Walking on a picket fence, Even for 10

Hello,  Sometimes I find myself walking on a picket fence, knowing that something is wrong not wanting to hurt people’s feelings divided on how to handle an uncomfortable situation. Not wanting to sound as if I am judging someone.

Sometimes I see people walking in the gray area and God says that person is not one in your path.  Then it is easy, they hit my radar but I am not supposed to reach out to them.  I am to pray for them.  When this happens, I have learned to not sin by reaching out to them anyway.  I am not a super Christian able to reach every person that crosses my path.  Sometimes those people that cross my path are there because I need them.  God sent them to help me.

Our nation is standing on a picket fence.  Or at least that is how it seems to me.  One side seems to want complete control of our lives.  They are willing to do anything to get it.

As Christians we should beware of the untruths that are being spread.

If we don’t accept the side that is trying to control everything we are called all sorts of bad names.  They don’t accept that if I say okay you do that but I don’t approve; that is my right.  They want everyone to believe exactly how they believe.

The early church had that problem.  Deceivers everywhere trying to change the Salvation message, the word of God.

Jude: 17-23:

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

I guess I just jumped off the fence.  I am on the Lord’s side. The deceivers are wrong. Bring on your bad names you haters of God. God is my choice. I have been on this side for some time now, I just have been silent. Which is wrong. I hear people say there is evil afoot and no one can stop it.  God can if we believe if we ask. God Can. I understand that if the bowls have been poured there is no going back.

Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?

How about What Abraham asked God?

Genesis 18:

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

If God’s people repent, if God’s people pray, God can stop the evil.

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lift each other up

James 1: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. As I was reading this it dawned on me why we do works.  We don’t do works to earn our salvation, but to show our faith.

woman wearing grey crew neck sweater
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The Bible encourages us to take care of each other.  To lift each other up.  When we accept Jesus as our savior, the desire to become more like him.  This is why we do good works.

But how do I lift someone else up?  How do I have the strength?  Trust God. When you hear of someone in need, do what you can to help.

 

One flesh

Genesis 2:24:   That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

currently I am in a Bible study of Genesis and one of the questions in this verse asked does this apply to women as well? Are women supposed to leave their parents as the man and woman become one.

family pictureeMy first response to answer this question was to think about families taking care of their parents.  Do they always take care of the wife’s family?  I found that this is not always true people take care of their elderly parents based on who is able.  Sometimes it is shared with siblings.  There does not seem to be a rule and the Bible just talks about caring for your parents. (but most always widowed mothers)

Next I explored did women of the Bible leave their family behind. Take Rebekah, she left her family to marry Isaac.  But Jacob left his home to marry Rachel and Leah. Ruth left her family to follow Naomi eventually marrying Boaz.  imagine there are people that married someone from the community and stayed in the community.  But I can’t pinpoint any except maybe Mary and Joseph who left their community together.

So what exactly does that mean?  because inheritance used to be through the oldest son. family picture

I think it frees the sons up to pursue their own family. To be responsible for their own family. Sure they have an interest in their birth families estate and welfare.

Think of this way, mothers and sons are often close but when a son takes a wife, he has to put his wife before his mother.  That does not mean that he forgets his mom.

Sons leave their parents home to increase the families holdings.  Dad farms this land and the son farms across the street.

Sons leave the family home so they can focus on their own family.

Daughters leave the family home for the same reasons to take care of their families.

The Bible is very clear about honoring your parents. It is also clear that families expand because sons join with a wife. Eventually Jacob returned to his homeland.

Not sure I have answered the question just listed more possible answers.families pictures

It works that way. God reveals to each of us what we need.

It never dawned on me to live close to my family, we aren’t close.  My husband is close to his family.  But he does put me first.

Beautiful Worthy

iceland sunriseDo you ever wonder if you are worthy to be called: “Child of God”?  I know I do.  There are days when I feel as if God can’t even stand the sight of me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I imagine when we stray, God is not happy.  However, Jesus died for us, bringing us salvation.  The fact that He sent His son to die for us that we can have everlasting life, (John 3:16) proves that God sees us as worthy.

Why should I think less of myself than God does?  I can hear the objections now.  If I thought about myself as God does than I am in danger of sinning.  (The sin of pride)

I used to think the same thing.  Then I realized that if I see myself as God’s wonderful creation; a person worthy to be called a child of God, I am not being proud. Rather, I am giving the credit, the praise, to God for creating me as a beautiful creation.

I am not being proud. I am accepting the fact that everything God creates is good, wonderful.  sun and moon for wp

We are created as beautiful worthy. We get ugly when we listen to the evil one.  The longer we listen to the evil one; the uglier we become. UNLESS we accept the SON – Jesus as our savior.  Once we do that, we have shed our ugliness. Oh sure we will sin again. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Nevertheless, we are clean because we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. (1 John 1:7).

Psalm 8cropped-0331130707a.jpg

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth

 

Prayer for Today:

iceland sunrise

John 3:19-21: 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Prayer for the day: May we be Courageous enough to do everything in the LIGHT. 

Distraction and Fear

I have been thinking lately, that I need to write something.  I need to refocus on my mission.  But I was overwrought with fear. If you remember, about 4 months ago; I had  couple of serious emergency room visits.  I could have died.  But God said it is not my time.  I have more work for you to do.  At first I was resolute, this was not going to stop me.  Then another more serious event occurred.

I understand God, I need to slow down.  No problem, but how do I do that.  The past few months have been discovering how to let things go.  The furniture needs dusting, so what.  I need to make blah blah – so what, If I get to it, I will get to it.

One of the best things that I have done to minimize my stress is to buy my groceries online.  Yes, I have to trust someone else to pick it out for me. If it is not satisfactory, I can send it back.  How it works is I place an order and later I go pick it up.  This means I can look at the product before signing for it. Yippee

The real battle is the fear; if I start going too fast, then maybe I will end up back in the emergency room. I have once, but God is faithful. In that room my husband and I prayed.  My blood pressure dropped to an acceptable rate.  We learned the importance of praying together.

But I still wasn’t finding time to write to tell people how wonderful God is.  How he is changing me.  Even today, I resolved to write.  Things distracted me.  First the router flashed a message about authorizing an update.  Okay done. Then I remembered that I needed to order groceries.

Recently, I have been reading scripture reminding me “I should not fear, God is with me.” It really struck home when the doctor started quoting scripture to me. The tears rolled down my eyes, as I smiled back at him.  I heard God in his words.  Sure I had read it. Seemed as if every scripture I read; God was reminding me that he is in control and that I needed to focus on him.

One of the distractions sounded as if it were God, but then I prayed for confirmation.  I started reading scripture that clearly indicated that my ministry can not be separated from my husband’s ministry.  It sounded as if God had answered a long time prayer for me.  But after the third scripture mentioning that my ministry is interwoven with my husband’s ministry, I knew that this was the evil one trying to sway me.  See they kept saying don’t discuss this with anyone, not even your husband.  This is contrary to scripture.  Which by the way, is a good way to tell if it is really from God.  God’s advice will never contradict his word.

In the mean time, I was distracted from writing.  I was distracted from my spouse supported mission.

When I told him this morning that I was going to write something, his response was positive, but I could also hear the “it’s about time” in his voice.  God speaks to me through my husband all the time.  If you think God is telling you to do something and you are not certain; discuss it with your spouse.  If their answer is not what you want to hear, then it is not God.

My husband has been extremely supportive as I heal. He has not complained about how messy the house has become.  He has supported my efforts to lose weight and to become healthier.  I practice yoga and Ti’ Chi.  They are different forms of learning to calm the mind and breathing.  It is more than that but for this it is enough. I am working on incorporating prayer with my meditation, slow breathing.  This by the way is Biblical.

Isiah 35:4: say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

Isiah 54:17: no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lordand this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.

Multiplication

Mark 4: 13-20:  Who can understand a parable?  I imagine that if you told the parable of the Sower,  to one who lives in a city and has never seen a farm; they might be OK, whatever.  However, if we told it in terms they can understand then perhaps they will mature in Christ.  Wait a second, you aren’t supposed to change the word of God.

That is how you do it.  First you read the scripture and then you explain it in the language of the listener.  When we do this, we are increasing our audience, our sphere of influence for Christ.

Say my audience was a group of inter-city youths.  I would have to find out what is important to them.  And it would depend on a few things such as:

  • Are they targets for gangs or gang recruitment?
  • Are they interested in education?
  • Are they interested in the military?
  • Do they expected to be trapped in the intercity?
  • Are they part of the culture that believes going to jail is a right of passage?

I am sure there are many more comparisons and we have to understand that some may fall into more than one category. Giving us more ways to reach them. We figure out how to explain the message in their language.  This is not changing God’s word.  Think of it this way, do you feel that the NIV has changed the Word?  If we could all understand the Old KJV, then other translations wouldn’t be necessarry. Since we all come from different backgrounds different examples of parables are required.

My favorite is most likely to be shared with women who like to bake.

To make bread, you need flour, yeast, milk or water, and salt.

If you don’t mix in the yeast well enough then your bread rises unevenly, it may still be eaten but no one is going to like the heavy part.

If you don’t put in enough yeast, then your dough doesn’t rise it is useless.

If you put in too much yeast, then it becomes too airy and the outside bakes before the inside.

If you put in the right amount of your ingredients, and knead the yeast into the dough without over kneading then you get wonderful bread and everyone wants it.

Explanation: Every wants bread sometimes the baker doesn’t make good bread- the seed that  is sowed in shallow or thorny soil and they lose interest in the baker.

Some times the baker forgets the yeast and it is flat and tough (and your audience is not predominately Jewish) this is the seed that lands in the hard ground.

But the baker that mixes everything just right, ingredients, kneading; this is the seed is in the fertile soil.  Everyone wants it. (it being the message of God) See when we bake our bread just right, everyone wants it, our profits multiple.  The word about us is spread.  Translation to Christianity, the Good news that Jesus is our savior is spread.  The good baker (person that spreads the Good news about Jesus) knows how to knead enough yeast just right.  The person that fruitfully spreads the Word of God; listens to the Holy Spirit, so they are more effective.

When we tell the word of God to fit the audience, then our efforts are multiplied.  More people hear and understand; more people are duplicating the efforts and sharing the word of God.   Multiplication

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word.15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Love your neighbor-even the annoying one-HA

We have a neighbor that makes this extremely difficult, throws trash in our back yard to include chicken bones that could seriously hurt our dogs.  Speaking of dogs, he breed his then kept them locked up separate from their mother except for a few hours a day so she could feed them – only after a visit from the humane society. He and his significant other have drunk arguments until the wee hours of the morning OUTSIDE. When he is not drunk, he is polite keeps his lawn mowed, over waters the lawn running into ours. (oops that is another negative)

boy-666803__340 annoyed

He probably doesn’t like that we struggle to keep ours mowed especially this year. We aren’t perfect neighbors, our lawn and house need work.

I am sure everyone has a neighbor that they don’t exactly like.  I know some of our neighbors don’t exactly like us.  The one complains about how we need to paint our house and fix the driveway all the time.

I remember the one time that I tried to talk to her; she just ignored me.  Her dog had gotten out of the yard when they were gone.  We placed the dog in our back yard.  I just waited for one of the kids to get home.

So how do you love that neighbor?  What can you do?  Sometimes the best way you can show love to your neighbor is to pray for them.  I try not to make my prayer sound grumble grumble.  Instead I try to say Dear Lord, he is drinking in his hot tub alone again Lord, Keep him from passing out.  In my imperfect human mind, at this time it is the best I can manage.  I pray that God helps me in this because I know on my own; yeah there are nights when they are screaming obscenities at each other and I have to get up in the morning, I have very unkind thoughts running through my head. So on my own, there is no way that I can love them.  On my own, the best I can do is smile and wave when they go by.  Smile and wave when we are all outside. But with Jesus’ help someday I will show them His love.  Just Lord forgive me it is not today they are yelling again.  Tomorrow I will try again but for tonight, I am just going to try to ignore them.

Leviticus 19: 17-18:  17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

#ProverbsChallenge Day 31 The Hardest one

This one is the hardest because of misinterpretations.  I don’t want to detract from Proverbs 31 ministries, they do great work.  However, there are groups out there that misinterpret this Proverb.  They for get that it is a King speaking repeating the words his mother, the Queen taught him.  She taught him how to find a good Queen.  Not that they qualities can apply to you and I,  We just have to remember that this woman was not super woman.  She did not “Bring home the Bacon, Fry it up in a pan”  She did not keep the house clean, the children feed, take care of all the chores and everything for the children BY HERSELF!.  PLEASE LET THAT SINK IN- SHE DID NOT DO EVERYTHING BY HERSELF.  She was  Queen, she had servants.  (verse 15).  

It is just saying that a good wife works.  It does not mean that you have to have a CAREER other than being wife and mom.  Trust me that is work!!!! For those that work outside of the home, you don’t have to do everything by yourself.  God made Eve equal to her husband Adam.  Genesis 2:18 (an often over-looked verse):  18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

queen-2941437_960_720

See God made husbands and wives to be partners and if someone is trying to say that you are do to everything the Queen did, just remember she did not do it all alone.  She directed everything to be done and she helped do the work. She did not do it all alone.

 

The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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