White as Snow

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There is nothing more beautiful than that first snow all white and clean.  You can be clean.

There is hope for eternal life

It doesn’t cost a dime.

By accepting Jesus as your savior, you have eternal life.

Your since are washed away.

Your are free of guilt and shame.

We still make mistakes but forgiveness is there and we are white as snow- blameless before the Lord.

 

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Downhearted or hopeful

When the things of life get us down, we know we should pray, but it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves as if we hacontrolve any control. We don’t have control because God is in control.  It is why so many of us like organization. It gives us a sense of control.  But when we leave everything to God and trust his directions; wonderful things happen.  Leaving things to God letting go of the control.

Life will still bring us down, but with God in control, we can rest knowing things will be alright.

Isaiah 45:22-24:

“Turn to me and be saved,                                  smiling sun
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”

Meaningless

Ecclesiastes 1:2:  Words of Solomon  hopelessness

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes?  If you are prone to depression, you might not want to read Ecclesiastes.  This first verse sounds as if a depressed person wrote them. At least that is how it looks on the surface.

No one thinks that the person with everything could be depressed.

No one thinks that that smiling person could be depressed.  But as I said one of the most renowned men in the history of times, shows signs of depression.

read verses 17- 14:  It sounds as if he is tearing his clothes and crying out loud to God.

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.cropped-forgive.jpg

If this is how you feel, I suggest reading the Psalms. but most of all find someone to listen.

Just remember we are all broken.  What we do with it is what defines us.

 

 

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.

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.

JUST 10 MINUTES

Have you ever decided to create a new habit?  You know a good one like I am going to eat more vegetables. I am going to relax more. I am going to exercise more. I am going to spend more time sitting quietly before the Lord waiting for him to speak to me.

Change is hard.  But sometime it is necessary.  They say it takes two weeks for a habit to become a habit.  Actually it takes two weeks to get the idea in to your head that this is a good habit to have.

brussels-sprouts-1856711_640Increasing our vegetables is getting easier.  It takes baby steps to reach the lofty goal of 6 full servings of vegetables per day.   A full serving, according to clinical dietician who is coaching me is 1 cup.  Ever try to eat a cup of brussel sprouts.  But it is helping, I am losing weight and lowering my numbers.

Recently I realized that somewhere along the time, I stopped sitting quietly before the Lord. I used to get up early just to spend that time.  clockToday I tried 10 minutes that was what I could manage.  JUST 10 MINUTES.  It is okay, God knows that I am His.  It is a work in progress.  Hopefully this time, I won’t let the habit slide.  After all communicating with God is the most important habit to cultivate.

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.”

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