with a comment about being unable to find a caption.  Who could?  I wrote that it would take a thousand words, but I was wrong. I think this covers it:

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:14 KJV]

I’ve found that really important things that God wants us to know, He repeats them in the Bible:

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. [Mark 10:14-15 KJV]

And, if we don’t get the first couple of times, there’s more:

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. [Luke 18:16 KJV]

Maybe that wasn’t enough:

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. [Mark 9:36-37 KJV]

There are more. Many more. Go ahead, search for them. The one I really like is where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, much older than any child, explaining what Nicodemus should already have known, yet did not understand:

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God:

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? [John 3:9-10 KJV]

We must enter His kingdom with the faith a child has in parents. Unfortunately, many parents are such bad examples that faith in them dies and the growing child sees nothing to hold to.

We are not promised good parents here on earth, but we can choose to find that good Father. He’s the only who seeks us and provides the most wonderful, eternal answer:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [John 3:14-17 KJV]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Picking Apart A Prayer

Maybe it’s not ‘kosher’ to pick a part a prayer, but here goes:
For now, Oh, Lord, just for this special time, hold me steadfastly in thy grace for I am unable to give any more of my strength. I am afraid of events over which I have no control and I am tempted to believe you are not guiding this either.  Help me overcome this temptation and know that all things work together for good for those who love Thee.  Guide my responses and help those I love to have patience with me – and let me show them my love and …
Sort of pathetic, isn’t it? It doesn’t follow Christ’s example of praising God and thanking Him for what He has done, but I know the writer was aware of the examples given us in the Lord’s prayer. They are overlooked here, as for so many of our prayers when the situation appears hopeless.

Another problem is the concept that the writer has used strength alone up to this point. Frankly, whatever the burden was, it should have been given to the Lord much earlier. We never have to carry our burdens alone. We hold on to them thinking we should, but we need to trade ours for His, remember:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [Matthew 11:28-30 KJV]

Maybe we need to hear “Come Unto Me” every single day:

Hear the blessed Savior calling the oppressed,
“Oh, ye heavy-laden, come to Me and rest;
Come, no longer tarry, I your load will bear,
Bring Me every burden, bring Me every care.”
  • Refrain:
    Come unto Me, I will give you rest;
    Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blest;
    I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might;
    Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light.

  • Now, I do like the part about temptation.  Seeking God’s help in overcoming temptation is the only way to fight temptation. He will always provide a way out:

    Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. [1 Corinthians 10:12-13 KJV]

    The rest of the prayer is a decent one, but incomplete. The writer must have been interrupted and never returned. We won’t know why, though. You see, I wrote this, sometime in the last twenty-five years or so.  The little notebook showed up in a box to be cleaned out and tossed.  Obviously, it’s not tossed yet. It’s old enough to have a note in it from a Dinah Shore show of March 25, but the year is missing.

    Obviously, too, my loved ones were patient with me and they still know that I love them – and that I love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind. Still working on:

    And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [Matthew 22:39 KJV]

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Setting Biblical Standards

    The bananas are a bit green, but we know they will ripen off the tree. The rest of the fruit shown are plump, unblemished and good for food. Christ ran across a fig tree that wasn’t.

    And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. (Mark 11:12-14 KJV)

    They went on to Jerusalem and Jesus ran the moneychangers out of the temple square. They held no glory for God in their work, turning a house of prayer into a den of thieves. Jesus and His disciples left the city that night:

    And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. (Mark 11:20 KJV)

    We can tell a good producing tree by it’s fruit:

    For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. (Luke 6:43-44 KJV)

    People put forth fruit, too:

    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:14-15 KJV)

    Strait and narrow means boundaries. There is no broad path that is laid out before us to do as we please.  There are standards whereby we may inspect fruit:

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:22-24 KJV)

    There is also a list of bad fruit:

    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

    That list is much longer and equates wrath and strife with murder and adultery. We don’t, do we? We look upon our own anger and envy as justifiable. Many simply ignore Paul’s writings and quote gospels instead. Christ told us we will know people by their fruit.

    How are our own standards set? Are we inspecting fruit that we bear as well as that of others by biblical standards? Where does our own fruit fall – under fruit of the spirit, or fruit of the flesh.  Do we encounter wrath, strife, hatred within ourselves? Do we envy?

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    What Do You See?

    Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit. (Ecclesiastes 6:9 KJV)

    That’s half of our world. For Americans, it’s the side we’re used to seeing pictured. Off to the right is the moon. Now, what do we see that is ours? Or do we wander through day dreams of what we desire rather than seeing what is in front of our eyes.

    Why is it so important to have the latest, greatest, gotta-stand-in-line-for-hours-to-get-it stuff? Will it really be gone or obsolete tomorrow and our lives will be empty because of that?

    I read a friend’s post that she was closet cleaning and took bags of clothing to Good Will. She actually emptied a closet completely – of course, she had two more filled with clothes, some which no longer fit.
    Are living as the parable:

    And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. (Luke 12:16-19 KJV)

    Remember the next verse? Nope – not gonna type it here. Look it up if it has slipped away.

    There’s another verse:

    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)

    What is considered treasures? Can we see them right in front of us? Or, do our eyes still wander to our neighbors and we find ourselves desiring something new, something different, something that will set us apart?

    We are set apart. Paul knew it:

    Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Titus 2:13-15 KJV)

    Peter did, too:

    But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV)

    If we believe this, our hearts will be focused on our Lord and savior and we won’t follow a wandering desire.

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    Today Jenni and Anthony (Dear Anthony, she says) will repeat vows before three hundred friends and family. It is a blessing for me to be invited to share their joy.

    They are surrounded by young marrieds. I got to listen to some of their conversations. To overhear, "That was when you were in Iraq," and realize the sacrifices this generation has made.

    Yes, these are two generations from where we stand, and they fulfill our hopes and dreams. They love and show their love for our Lord. Not everyone in their audience does. That will not keep them from making promises to each other and to their Lord, plighting troth and vowing to remain together.

    May God bless them. May their lives be filled with His joy and may they grow ever closer to each other as they serve Him.

    May your weekend be as blessed (but I know that will be hard to match!)

    The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

    He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  (Matthew 19:3-8)

    Friday, September 21, 2012


    Thursday we headed out early in the morning to a grand-niece’s wedding {What? Surely my mind was not that confused!! We traveled FRIDAY! OK, back to reality}  Indeed, she is a GRAND niece and we pray this couple enjoys God’s blessings for decades to come. We will enjoy time with her Mom and her grandparents, too, so there are going to be very full days.

    I won’t be taking my laptop, so I don’t know if I will be able to post more than a few photos/comments instead of full blogs of scripture readings. I always recommend: 1) get out your Bible and read it; 2) go to, always available for any reader; 3) download from and start a reading plan.

    I want to share an item from my husband’s grandfather – an attachment to his will:
    January 21, 1932:  To my dear family survivors; the greatest asset I can hand down to you is to commend you to the Lord Jesus Christ whom I have tried to serve from childhood. He is the only rock or foundation you can safely build or rely upon and you should love Him with all your might.
    Family members have followed this advice for at least five generations from that writing. Just a short time compared to the generations since Jesus said 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)

    And a mere blink since God walked in the Garden with Adam.

    I thank God for the family God has placed around us. Seeing the results of adoption in this life, the strength of love bonding people together is such a lovely picture of how we are adoptees in God’s family.

    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. (Ephesians 1:5-6 KJV)

    So we head off to increase the size of this family, adding to it in love as Christ explained:

    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6 KJV)

    May God’s will be accomplished and may this marriage be blessed by His presence, always.

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Still on the stand!

    If you missed yesterday, or you’ve already forgotten what I wrote, go back and catch up about being a Witness. Good to have you with me now.  I just couldn’t cut down Tuesday’s lesson without leaving out the best part, and the best part holds promises that should not be ignored.

    Did you ever get exactly what you expected? Me neither. The pictures created in my mind never did match up with reality.  I set my own expectations no matter what information my senses received.  Sometimes I was pleasantly surprised, other times I was bitterly disappointed. Those expecting the Messiah were the same.

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

    She described her perception of the Messiah. It didn’t match that of a conquering hero, powerful enough to defeat Rome. We define by our own desires and expectations. God provides what is needed. He provided the faithful witness. John described Him:

    John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:4-5 KJV)

    The gospel in a paragraph, isn’t it. Of course, there is more, much more, but this description is enough for hours and hours of discussion. However, I want to go one verse further:

    And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6 KJV)

    Don’t go building a religion on this one verse, but to think about the power God has to make us kings and priests unto God!  After that, think of the responsibility that kings and priests have. That’s our witness.

    Pretty overwhelming, isn’t it?  Do we really want that responsibility? To be placed in a position that others will look to us for answers? Where are the answers?

    And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:11-12 KJV)

    We may never be brought before church or secular law, but we are called upon to witness about our faith. We will be able to answer through the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

    Well, that is if we allow Him.

    Quench not the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19 KJV)

    Paul has several good admonitions in chapter 5, but this one stands out. We have the capability to silence the Spirit in our lives – or we can allow Him to speak through us. The choice is ours, our witness.,

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012


    This one wasn’t written just this morning.  It was started Sunday when pastor read:

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

    Now, that verse will preach for a long time. Since I was to present a devotional Tuesday, that verse spoke a lot to me.  So, I wrote five pages about it. I need to bring that down to one for this morning.

    Beginning with the witnesses from previous Hebrew chapters: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham – and the list goes on. Witnesses who placed their lives in God’s hands, teaching us that He kept his promises even when they didn’t. Also teaching us that they learned from their errors and witnessed with their faith.

    How do we grow the faith needed to witness to others about God’s work in our lives?

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

    It’s a simple statement of truth. Christ mentioned witnessing:

    And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14 KJV)

    In my presentation, I gave examples of family witnessing. No need to list them here, I believe each of my readers have been witnessed to by loving family members who want to share their love of God. There are several on my prayer list, too.

    What is our witness?  Pretty much what Jesus described to John’s disciples:

    Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Luke 7:22-23 KJV)

    We are witnesses to what Christ has done. Not what we’ve done or our church has done. Not our pastor, our missionaries or any other servant of our Lord. Our witness is what Christ has done in our lives, for His glory.

    How do we do that? The same way early Christians did:

    And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV)

    That’s our witness, in weakness and fear but in a truthful demonstration of the spirit. God will provide the words.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Saved From or For …

    The above graphic is a photo of The Door To Hell. The following line was on a church’s website as the third and last step in a plan of salvation:


    This is not an unusual entry in the list of reasons to come to know and love God, but it’s not the best one.

    Yes, the Bible tells us there is a heaven and there is a hell. The Bible also lays out the requirements for both as well as stories about people who ended up in one or the other, pretty much how they got there. I don’t recall one instance where a person chose God out of fear of hell but of fear of God and a desire to serve Him.

    The choice stood before Joshua and his people:

    And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15 KJV)

    Moses had made a similar statement earlier:

    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: 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 30:19-20 KJV)

    The phrase “from hell” is found twice in Proverbs, no where else. So, why do find ourselves seeking God?  Why should we obey Him besides fearing hell?

    Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:15-19 KJV)

    He loves us. What does the Bible say 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)

    So – when selecting to scare me out of hell, please spend as many words, as much time, in teaching me of the Lord who loves me and wishes me to walk humbly with Him. Please?

    Monday, September 17, 2012


    If you begin reading the verse on this mobius, you can continue reading it until you run out of desire, energy or time because it is an endless loop which can be followed to infinity.

    We are very finite people, dealing with an infinite deity. I once read an atheist’s comment that he could never believe in a deity that would provide infinite punishment in hell for the finite sin of unbelief, which ends at death.

    I do believe that God has revealed Himself, in His way, in His time, for His own reasons. What ever those are, we don’t know them. We’ve been told that this world will end – scientists confirm that – we just don’t know when.

    Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:35-36 KJV)

    Science has told us it will end in fire – the same result given in the Bible – when our sun explodes. Science has a probable timeframe, millions of years away. The Bible doesn’t appear to offer that long a term. Funny, neither did the Mayan calendar, though now it appears they may have just run out of room.

    Back to the infinite deity. How can we comprehend that which will not cease? Just as reading the mobius, we simply pick a spot and cease reading. It appears repetitious, and the words are, but the thought process and the learning are not. The possibilities are finite only because they are limited by time.

    If there is an infinite deity (and I believe God is) what we do about and for that deity is infinite. Rejection of God requires infinite punishment simply because He is infinite. Cease belief in Him, cease belief in His eternal salvation, cease being in His eternity. It remains our choice. Belief, or disbelief, is not determined by God, though it is foreknown by Him in His omnipotence. A quirk of infinity.

    Thoughts about Him often are as entwined as a mobius. One leads to another along path that always returns to Him. Even atheists who openly battle the beliefs of others keep Him in their thoughts as they write to change another’s belief. I do care what my loved ones believe, because I see an infinite future for them, and for me.

    I cannot provide that future nor their faith. The choice is for each individual to make. I am saddened by those who have told me, “No, I don’t believe there is a God.” They give reasons for their disbelief, so they’ve given consideration and made a conscious decision to reject the existence of God.

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18 KJV)

    God sent Lucifer and the fallen angels to hell. Humans go on their own.

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    The Right Words

    I often stumble over right wording, trying to express myself while not knowing how my reader will interpret words, phrasing and concepts. What I’m thinking as I write is not always conveyed with the words I choose, and my reader’s view is impacted by personal thoughts and experiences. We don’t see the same subjects in the same way.

    In the above graphic – what is shown? Why? I know the story, the names of the men and why they are sitting on the cowcatcher of the engine. Some of my readers will not be familiar with the term cowcatcher and spend time on that word. I know their legs are wrapped in a buffalo robe, not a blanket. Part of the story is on an update in my genealogy website about this photo. Even with that update, this photo’s story is incomplete.

    Just as each day I write a blog about Bible verses, and those blogs are incomplete. The Bible itself cannot contain all that God is. One day’s blog is a tiny facet, and I never know if my original thought is conveyed.  I do not, however, concern myself with having written the right word once this is published. If a typo is found, or an error, those will be corrected.

    The rest is done after prayer and Bible reading. Though I am not before a magistrate, I do have a critical audience, so I depend on scripture:

    And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:11-12 KJV)

    I depend on Bible verses and prayer when telling what the verses mean to me. I depend on the Comforter:

    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26 KJV)

    All of this is done without knowing who will read each day’s entry, so all of what I read and right begins for me. It’s not something I think readers will enjoy, heed or even return for tomorrow’s.  It is what I’m thinking about and what I need for my life.  Because It has been good for people for thousands of years, it’s good for me and will be good for my readers.

    All I hope for is that my readers will take their own Bible – any version – read the verses I’ve used, reading them in context. Do surrounding verses impact what I’ve written? Are the verses useful in understanding what I have in mind?  Do you get a different meaning from the verses? Tell me about it, please.

    Saturday, September 15, 2012


    My Bible tells me how God interacted with His creation, from then through the evangelical age of His Messiah. Mankind changed from tribalism to nations during ages the Bible was written. Not all of the interaction between God and man is understood, even today. Many live with that lack of understanding and deny that any god exists, much less one that is exclusive.

    God is.

    Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. (Isaiah 43:10-11 KJV)

    Three religions call upon Him, yet each sees Him in such a different light that they cannot be reconciled.

    Century after century violence erupts, ostensibly tied to these beliefs or their differences. Yet, all three believe God loves His creation, God speaks to His created, God has plans for each and every thing created.

    Problems arise when any believer denies that God is able to see His plan to completion and that only violence by men will achieve what God ordained.

    While the writings of the three religions are made of thousands of words and hundreds of pages, Jesus compiled them into two commandments of importance:

    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)

    Violence against one’s neighbors is never a question of religion – it is predicated on power – one’s feeling of being powerless or wishing to wrest power from another. Any excuse at hand will do. There are peaceful Christians, Jews and Muslims (in alphabetical order only.)  There are violent people called by those names who do not believe their God is capable of taking care of His creation. There are violent ungodly people willing to abuse any religion to gain their own power.

    In my world, God is able. Before this latest violence in Allah’s name, I quoted a verse that I believed then and still believe:

    If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. (Ecclesiastes 5:8 KJV)

    Nations may require retribution.  It is within their power to do so. God will require judgment and provide justice whether we see it here or not.  There is one, the father of lies, who uses men and their greed, looking to cause us to disbelieve this truth.

    Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44 KJV)

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    How Much Is Enough?

    He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12 KJV)

    Yesterday I mentioned there were other good lessons in this chapter. Here Solomon confirms that there isn’t enough silver – or abundance of anything – that can satisfy a man. Whatever is increased also increases things that consume them. It costs to live.

    What good are these things – these abundances? That beauty is only in the eye of the owner. Others do not appreciate their wealth.

    This ties so well into the lesson Jesus taught:

    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)

    The treasure doesn’t have to be tangible, either. The abundance of Ecclesiastes can be anything we put ahead of God. Unfortunately that can be family. It can be attention. It can be leaders – secular or spiritual. There is no end to the possibilities of the things we call treasurers, and we can collect them in abundance. All we get for that is the ability to watch them change.

    That watching often costs owners sleep. The last verse confirms the Preacher’s knowledge that a working man sleeps, worn out from his labor. For the rich, there are more worries. A good deal of those worries have to do with keeping his abundance safe from loss.

    How much better do we have it when our knowledge includes:

    … 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 1:12b KJV)

    That’s all for the future, though.  The Preacher has more information for us in chapter 5 for today:

    Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 KJV)

    Enjoy the days of your life.  Since the earth is the Lord’s, all we have is a gift from Him. Laborer or wealthy, it is good to enjoy the gifts from God.  May you enjoy every single day.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Wednesday (No, this really is Thursday)

    I am going to talk about last night, not this morning’s readings. Pastor covered Ecclesiastes chapter 5. My biggest problem is, there are several topics that are more than worth time spent with them. One, though, ended up with the note: “For tomorrow’s blog.”

    If thou seest the oppression of the poor,
    and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province,
    marvel not at the matter:
    for he that is higher than the highest regardeth;
    and there be higher than they. (Ecclesiastes 5:8 KJV)

    Matthew Henry describes:  “A melancholy sight on earth, and such as cannot but trouble every good man that has a sense of justice and a concern for mankind, to see the oppression of the poor because they are poor and cannot defend themselves, and the violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, oppression under colour of law and backed with power. “

    It happens today. We see it in headlines from around the world as well as our own country. Oppressive injustice slaps us in the face with the death of innocents. We are helpless, but we’re told not to marvel at the matter. What are we to do?

    We are to remember that there is no one higher than God. We are told here that He, higher than the highest, knows all about what is happening. More than that, He is higher than they. I would not want to be the one who answered to Him, without the salvation He provides.

    Think of the example that means the worst to you – I could give a selection list that boggles our minds, but you have your own – and imagine being the defense attorney. Is there any defense? That would stand up before our Creator? The One who laid out commandments that are summed up:

    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)

    Stand before Him and say, “It was a mistake.”  For that, let’s go back a few verses:

    Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:6 KJV)

    The subject of this verse is keeping vows. Men in authority – those in a position to oppress or for injustice – make vows. From police officers to presidents, inn keepers to kings, authorities make promises. [I]t was an error.

    Was it? Enough for an explanation to God?  Careful, we all have some authority. We’ve all made vows, some openly stated before God.  Where do we stand in our own lives?

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012


    Now I lay me down to sleep …

    We’ve all said that childhood prayer at one time or another. Even David:

    I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.(Psalms 3:5 KJV)

    He said it, not as a child, but as a father fleeing from his adult son:

    Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. (Psalms 3:2 KJV)

    David knew better. We see from his childhood that is love for and trust in God did not fail. Even when he sinned, he knew that:

    Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. (Psalms 3:8 KJV)

    As we head out to the hospital this early morning, we praise God for sustaining us, helping us, blessing us and most of all for the salvation He provided, Himself:

    And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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 3:14-16 KJV)

    Christ also explained that we must have the faith of a child:

    But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (Luke 18:16-17 KJV)

    And, we must take care how we deal with children:

    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 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 18:3-6 KJV)

    Smile at the thought of the child praying with his dog – God does.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Having Nothing

    Have you ever looked around to see that everyone – yes, every other person in the whole world – seems to have more?  Not that they all have everything, but each one has something that we either need, want or could put to good use. We see a lacking in our lives.

    The media is filled with people losing jobs, losing homes, unable to provide. A family flees fire or flood, leaving their home to possible destruction. They saved valuable memories as well as their lives. Crops are failing in one spot because of drought, in another because of too much rain. Stories abound about those who have lost, but overcome.

    We look toward our lack – and rejoice:

    Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
    neither shall fruit be in the vines;
    the labour of the olive shall fail,
    and the fields shall yield no meat;
    the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
    and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
    Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.


    The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:17-19 KJV)

    That alone is a wonderful thought – in spite of all we lack, we rejoice in the Lord.

    But, I fell in love with the last line when I pictured God as the chief singer on my own, personal stringed instrument.  I know, I know – that’s not what Habakkuk was thinking when he wrote it.

    I hear the touch of wind against leaves, creating music to match that of the birds on branches. The slap of raindrops on a variety of surfaces, echoing with thunder. The sound of waves against the shore, never ceasing, ever changing. The music God creates in nature soothes us, causing us to listen for that still, small voice.

    I see God’s hands working in our lives, bringing forth beautiful music on the strings of our heart. Bringing from the stillness within us music we never thought of ourselves.  Yes, He is the chief singer, the creator of all that causes us to rejoice. 

    Doesn’t matter what we lack, He provides what we need and enriches our lives with what He has created. 

    We rejoice.

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Talking Back To The Lord

    She wasn’t a Jew. He said He was sent to the Jews:

    And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:22-24 KJV)

    That didn’t stop her, but He was adamant:

    Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. (Matthew 15:25-26 KJV)

    She loved her daughter, knew what He had done, was certain what He could do, so she talked back to Him:

    And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. (Matthew 15:27 KJV)

    She did not demand based on being God’s creation. She did not bemoan being left out of God’s chosen people. She accepted what she was not, and was firm in knowing what could be done.

    Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (Matthew 15:28 KJV)

    We can have that same substance of things hoped for. We can accept evidence of things unseen.  We can even talk back and repeat to Him the words He gave to us through Peter in Acts 10:

    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: (Acts 10:34 KJV)

    Peter knew where Jesus was sent and he knew who God would accept:

    But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) (Acts 10:35-36 KJV)

    Acts 10 is a glorious revelation to all mankind. Perhaps we, too, felt that God was not for us. Felt that He was only for those He chose, others were to be left out. Jesus with this Canaanite mother and Peter with Cornelius prove that thought wrong. God is no respecter of persons. It was God who inspired these words from Peter, written by Luke:

    And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:42-43 KJV)

    I am among the whosoever. Are you?

    Sunday, September 9, 2012


    In 1956 I was introduced to a Royal typewriter, and the QWERTY keyboard. There were other keyboard layouts – such as this 1893 Blickensderfer typewriter:
    We own one, as do each of our children, as there is a distant family connection. But I couldn’t switch to using the Blick keyboard. I learned to touch type and my fingers seek out words without really spelling them. Up to two days ago I could type those words at 70 words a minute. Today, this has taken me fifteen minutes to get this far and my thumb aches. I do really give thanks for the ability to type, and I miss it.

    You see, I type as I think. Right now that process is tooooo slow! How can I think and constantly go back to fix typos?

    Of course, I can relate this to living a Christian life. When we love our Lord, read His word, fellowship with His children, we can move through the days of our lives comfortably at His side. When unrepented sin takes root, though, our relationship with God changes. We are not as comfortable in our walk. We stumble when we forget God.

    Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; (Jeremiah 18:15 KJV)

    Think that’s a stretch? My mind wanders like that.  When it does, I write what I think. Now, I can’t type as fast as I think, so it seems disjointed – at least to me. I beg Your patience over the next week or so as I heal.
    Our Lord has patience with us, too, when we fail. He waits, as the prodigal’s father, for us to return and submit:

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7-8 KJV)

    Draw nigh to God – make it a habit. Make it easy to keep God close by reading and hearing His word. That will keep His word, His love, His plan flowing through our lives.

    But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:25 KJV)

    My prayer is that my words will habitually direct people to His.

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    I Can’t Type

    If you are reading this, it means I can’t type this morning. Thursday I had my thumb operated on. I mentioned that in an earlier blog. Since I’m not certain how quickly the incision will heal, I’m posting this a bit ahead of time as a precaution.  If my blog doesn’t get updated, it’s due to a certain amount of pain – not to a lack of interest, or a lack of Bible reading.  Here’s what came to mind when I wondered what verses to use:

    There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

    Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

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

    The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

    Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

    The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

    Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

    The woman answered and said, I have no husband.

    Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

    The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

    Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

    Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
    (John 4:7-26 KJV)

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Psalm 19

    Whenever I begin Psalm 19, this song runs through my mind:

    The spacious firmament on high,
    with all the blue ethereal sky,
    and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
    their great Original proclaim.
    The unwearied sun from day to day
    does his Creator's power display;
    and publishes to every land
    the work of an almighty hand.

    To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. (Psalms 19:1-3 KJV)

    That’s powerful praise for our Lord as His handiwork appears evident before us. This Psalm gives so much more in its few verses.  Robert Lloyd Russell’s Abundant Life blog recently included these verses from Psalm 19:

    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.
    Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalms 19:8-11 KJV)

    He focused on some specific words, highlighting and delving into their meaning. I enjoyed his article. The verses, though, separated a bit differently for me – looking at each subject (statutes, commandment, fear, judgments, desires) and their results (rejoicing, enlightening, enduring, true and righteous) when viewed with Him as Lord.

    Then comes the bottom line, their reason for existing – they warn us. Each of nouns carry a warning. There are statutes that must be kept. They are few, but defined. The commandments are boiled down by Christ to two relationships – one with God, another with mankind. The fear is a matter of acknowledging and respecting the Lord’s power and authority. We have been warned, over and over, from Genesis to Revelation, that there will be judgment.

    We have also been told throughout the Bible that there are great rewards. While some may be seen here on earth, they have not been promised to us.  As Jabez, we may request that our ‘coasts’ be enlarged, but we are not promised they will be.

    This Psalm closes with a prayer I need to keep in mind:

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14 KJV)

    Our Lord’s creation shouts His ability, and we too often ignore it. We forget that we are to live our understanding of His power and His authority. The words of our mouth should be the evidence that we are meditating on Him in our hearts. Those words, and our actions, should acknowledge Him as our Lord. People should tell from what we do, what we say and where we go that He provides our strength.  Most importantly, we know Him as our redeemer.

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012


    With thanks to Beth Amatelli, author “I Talk … God Listens
    Our lesson in Sunday School mentioned that nothing in the Bible promises God’s children an easy life. We will have trials and tribulations that are a part of this world and happen to everyone.

    That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-4 KJV)

    We are promised an abundant life, and I can set you down with a large number of Christians who believe their life would be classified as abundant in spite of aches and pains and incurable diseases.

    Our Sunday sermon covered the last two chapters in Joshua, where we read:

    Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; (Joshua 23:6 KJV)

    Courage is required. We can be encouraged by others who know what we’re experiencing:

    And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. (Acts 28:15 KJV)

    Look at the verses that speak of exhort, which means to encourage, from Christ exhorting in Luke 3:18 to Jude exhorting us in 1:3. Thirty words in 29 verses, instructions to encourage one another:

    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)

    I like the way Matthew Henry put it – Paul is telling his readers …
    to give a speedy and present attention to the call of Christ. “Hear his voice, assent to, approve of, and consider, what God in Christ speaks unto you; apply it to yourselves with suitable affections and endeavours, and set about it this very day, for tomorrow it may be too late.”
    He continued:
    (1.) We should be doing all the good we can to one another while we are together, which will be but a short and uncertain time.
    (2.) Since tomorrow is none of ours, we must make the best improvement of today.
    (3.) If Christians do not exhort one another daily, they will be in danger of being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
    Having courage for those around us will allow our courage will grow. We will need it for the trials and problems that come our way. We will be tempted, everyone has been and that will not change. It can be overcome:

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)

    That escape route takes courage to walk with Christ.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Please Pray For This Family

    They have a lot to do. They were at our church Sunday night. If you’ll look at their calendar on the website, you’ll see that they stay busy.

    Take a look at their Mission Statement, too.  It starts out much as mine does, with our belief as to the truth shown by the Bible. It is God’s message, my guide for living God’s will. That’s the message they carry to nursing homes across America.

    How many nursing homes have you entered? Why? I’ve been to visit relatives, friends and just to sing along with a group. I’ve carried in flowers, cards and I’ve gone empty handed, but never with an empty heart. The Hinkle Family goes with gospel sounds and words to uplift residents.

    Visit them on Facebook, too. You can travel virtually with them as they make their way from one city to another, visiting those whose lives have become limited to a small area, often with few visitors.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2004 figures (the latest they display) there are 16,100 nursing homes in the United States with 1.7 million beds and an average occupancy of 86%. The average stay is 835 days. There were 936,000 workers in these homes.

    Can you imagine living in one room for 365 days, much less for more than twice that much? How long does it take us to reach ‘cabin fever’ stage during a winter ice storm. Two winters ago, we were iced in for five days. That was more than sufficient – we wanted to go, anywhere. For the most part, they can’t.

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

    The Hinkles do visit the widows – and residents would fall under the fatherless category, too, but they do more.  They have three goals:
    1. To encourage the saints and lead those who are lost to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
    2. To take young people on the road and expose them to a ministry caring about the Elderly.
    3. To encourage churches to get involved in caring about these Senior Saints. Through Bible Studies, Music, etc.
    I will admit that I fall into that ‘Elderly’ category and it sounds very good to me that there people who will come to visit me, sing to me and bring comfort through God’s word and His message. Doesn’t that sound like something good for all?

    We can help them. We can join in prayer. We don’t need to pray for their specific needs – we have help through one who knows exactly what the Hinkles need:

    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)

    Come, join with them in ministering to others.

    Monday, September 3, 2012

    Nothing’s Too Hard For God

    Perhaps you’ve seen the billboard. Did you know there was a website? Simply, This isn’t a new thought:

    And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 18:27 KJV)

    Paul put it a little differently:

    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)

    Why, then, do we wait to work with Him? We’ve seen people who believe they aren’t good enough. Just as soon as they get their act together, get their budget straightened out or simply finish sowing some wild oats. There’s plenty of time, right?

    Maybe – or maybe not. Want to gamble? How many other things have been put off and didn’t work out? Homework – plenty of time, but that didn’t work out very well, now did it? Putting off going to work – how did that work out?

    Some things shouldn’t be delayed, even when we don’t think we can do it on our own. We have been shown through many stories over centuries that He accomplishes what He sets out to do, even when people know it can’t be done.  Remember Sarah’s laughter?

    Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (Genesis 18:12 KJV)

    She wasn’t the first to laugh over that impossibility:

    Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? (Genesis 17:17 KJV)

    Perhaps the impossible thing is to believe that God is. Many have failed to accept that He exists. If He doesn’t exist, He can’t help. Each one has to get past that on their own.  Evidence exists in the lives of too many people to ignore. Proving He does not exist is as impossible as proving He does. It requires faith on both parts.

    The atheist finds faith somewhere that he will not be held responsible for his life. His faith tells him there is nothing after the moment of death. Neither of us can prove our point to the satisfaction of the other.

    I choose, deliberately choose, to believe God is. Never ending, never beginning, always is. Just as He said, “I AM.”

    Once we believe that, we can believe nothing’s too hard for Him. Then the question becomes, will we allow Him to do His will in our lives? Things change when we do. I wish I could introduce you to people I know whose lives were changed when they placed Him first. But you know people just like that, too.  They’re happy to tell you about it:

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

    Personally, I don’t wait until I’m asked – I’ll look for a way to work a question into our conversation. If it goes unanswered, I won’t press – but I will pray for you. Sorry – that’s just what I do. It’s another verse, you know.