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.

 

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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.

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.”

life changes learning how to slow the pace

Hello,

I am just writing a few words about #LifeWithJeus.

There are days when at the end of the day, I feel like I am losing while other days, I think I am winning.  There are days when I go to bed so exhausted that I have trouble going to sleep.  My vitals are monitored daily.  I hate to do it because if the numbers aren’t low enough, then I am stressed which doesn’t help anything.  But through all this Jesus has been there.  He is teaching me that what the doctors and I think are most important are not always important.  Sitting for half an hour to get the stress free BP can be annoying. But It is necessary.  So I pray and ask God to help me be patient.

Through this, I have realized that I have lost focus on the big picture.  Jesus.

The picture is clear, I see it in my mind’s eye.  Today I heard a clear message, stop worrying about my health and return to living.  Sure I need to pay attention to following my doctor’s advice; I just can’t make it my main focus. (Please don’t tell my husband)

He is still in the “I almost lost you stage”.  I have been so focused on staying calm, that it is all I do.  What I should be focusing on is Jesus.  He is telling me to focus on not rushing.  See my health went south because I rushed and rushed but I never got ahead. There was always something that if this were… I was trying to make everything perfect.  Because everyone would be happy if everything were perfect.  The truth is I was making everyone miserable trying to make everything perfect.  I was not happy.  I knew my vitals were bad but I didn’t take them enough to convince anyone that things were horrible wrong.  I heard people say take care of yourself.  Sure I do.  No I didn’t.  I thought I did.  I would get my hair done regularly, I worried that my outfit matched, shaved my legs, checked myself for cuts or bruises that weren’t healing.

That is not taking care of yourself.  That is making yourself presentable to the world.  What the world doesn’t realize is that I don’t care if things are out-of-place or mismatched. it is a huge stressful chore worrying about all that stuff.

Taking care of yourself means eating well, getting sleep, spending time with Jesus. Finding time to relax.  Each person relaxes in a different way.  Some people find playing Candy Crush relaxing Okay great for you.

I find baking relaxing.  I need to find people to eat the back goods.  I an accomplished baker. If it goes in the oven I got it.  If it is on top of the stove, well it is good but not great. I bake casseroles, cakes, cookies, meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, brownies, pies, (okay I am weak on pies), chicken – I do bake a pot pie that is out of this world good.  I am not such a hot pizza pie baker.  I am also not the best bread baker.  I either forget the bread and am baking at midnight or I don’t start it soon enough and hasn’t had enough time to raise.

Baking makes me think about how Jesus is with us.  We want to take short cuts, but in baking short cuts ruin everything. Jesus wants us to go through all the paces.

Trying to jump through the steps is like baking bread without any salt.

Why memorials should stand

When I first hear about the Robert E. Lee’s memorials being taken down, I thought I am not going to get involved, someone might call me a hater.   Now I think what if someday someone says take down the 9-11 memorials? 9-11

or the Vietnam Veteran’s Wall , or get rid of all the WWII memorials?

Memorials are there for a reason.  We are not honoring those horrible men that drove airplanes, full of innocent people by the memorial.

We are honoring all those who died. The Robert E. Lee Memorials should have stayed not to honor Robert E. Lee; but to honor all those that died during the civil war.  To remind us that our country was so divided that we went to war.  To remind us why we need to become a United Country.  To remind us what goes wrong if we forget. another 9-11 memoril- PA

How would you feel if the real cross, was still standing and some group decided that it represented a bad point in history  for the Roman Government (now defunct) And this group wanted to rewrite history to make ancient Rome seem less brutal than it was?  See where I am going?  Sure Christiananity would not fall; it is just a symbol to remind us that Christ died for us.  Perhaps the south should have a Union memorial?  Has anyone ever seen a Union memorial?  There should be.  So will any memorial do?  I am sure that we can come up with a more tasteful statue to memorialize the civil war- Maybe Harriet Tubman?  Or pictures of horrific battle fields.

The point is tomorrow is 9-11 and who really cares anymore?  It was almost 20 years ago. The pictures of the burning towers are rarely seen.  I remember that day as if it were yesterday.  Do you remember why there are 9-11 memorials in Western Pennsylvania? Or Washington D.C? 113398410DC mememorial 9 11

I REMEMBER DO YOU?

If you remember pass the stories. Don’t let the younger generation forget that there are cray people out there.  People crazy enough to fly into skyscrapers. People that believe in their cause so much that not alone will they die for it; they will take others with them. Just like in the civil war, people so bent on their own ideas that they waged war and tore our country in two over it.  Just like all wars; there are people that believe in their cause so much that will die for it and take others with them.

0331130707aThere was a man that died that each and everyone of us could have eternal life.  His name is Jesus.

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