Monday, April 27, 2015

In Mobile

We've seen a lot of water in the last few days. The huge bridges crossing the Mississippi River were impressive each time. So was the long bridge crossing the southern part of Lake Ponchartrain - no, not the long way, but this was long enough! There was water coming down, too, much of today. What went through Texas yesterday moved on east and stretched from Houston to Mobile, appeared to set in for the day - so we slowed down.

Our plans had been to tour the USS Alabama in Mobile Bay and then stop by the Blessed Hope Boys Academy - Beloved Husband's cold and the rain brought us to stopping point rather than move on and miss those two stops. It made me think of a time when Paul was stopped by a storm. He was a prisoner, on his way to Rome, after appealing to Caesar and the storm was very strong. He had confidence in listening to God:

And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Acts 27:22-24 (KJV)

Some of the sailors were so afraid that they tried to leave the ship in a small boat, hoping to save themselves. Paul told the centurion that unless they stayed on the ship, all would be lost. The centurion cut the boat free and the entire ship load of people suffered together - for two weeks:

And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.

Don't you wish it was that easy? Listen to a good preacher, heed what he has to say and we'd all be safe - even those who tried to leave. However, that wasn't the end of the story then and it isn't today.

Just as problems occur when we can barely see past the storm, getting to land wasn't easy for this ship. It eventually could not make landfall and the passengers had to help each other. Some didn't want to help, afraid of possible, yet not yet guaranteed, consequences:

And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

What will it take to get us and our fellow travelers (No - not on this particular cross-country trip!! Our fellow travelers in this world!!) safely through life to God's goal for us?

It may take those who can swim on their own, those who need some boards, those who cling to broken pieces along the way - and I believe it takes helping your fellow travelers. We do that by caring for the them the same way God cares for us -- with love. Telling the truth of the Bible in love. How do you see it?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Down Day

We reached Baton Rouge yesterday afternoon and our slightly-less-active partners are taking a rest day. My Beloved Husband is treating what is either an allergy problem or the onset of a cold. Symptoms and treatments are so similar that the best treatment (other than head-clearing medication) is rest. Our MD traveling companion could use the day's rest, too - and I must admit it is nice to be in a hotel that is not only comfortable and convenient, but offers a nice business area with a real keyboard. We're carrying handhelds with those tiny (well, a bit bigger on the tablet) keypads that don't fit my touch-typing fingers.

I didn't have a specific Bible verse in mind when I sat down here, but came up with one:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:5 (KJV)

From that last sentence, we can assume they were looking for a reward of some kind - but not what I have in mind. I remembered that scripture at a funeral several years ago. I was setting up for the family meal our church members provide for funerals. Several other volunteers were there to make the serving easy and the cleanup quick. A family member brought the memory book and asked if we would sign our names as she knew the widow would want to thank all who remembered her family.

There was one lady who declined to sign. I know I looked quizzically at her because she said "God knows, and I'd like to keep it that way." She didn't mention this scene, but it did come to my mind, along with the scene:

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:1-6 (KJV)

The best lesson I've taken away from the scripture - and the experience - is to live both quietly and openly the life we know God sees. When we understand that God does hold us accountable for all we do:

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)

. . . we will be closer to making the changes in our lives that He has in mind for us. What better reward could we have than to do what He requires:

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)

There is no better reward, is there?

Monday, April 20, 2015




Pastor referred to Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” during Sunday’s sermon, “The Blessings of True Forgiveness.” Just as Pastor, I read that in school and haven’t paid attention to it since – but I, too, remembered it as an excellent description of guilt. I’ve been told some people never feel guilt, believing all their actions beyond reproach. I know that not all of mine have been.

There are times we “pack our own bags for a guilt trip” when we shouldn’t, as when guilt is used as a verb:  make (someone) feel guilty, especially in order to induce them to do something.  However, no one I know can remain guilt free when it comes to using the word as a noun:  the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.

As Paul quoted Isaiah 41:26:

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:9-10 KJV)

We have all committed an offense. Come one, you can think of one right now!

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8 KJV)

But that wasn’t the focus of Pastor’s sermon. He took us to Psalm 32, a song of King David that was an instruction, intended to give moral teaching to improve perceptions. That’s what the source word for Maschil means.

A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalms 32:1 KJV)

David’s description of his feelings are as much physical as emotional:

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. (Psalms 32:3-4 KJV)

David knew all about confessing sin. We are told of the sin and its consequences in 2 Samuel 11:1 – 2 Samuel 12:12. And, David’s confession:

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13 KJV)

Psalm 51 tells of this, too, including his confession to the Lord:

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:4 KJV)

As a Junior Choir member at Immanuel Baptist Church in Tulsa, I learned this as a song, remembering it as I think of my own errors and God’s ability to forgive:

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

Guiltless? Only through God’s forgiving grace. For that, I am eternally thankful.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Prayer Time


I still hope to get this posted Sunday – but our internet is down and it’s getting later and later. Might be a good idea, though, for my readers to get used to sporadic postings over the next few weeks as we travel.

Prayer has been on my mind. I picked up Terrie Chappell’s “The Choice Is Yours” and it opened to the chapter on prayer. Chappell has several examples of prayerful people, beginning with Hannah, who was very misunderstood:

And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. (1 Samuel 1:12-14 KJV)

Eli heard her defense:

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. (1 Samuel 1:15-16 KJV)

She didn’t tell him what she petitioned of the Lord, but Eli was given a prophecy:

Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:17 KJV)

Later, Eli benefited greatly through her answered prayer:

And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. (1 Samuel 1:26-28 KJV)

She poured out her soul in prayer with complaint and grief. The entire nation of Israel benefited through her son Samuel. How do we approach Him in prayer? Chappell gave another example of prayer.

Daniel did it several times a day, and his enemies were aware of this:

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. (Daniel 6:4-5 KJV)

So they convinced Darius to create a law that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions (Daniel 6:7b KJV)

Daniel changed nothing in his relationship with his Lord:

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10 KJV)

Two excellent examples – and several questions: 1) do I pour out my heart and soul? 2) do I follow through on commitments? 3) do I have a prayer time scheduled? 4) what do I let get between me and my prayer time? 5) Why – or why not – for each of the four answers?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What He Said vs What We Do


Do you know that Jesus never advocated civil disobedience? Oh, that was what He was charged with – disrespect for Roman authority and working to over throw the Roman government – but what He is documented as saying is:

Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (Matthew 22:17-21 KJV)

That must be an important message, it’s repeated in Mark 12:17 and Luke 20:25. Or, how about:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. (Matthew 5:38-41 KJV)

Roman soldiers could compel citizens for a mile – Jesus tells us to offer two. The graphic for today is a screen capture from Michael Belk’s Journeys With The Messiah. I’ve found a couple of sites that were vitriolic in their dislike for this photo, stating how disgustingly immoral Nazi’s were. Could we possibly say the Roman army was better? Yet Jesus never offered physical resistance to Rome or Rabbis.

There was one exception in regard to His anger:

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Matthew 21:12-13 KJV)

He did not show anger when His message was ignored:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37 KJV)

And, the most important to me of what He said is in John’s third chapter:

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? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. (John 3:9-11 KJV)

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a religious leader, a “master of Israel” in the words of our Lord, yet he asked “How can these things be” the same way that question is asked today by so many. Jesus gave the bottom line, simplistic, non-theological answer that remains unacceptable to some today:

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. 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 3:14-18 KJV)

He came not to change Roman society, Jewish society or American society. He came to change individual lives, creating a personal relationship. How’s that working in your life?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yesterday’s Thoughts Continue


There is another thought from Pastor’s Wednesday night lesson:

There are churches everywhere that used to believe the gospel that today are filled with people who do not believe the Bible is the inspired word of God or that Jesus Christ is the true way of salvation.

I know from my own research that this is a valid statement. I’ve quoted articles from our own country and others written by ordained ministers who have stated (some emphatically) that the Bible is too outdated to be a reference for today’s society. I have read works of academic theologians that posit the same, placing doubt on the origins of the books selected for inclusion as scripture. John ran across these same concepts in the first century:

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:18-19 KJV)

Too many of these who “went out from us” pick and choose which scriptures to use – for their own gain, whether it be monetary or position. There are some, as Thomas Jefferson, who would delete certain biblical items and retain others as a “benevolent code of morals.” Why it would be considered moral if it were given by a man who lied about being sent from God to save souls is beyond my comprehension. The same man’s word are testified to by those who saw and heard Him. If they lied about a part of His message, why listen to the part he liked? Perhaps that’s what Jesus meant when he spoke of camels and gnats.

I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:21-22 KJV)

I can understand why John wrote this – partly because there are readers who are as familiar with the Bible as I am, yet have gone out from us as though the Bible had no truth. Unfortunately, Paul was familiar with them, too:

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

The same story of the cross that Paul preached:

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. (Acts 17:1-3 KJV)

Please remember that the scriptures Paul used came from what we call Old Testament. The New was being lived, not yet written. It was being preached – and believed. Can we do any less today and be called followers of Christ?

Thursday, April 16, 2015



"Filmstrip" Photo of a negative, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

During a church visit, a lady mentioned our church yard signs – I wrote about them three years ago. They are similar in size to realtor signs and many of our members have one in their front yard.  I know of only one person who requested one, but is not a member, so when you see one, you know the source.

The lady said the signs are not good PR for our church.She said the verses were negative. I regret that’s a problem for her, for two reasons:

First – the signs contain scripture. Yes, it’s only a verse – and not a long verse at that.  But the chapter and verse are cited and it’s simple to look up the verse and see it in context.

Second – the signs have two sides and the design has a verse of warning on one side and the other side in a verse of encouragement. Both sources are cited and available for comment.

I would hope they would be a source for questions and comments, an opportunity to expand viewpoints and learn from each other.

It is not any Christian’s responsibility to make the message acceptable – only to make it available. That’s what Pastor taught us Wednesday night during our study of Jude verses 3-4:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4 KJV)

Another reference he used was:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2 KJV)

That led me to two specific thoughts. The first has to do with “pernicious”:

having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way.
synonyms:  harmful, damaging, destructive, injurious, hurtful, detrimental, deleterious, dangerous, adverse, inimical, unhealthy, unfavorable, bad, evil, baleful, wicked, malign, malevolent, malignant, noxious, poisonous, corrupting; maleficent

I believe the translators found an excellent word for the Greek ἀπώλεια - destruction, causing someone (something) to be completely severed – cut off (entirely) from what could or should have been.

My other thought came from a genealogical article expanding on an example to encourage “trust but verify,” even when using a source with impeccable credentials. For me – that includes the Bible.  I do trust it, even though the original writings are lost and there are multiple translations.  It is the translations I verify and consider the source.

The 66 books included in the King James Version were listed as scripture by the fourth century. The process was open and there are many websites that give that history and discussion.  I agree with the one that states:

. . . we are moved simply to trust in his providence as he led his people through the years and gave us the most honored and powerful and comforting volume in the history of humanity, the book known as the Bible.

Let’s continue studying it, even what appears to be negative.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Watchman Shares Light

(I knew I had used the Ezekiel watchman scriptures a few years ago. It was good for me to re-read today. I hope it is for you, too.)

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5 KJV)

I’ve seen examples of this truth in so many places.  Darkness does not comprehend God’s light. We’ve also been told that our light must shine, too:

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV)

I’ve seen that verse pointed to as telling us that good works are necessary, but don’t talk about beliefs – they will offend some people. Once again, I point to what we’ve been told:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

When we do so, the response is often a comment that we are closed minded and not accepting of others. From a source I neglected to source, I found written what I pray applies to my life:
We live our beliefs. And that is what is so offensive. The fact that no matter how the mob roars we can't be changed. We won't let go despite the pressures brought to bear.
I will continue to share the light of my life, my Lord and my God revealed across the centuries in the Bible and in the example of lives lived for Him. I will offend some, cause others to laugh but for the most part, I will be ignored and remain unnoticed. Not my concern.

My concern is summed up in Ezekiel’s 33rd chapter about a watchman:

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (Ezekiel 33:6 KJV)

Jesus testified that He is the light of the world:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12 KJV)

As promised in Isaiah:

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2 KJV)

In my heart, in my soul, I see the return of our Lord – as promised. I will speak of Him, write of Him, pray to Him and share Him as the light in my life.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015



Do you know any good secrets? I have in the past – from surprise birthday parties to changes in corporate structure. Confidentiality is a character trait to be desired. Keeping secrets is very important. God has shown us to be perfect at keeping things secret:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:5-8 KJV)

“Had they known . . .” That could be said about us, too, couldn’t it? Had we known what God had planned, we wouldn’t have waited so long to accept His gift.  Had we known the joy He offers, we would have partaken much sooner. Part of the problem comes from listening to those who do not appreciate His gift nor want to be joyful. That is a mystery I cannot understand.

God does open some of His secrets:

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. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 KJV)

We might say it was easier for the disciples who walked with Jesus, heard His parables – and the explanations.

For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Matthew 13:17 KJV)

Preceding that verse is the parable of the sower. Following that verse is the explanation. Take time to look into the parable and Jesus’ explanation. Understanding one parable helps understand others – and there is much to learn from His words.

Some things are not yet understandable – not yet open to us. We are not prepared to receive them.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4 KJV)

Is there any other time in history that knowledge has been increased as in the last century? Are we not running to and fro? When will we know?

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:9-10 KJV)

What I understand is what Daniel was told at the close of his vision:

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (Daniel 12:13 KJV)

I will do so not by what I know or what I have done, but by God’s grace:

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (2 Timothy 1:9 KJV)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Proclaim The Gospel


"A reconstruction of houses within a walled city" from

Sunday our congregation celebrated its 60th anniversary. I learned much more about its history over the last few weeks.  We’re short-timers, having been here just seventeen years. There was a funeral last week for one of the charter members and Sunday I discovered the families who started the church were in their 20’s, with young children. There are some remaining charter members – and many of their children are continuing our Lord’s service in this congregation.

That includes making a joyful noise unto the Lord, especially proclaiming the message from the lyrics “Jesus Saves.” Not the one found in hymnals – the one that tells us:

But the world still tells us daily,
That God is not alive;
Salvation's plan is just a fairy tale.
But their lies don't change the truth,
Jesus died for you;
And the word of His returning
Could happen any day.

I love the chorus!!

I'm gonna shout it from the housetop,
Proclaim it from the mountaintop,
Tell the world around me - Jesus saves;
I have made my choice,
I'm gonna make a joyful noise,
The world will hear my voice, Jesus saves!

How biblical is that chorus? Well, we know from many Bible verses that Jesus saves – I’ve used them often enough through the years. We know we’re supposed to make a joyful noise, too. But how about those housetops?

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. (Matthew 10:27 KJV)

As the graphic shows us, a house in the Jewish city of Jesus’ time gives ample opportunity for a large number of people to hear what is being preached. My own housetop would garner more cows that people if I were to preach from it – so I choose to use this blog to pass along with I have heard – JESUS SAVES. Spread the tidings all around, Jesus saves.

That’s the joyful sound of good news proclaimed by angels:

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 KJV)

The message hasn’t changed from the centuries before through those that followed. God loves His creation and has such tremendous plans for it that we cannot understand . . .

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)

. . . except for what He has revealed through His word, as Paul describes:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (1 Corinthians 2:5-7 KJV)

Where do you choose to shout and proclaim the message that Jesus saves?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

If You Missed It . . .


If you missed me yesterday, it wasn’t your fault. We had to be out of the house early – and got back late. What happened reminded me of:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Timothy 4:3 KJV)

No – I haven’t uncovered scripture that overturns what I perceive as sound doctrine, but Beloved Husband certainly reminded me of itching ears. He has new hearing aids. Very expensive, very technologically current, but the left one makes him reach often to his ear.  After a couple of weeks of use, the audiologist confirmed that the aid was not seating properly and was allowing feedback. For him, the sound was absolutely intermittent. No head movement, specific range, incorrect seating – the mold simply had be redone and the aid remade.

Sometimes it takes remolding, doesn’t it? Remember the Lord’s word to Jeremiah:

Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. (Jeremiah 18:2-3 KJV)

If you’ve never watched a potter cast a work on a wheel, please take time to find a video. It is a very personal work. I have cast clay in molds, and the results are pleasing. But the potter ends us touching each particle of the clay, molding it by hand as his wheel turns, matching the speed of the wheel with pressure to shape to his will. Except:

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jeremiah 18:4 KJV)

Let’s assume for the moment – an assumption because it is not part of the scripture – that there was a grain of gravel, an immalleable piece of stone that caused the mar. That I have seen happen on a potter’s wheel. The Bible does not tell us what caused the marring, though it is absolutely positive that the potter used that same clay to make another vessel simply because it seemed good to the potter to make it.

God has that prerogative with His creation.

O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. (Jeremiah 18:6 KJV)

I believe that applies to all of His creation, not simply to Israel. I believe that ties in to what Mordecai told Esther:

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

Think of all the examples given of faith in Hebrews 11. Then think of other examples where God had to do a bit of convincing before His chosen vessel responded to the call. Where do we fall in this group. I know I fall to those needing convincing. I believe I’ve experienced remolding, just as the potter’s vessel, just as BH’s hearing aids. I pray for the best fit into His will.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Without A Nap


Long time readers might recognize this as a Great Pyrenees – not the one we had years ago, but the same breed. tells us what I’ve seen in action

The Great Pyrenees dog breed's goal in life is to protect sheep, goats, livestock, people, children, grass, flowers, the moon, the lawn furniture, bird feeders, and any real or imaginary predators that may intrude on your personal space. Oh yeah, and to give, give, and give unconditional love.

Yesterday was plasmapheresis for David. It’s early rising and a long drive into Fort Worth to the hospital followed by several hours of processing and the same drive home. Our treat is both breakfast and lunch out, followed by a nap. For him, the process is exhaustive. For some reason, I was just as exhausted. When we arrived home, there was a Great Pyrenees pup waiting for us on the patio. Not ours, of course, but a gorgeous, friendly half-grown pup full of vitality and wanting to make friends. We went down for a nap instead.

I woke to yelping and the cats running to the door. The pup was in our dog pen. I sent a text to Second daughter who answered he was there until the owner came for him. Not long later, I was again awakened by a terrified yelping. The owner was there, had a leash on the dog’s neck and was dragging the uncooperative pup, who resented that, loudly.

His name was Chuck and he was acquired to keep an older Pyrenees (Charles) company and learned from him. He had never had a collar on before. The only training was what Charles had given.

My interrupted naps left me totally unrefreshed, and thinking about:

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)

I did not do this for my children. Oh, I professed to love the Lord my God – but not enough to be in His house to worship each week. And, I had Bible in the house, read verses with my children – but not each and every day, nor were they discussed when we sat in the house, walked along the way. We did not pray together every night nor rise rejoicing in the day the Lord had made for us.

Yet, as the pup’s owner, I expected it to happen simply through osmosis. I was so wrong, and I am so grateful that God saw to it they were given the correct witness and desire to find Him on their own. How better it would have been for them to have seen this in my own life – better for me.

Be prepared for questions that may require research and viewpoint shifts, but never delegate the teaching. It will make a world of difference.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A “Not Right” Heart


This illustration depicts the procedure for obtaining 'salt gall water' . Salt is first extracted from sea water by heating. The hot salt is then put in a wooden trough with a drain, below which is placed a vessel to catch the dark liquid that runs out of it. This is salt gall water, also known as brine (lushui).The text states: Salt gall water is salty and bitter in sapor, and highly poisonous. It must not be consumed by human beings or domestic animals.

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. (Acts 8:21-23 KJV)

It is evident that I’m interested in the meaning of words – what they are supposed to convey, not simply what we perceive they might mean. There shouldn’t be any misunderstanding about “gall.”

gall (ɡôl/)
1. bold, impudent behavior.
synonyms: effrontery, impudence, impertinence, cheek, cheekiness, insolence, audacity, temerity, presumption, cockiness, nerve, shamelessness, disrespect, bad manners
2. the contents of the gallbladder; bile (proverbial for its bitterness).
synonyms: bitterness, resentment, rancor, bile, spleen, malice, spite, spitefulness, malignity, venom, vitriol, poison

None of those definitions are attributes we would wish for ourselves – or for those around us. Peter chose the description after Simon approached the apostles and tried to buy their works for his own gain:

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (Acts 8:18-20 KJV)

Simon responded:

Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. (Acts 8:24 KJV)

Why? Peter didn’t curse him, didn’t threaten to bring the wrath of God down upon him, so why was Simon afraid “of these things which ye have spoken”? Peter had given the gospel message. The same one I’ve given over and over, often in Peter’s own words. And, I’ve failed just as badly as Peter did. Yet Peter and I did our own praying for forgiveness. Simon did not understand that he was responsible for his own actions, requiring his personal response to God – not some other person’s.

We cannot blame anyone for our own distance from God. Even if their heart is “Not Right”, we can only accept change to our own, not theirs. It is up to us to approach God for the change to our heart. We may be concerned for the other person, even care about their relationship to God – but we cannot allow the gall of bitterness to stand between God and His work in our lives.

If we do – if we retain the bitterness, the poison – it affects our lives and we live in the bondage, not the person we deem as the cause. Allow God to work in our own lives, because we should have no part in their.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Would We?


For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (1 Corinthians 11:31 KJV)

Sunday evening we participated in the Lord’s Supper. Among the scriptures Pastor read were:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29 KJV)

That’s an excellent explanation of what happened at our Lord’s Last Supper – and how we are to prepare ourselves before partaking of one in remembrance of Him. As usual, I read further and found verse 31, which reminded me of a couple of verses in Judges:

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:16 KJV)

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25 KJV)

We are warned about this in:

Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. (Deuteronomy 12:8 KJV)

And, Solomon thought it important enough to address twice:

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15 KJV)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:12 KJV)

That last one is of utmost importance to us - it should be how the Lord sees our hearts, and we must place ourselves in His hands to tell us what that is. This is where I agree wholly with King David:

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalms 26:2 KJV)

I also desire another of David’s psalms:

Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (Psalms 19:12-13 KJV)

God does know my heart, my desires, my errors. Because of this, I also pray David’s prayer:

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)

Just how would we judge ourselves without God’s insight?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

Monday Calendar Clipart

No, today’s not Sunday – but I made some notes yesterday and want to go over them this morning.

First – we were in church on a Sunday, the first day of the week – not Saturday, the seventh, Sabbath. Yes, I believe the Bible and the Bible says:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)

However, things changed that first day of a week. Before that Sunday, a new covenant was given:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (Matthew 26:26-29 KJV)

Wait – I wrote new covenant and English translators used testament – which is correct? Take a look at:

Strong's G1242, the Greek διαθήκη (diathēkē) dee-ath-ay'-kay
properly a disposition, that is, (specifically) a contract (especially a devisory will): - covenant, testament.

We read that it was the first day of the week the disciples discovered the empty tomb (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1). They did not come to see an empty tomb, but to do a belated burial preparation. Each one who came to the tomb expected to find His body there. He was not to be found – although they had been told what to expect. And, God’s third day of creation brought forth life. 

It was that first day of the week that the resurrected Jesus was seen by His disciples:

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (John 20:19 KJV)

The disciples continued to attend synagogue on the Sabbath, but they also met each first day of the week (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2), the Lord’s day.  Justin Martyr is said to have written:

"On the day which is called Sunday, all (Christians) who dwell either in town or country come together to one place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read for a certain time, and then the president of the meeting, when the reader has stopped, makes a discourse, in which he instructs and exhorts the people to the imitation of the good deeds of which they have just heard."

It is this desire to remember the new testament, our Lord’s resurrection and to gather with His followers that has me in our congregation each Sunday morning worshipping the Lord of the Sabbath:

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.(Mark 2:27-28 KJV)

(Yes – these thoughts were prompted by questions from a loved one as well as genealogy research prompted by an ancestral member of the Seventh Day Baptist Church.)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Empty Tomb

Have you ever played “What is wrong with this picture?” The above graphic would fit right in with the game. There are so many culturally incorrect items in the scene that we would come up with a long, long list. However, it does convey the thought for today:

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6 KJV)

That’s what sets this day apart from all others, and our Christian beliefs apart from all others. Yet, people ask the same question today as they did millennia ago:

Then said the high priest, Are these things so? (Acts 7:1 KJV)

That was asked in response to Stephen’s testimony about Jesus:

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. (Acts 6:8-10 KJV)

Aggressive actions create an adversarial situations – and this one turned very adversarial:

Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. (Acts 6:11-14 KJV)

Please remember, that same “Jesus of Nazareth” had died on the cross, His death designed by some of these same men. Why would discussions about a dead man be so difficult to debate? Because the rumors of His resurrection could not be put to rest. They continue today. The day after His death, possibly by these same men, concern was expressed and answered:

Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. (Matthew 27:63-66 KJV)

They did. It didn’t work. He is risen – from the third day, forever more, He is risen. Angels confirmed it to the disciples:

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. (Luke 24:6-7 KJV)

Do not blame those who called for His death – they are long ago dead and gone, forgiven by Him. Do not blame those who still today call Him dead, no longer relevant nor required in today’s world, they are His concern.

HE IS RISEN! For that reason I will gather with like-minded believers on the first day of the week, creation day as well as resurrection day, to celebrate God’s gift to mankind – propitiated salvation.

Go ahead, ask me all about it! There is so much to tell.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Time Is Flying!

More than 25% of this year is gone. Everything we planned to do during that time is either done – or has moved into the next 75% of the year. My own calendar easily shows the loss and I’ve begun marking out the vacation time, beginning in green lines above. Oh, we’ll be gone longer than that, and telling it on line isn’t a problem – our home is never empty! Part of the joy of living is what people deem a “family compound.” That reminds me of a verse, too:

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 KJV)

Perhaps we’ve given up a certain amount of support when we opt for independent privacy. We didn’t opt for privacy on vacation, either – haven’t for several years.  We find it quite pleasurable to share our trips with dear friends – building cords not easily broken.

But that wasn’t the main thought when I thought of calendars – and how little time there is now to prepare for our vacation. What was on my mind was:

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:2-6 KJV)

I must admit that redeeming the time was what I remembered, but when I read the surrounding verses, I came away with much more than that thought. How about the first part: Walk in wisdom toward them that are without? How to we equate that to Solomon’s advice:

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: (Proverbs 1:15 KJV)


This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (Ephesians 4:17 KJV)


Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV)

The application in my own life is to maintain my walk with biblical principles, not acting in the midst of a crowd complacently moving through society without making ripples or creating discord. I must move toward those who are without – without the circle of Christian fellowship, without the saving grace of our Lord and God.

Move toward them with truth – which they may not understand and which they may resent when hearing – in loving kindness, just as it came to me. Move toward them after prayer for our Lord’s words to come through me, His message that reaching the lost is why He came:

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 KJV)

With His help, we can make those moves in love, but not without Him.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What To Look For

I do not know anything about John Lubbock – and I didn’t look him up to find out more.  I do agree with what this quotes him as saying.

The other day I wrote about atheists stating the internet was where they found their answer as to God’s existence – and discovered that He does not exist for them. They would probably say that I haven’t looked enough to find out I’m wrong – but they would be wrong. Obviously, simply based on that post, I do read opposing views and have not changed my mind.

It may have began with lessons at Immanuel Baptist Church in the 1950’s. Yes, we did a great deal of Bible memorization, but we were also taught to question our beliefs and compare them with others. How else can we be certain what we are being taught is correct?

A lot of people do it by searching for what they want to find. A way of scratching their itching ears. I have found myself seeking answers instead of seeking God. Wow, there are so many different writers that it almost appears that no two people have the same viewpoint regarding God at all.

I do accept the Bible as authoritative regarding God’s message to mankind.  I know – half the world doesn’t. I haven’t spent as much time as theologians questioning why I believe this, but my minor studies and seventy-plus years of living in this world still has me turning pages in the Bible – and I’ve found nothing to disprove the words.

Yes – I have search out, discovered and read articles and books that teach differently. In most instances, these are the opinions of men – and some can be discounted after comparing with the Bible. If any man tells me he received another gospel from an angel, even one that refers to the Bible, the Bible tells me it’s not true. Why would an angel give something other than what the Bible says. For a man to have such a message, he’d have to have a whole lot more proof.

Christianity has broken into multiple denominations, differing over doctrine. So, if the Bible tells me one thing is wrong, I think I’d better pay attention, don’t you? If I’m told there are specific prayers to pray, shouldn’t I return to what Jesus suggested? Not what has no value.

Bottom line – seek God, our Lord:

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

They are the words David said to Solomon:

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; (1 Chronicles 22:19a KJV)

They are similar to the words my Beloved Husband’s grandfather wrote down for his children nine years before his death:
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.
I, too, commend you to the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the God we’ve been seeking since the beginning. We will see what we are looking for.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


I don’t recall using this word outside of the Bible – or a college course:
edificationpronunciation: edəfiˈkāSHən
noun formal
the instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually.
synonyms: education, instruction, tuition, teaching, training, tutelage, guidance;
Still, I find it some of my favorite verses:

Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. (2 Corinthians 13:10 KJV)

Edification is what I’m doing here. Educating, instruction, teaching, guiding – edifying anyone who will take the time to read. It is a good biblical example to follow:

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV)

Christ gave the law in such simple words that anyone in the world can understand them:

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)

The entire Bible is based on love. Yes – I can say that in spite of God’s destruction of cities deemed appropriate, cultures He required be wiped out and the evil men have done to each other. The basis of God’s interaction with mankind is based on love. That’s the most basic lesson I could share:

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:7-11 KJV)

You cannot know how I love my husband because you have not lived with him as I have. Frankly, you cannot know how I love my Lord – unless you have chosen to live with Him, too. Through Him, as John states, we live – differently than those who ignore, reject or deride Him. Oddly enough, we do outnumber them, but we’re not doing a good job of getting the message across. Why?

Edification. That instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually that we’ve been given as a task:

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:2 KJV)

We are not to please our neighbor – our brother – for his contentment, happiness or joy. We are to please for edification, for education. We do not please others when we argue or anger. When we change it from a noun to a verb, it gets even better:

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Romans 14:19 KJV)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV)

What are we doing to make peace and offer comfort?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gardening and Videos


Yesterday I promised a peek at how I spent most of my day – which caused my blog delay.

I know there are many ladies my age – and quite a few older – who put in a full garden. I know that partly because several share over the year. I don’t. I have a container garden even though we have acres available. It’s what I enjoy – and what I can care for.

There were larger gardens in my past. Some were good, some pretty much burnt up or were waterlogged into inexistence. Most of that was due to the gardener, though.

This year the containers hold rosemary, blueberries and onions that overwintered beautifully. My great-grandson, Micah, loved picking blueberries last year and his fingers and lips will be blue this year, based solely on the number of blossoms. Yes, those are in a container, too – a big one! Tomatoes are a must – partly because I like the taste, but mostly because my Dad always had tomatoes in his garden. I don’t grow the okra he did, but do the squash.

Another portion of my day was putting into words what our church means to me and using Beloved Husband’s words so we could have a script and not stutter too much while making a video.

This coming Sunday our church celebrates its 60th anniversary. We’ve stretched it out ahead of time, worshipping in the two buildings used before our current sanctuary. One was the Community Center for Cottondale. It once was a school for the surrounding area. The other was moved several miles away to be used for a church in another town. It was good to worship in those buildings that have been preserved and remain useful – and used.

What I spoke about in the video was our bus ministry. After moving into what was a four-generation household, we waited a bit before seeking out a church home – but one came looking for us. My granddaughter’s school friend invited her to ride a van from a church six miles away. Within months, our multi-generational family moved memberships or were baptized there. Seventeen years later, we’ve either served – or have been served by – all of the ministries offered in our church.

Both my gardening and my church bear fruit. The theme of fruitfulness runs through the Bible, too. Not because of simple agrarian cultures, but fruitfulness is a necessary part of life. As technologically adept as our world is today, good harvests are absolutely necessary for life.

Right in the middle of the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus speaks to His disciples about harvesting:

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. (John 4:35-38 KJV)

As He sent disciples out two by two, He also mentioned harvest:

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2 KJV)

The very least – and I do mean least – we can do is pray for those who do labor for the Lord. The best we can do is follow His will for our lives.