Thursday, December 25, 2008
DO NOT BE AFRAID
Fear is an insidious tool of satan. Fear begins with a thought, word or action. You begin to feel anxious…you feel fear begin to curl up in your belly, then, suddenly, it steals your peace!
Fear is not a stranger to me. One of my greatest battles has been against fear. I was taught to fear…”Don’t go near the well or the claws will get you”…”Act right or I am going to give you to the gypsies”…”I’m going to get the Stick”…you notice Stick is capitalized? Oh yeah…it was something to fear.
You see, satan began using fear as a weapon against me in childhood. When I was very young, my bedroom door did not have a door knob. Fear kept me awake at night. Fear told me that I would be accidentally locked in that room and I would die. Dad saw that something was scaring me, so he asked…I confided and when Dad understood what I was afraid of, he opened the door against the wall and put the headboard of my bed firmly against the door. That door could NEVER close me in my imagined tomb! My Dad loved me that much! Poof!!! Fear all gone. All I had to do was tell my fear to my Daddy… As much as my Daddy loved me, our Father in heaven loves us much more!
Just like when I was a child, I allowed fear to creep into my life here and there over a lifetime. Many years ago, fear had a firm grip on me and I was miserable. Fear curled around and around in my belly. Fear told me all the horrible things that would happen. Fear took away my control. Fear was in control. Do you know fear paralyzes?
One day, I read this: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7
I liked that portion that spoke about the “peace of God”. I wondered….Can God make my fear go away? I wanted to know more! I began seeking scripture that spoke to my need. After all, the words “Do not be afraid” appear more than 70 times in God’s Word. I knew the Lord was telling me something. I began to dig, pray and meditate to get what He had for me…
In Old Testament, many times God used prophets to deliver His message…”Do not be afraid”. In the New Testament, Jesus said “Do not be afraid” many times. Also, God sent angels with the message several times. Today, God still sends messengers with a comforting word. Most recently, He sent a messenger to me - my sister. She did not say “Do not be afraid”. She shared a similar experience that came out well. She offered her prayers and support. She comforted me…as we all are to do for one another. I know God sent this message…”Do not be afraid!”
Yet, I felt that old fear curling in my belly…still. I know that I must take my fear to my Father. I tell my Father in heaven. I know He loves me. I am reminded that He loves me so much that he knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows everything about me, He loves me and He wants me to have peace so that I can be about His business. All I have to do is tell Him my fear and He loves me enough to make it go away.
So, once again I am digging in scripture for those verses that helped me overcome fear in the past. But, before I go there, I want to say that new, formerly unknown, situations can be the passage way for fear to re-enter your life. This current situation is new and frightening. I know that the first thing I must do is cast down imaginations…capture those thoughts and throw them out. You see, fear can become a stronghold. Don’t let it get that far!
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
This IS war! When fear tries to enter in, fight back instead of giving in. I fight with prayer and scripture that strengthens me. I remind myself that God loves me, that I can TRUST GOD in all things and that my FAITH will carry me through, never forgetting to GIVE THANKS. Also, I speak to that fear…”GET OUT!” I remind satan that I belong to God and he, satan, has no control over me, therefore, he must flee!
God is my strong tower and His Word is sharper than a two edged sword. My best defense against fear is God’s Word. So, when I feel that familiar curling in my belly, I begin to recite scripture. I share a few with you:
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”. Romans 8:15
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3
Jesus said “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26) and “Do not be afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
I could list several more scriptures, but I won’t because the Lord speaks to us in His own way. What speaks to me one way may speak to you another way. The important thing is to find scripture that “speaks” to you and your situation. Write them out and keep your scriptures handy for when you begin to feel that curling in your belly. Then, quickly talk to Abba Father and begin wielding your two edged sword!
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Friday, December 12, 2008
I’ve been reading Malachi this morning. No, I am not going to talk about tithes and offerings…. Malachi had a bigger message. As a Messenger of God, Malachi had the burden of the Word of the Lord to Israel.
The Lord said, in part:
“I have loved you”, says the Lord. Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Malachi 1:2
In verse 6, the Lord says: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is my honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
We may refer to God as “Father” and “Master”, yet God is not treated as one would treat a father or master. The priests lost the clear sense of God’s holiness, treating God without the honor and respect as they should. The people followed the example set by the priests.
The prophet Malachi explores the matter more deeply and concludes that mistreatment of God is a result of broken covenants by the priests, people in general and by individuals.
This made me think about what a Prophet of God MIGHT say to our nation today:
To the priests and ministers: Some of you who call yourselves priests and ministers have made a mockery of Me. You have your traditions, your man made rules and you condemn My children with your ways. Some of you offer a ‘show’ on your Sabbath, yet where is your heart for the people? Do you care where your people spend eternity? Or do you care more for your ‘show’, attendance numbers, tithes/offerings and your building? You have departed from My way, and because you believe ‘your way’, you have caused many to stumble and you have corrupted My covenant. Let him who has ears hear…
To the people: What happened to “In God we Trust”? You have forgotten Me. You have set your faith in men and not Me. When My Word said: ‘The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel’ (Malachi 1:5), did you not understand that I came to favor the United States of America because, in the beginning, you built your nation upon my principles? I gave you freedom, I gave you land and I gave you blessings beyond your expectations. Yet, this is how you repay Me… You have passed man made laws that allowed the removal of prayer from your schools and the 10 Commandments from your courts. You allow divorce, abortion and same sex marriages. You allow a small fraction of lawmakers to become your head and you are the tail. Your courts favor the rights of those who abhor the righteousness of My people. My Word tells you what is right and what is wrong, yet you continue to define, re-define and legislate immorality. You have set your hearts on things of the world. Do you not understand that when you love something more than Me, you are worshiping idols? You have become a nation of idolatry. Let him who has ears hear….
To the individual: Some of you eat, drink and make merry while your world crumbles around you. You divorce and remarry. You kill your babies. Your children are raising themselves while you strive to make enough money to live beyond your means and buy your toys. You are not a Godly example to your children or others around you. You hoard treasures for yourselves while the poor starve in your streets. You turn your head to the needs of your neighbor – and, yes, even some who are of your own family. You are selfish. You are thieves. You are murders. You are perverts. You are an abomination to Me. You care for yourself only. Your witness stinks. Do you not understand? Yet, My children reside among you, shining beacons of light who can lead you out of the darkness. If you have ears and you want to hear…..
This is my interpretation of the “State of the Nation” and what the Lord might have to say to us today. Our people and our nation have gone down a road that God never intended. I have despair in my heart for what we have become. I believe judgment for our nation is at hand. Yet, we can ALWAYS turn around. It is hard and takes strong people to turn away from sin and set our sights upon the Lord. We can do it! With God, all things are possible.
I pray for the strong in the Lord to stand up and fight to regain what we have lost. Stand, prayerfully, in the gap for our nation. Please???
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Several years ago, there was a shrub growing too close to my front door steps. It was an ugly shrub and it had to go. So, I got my shovel and began to dig the shrub out. The shrub had been there so long that the roots had become very deep and strong. I tugged and dug, but I could not get that root out...
I was thinking about this after my morning devotional today. While reading my Bible, the words "root of bitterness" came to my mind and would not leave. I know when I am hearing from God, so I immediately began to look up scripture to see what the Word of God says about bitter roots and bitterness in general.
"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; …" Hebrews 12:14-15
I searched the word "bitter" in my favorite online Bible - BlueLetterBible.org. I see that several scriptures refer to bitterness as a curse. I see that Job knew bitterness well. Esau was bitter. The Israelites were bitter. There will be bitterness in the end days. And….there is all that bitterness in between.
Our lives can be spent in bitterness…
In complaining…. As did Job…
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Job 7:11
"My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. Job 10:1
We may question God:
"Why is light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter of soul, Job 3:20
We may blame God:
"As God lives, who has taken away my justice, And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, Job 27:2
You may have noticed the reference to our soul in these scriptures. That is because your soul is separate from your spirit. Your soul is your mind, your will and your emotions. Clearly these are attributes in the physical. Your spirit comes from God and will return to God. (Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:6-7) I clarify this because some people use the terms "soul" and "spirit" interchangeably. This is not so. Bitterness is an emotion, therefore, it would be soulish behavior.
Bitterness can lead to depression:
"Even today my complaint is bitter; my hand is listless because of my groaning. Job 23:2
We can die with our bitterness intact:
Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul, Never having eaten with pleasure. Job 21:25
Yet, the Lord will still contend with you...
So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. Ezekiel 3:14
Envy is bitterness:
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. James 3:14
Bitterness makes your words bitter:
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows--bitter words, Psalm 64:2-3
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Proverbs 5:4
Bitterness will lead to loneliness - the truth is that people will avoid bitter people…
The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy. Proverbs 14:10
I also started thinking about how roots become bitter. A potato is a root vegetable. When harvested at the right time, a potato is light skinned and full of moisture. If neglected long in the ground…or even if left in your kitchen too long, the potato will develop a thick, dark skin. It will be harder and the taste will lean towards bitter. Worst yet….if it begins to sprout, it becomes even more bitter. The carrot is another example. The carrot is a sweet root that will grow bitter if neglected long.
Neglect not your spirit, lest a root of bitterness begins growing in your soul.
So…back to the shrub with the stubborn root…I decided I needed some leverage, so I went to the tool shed and retrieved a pick axe. I wedged one end under the root and shoved with all my might. It would not budge. So, thinking I could make it work, I started jumping on the other end of the pick axe. It broke that hard root and flipped the pointed end into my leg. Oh yeah…that was nasty and required a trip to the emergency room. I still have a scar some 30 years later to remind me that there most surely must have been a better way to remove that root. People can get hurt from strong roots.
I did not have to think long about why the Lord wants me to focus on roots of bitterness. Recent events have caused me to feel some bitterness and rejection and put a general "stink" in my spirit. Today, NOW, I reject those thoughts and feelings. I reject the root of bitterness.
Like that shrub root, I may not be able to get the entire root out at one time, but I know that, with God's help, I can bury the root and watch for shoots coming off the root. Then, the same as I did with the shrub root, I will destroy those shoots before they grow strong. Eventually, the root will die…
After this study, I whispered to the Lord…."I already knew this, Lord. Have I not seen firsthand the devastation left in the wake of bitterness?" He whispered back to me… "Yes, my child, but you needed reminding."
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. Ephesians 4:3
Friday, November 21, 2008
An old woman sits in a travel trailer nestled in a stand of pine trees, a guard against thieves. The cold November wind whistles through the stand of pines. She is there because of soul ties...
Her daughters begged her to come home to her nice, warm home in the south, but she dug in her heels and refused to be budged. Her daughters loved her more than the land. Her daughters were not loved more than the land. The daughters have known this for a very long time. Hearts are broken when love of possessions exceeds the love of family.
Last winter, thieves broke into the old family homestead. The drafty old farm house and the property have been in her family for more than 200 years. The house contains her "treasures". She is the guard. She is determined that she will prevent further loss. Then there was fire… Fire has no regard for life or possessions. The losers are her family.
We learn from the Book of Ecclesiastes that life is all vanity…
As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a severe evil – just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind? All his days he also eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and sickness and anger. Ecclesiastes 5:15-17
Soul ties….those things we hang on to, those things we treasure, those things that master over all others……They are JUST THINGS…
Soul ties are not always bad. I have a soul tie to my Bible. My Bible is worn. Pages have fallen out. Most pages are scribbled with notes. I bought a new Bible in 2004. I tried to use it. I put it back in its box – brand new like the day I bought it. I thought maybe it was because it was NIV and my old Bible is NKJV. The many notes in my old Bible have become a distraction from the Words of God. Last year, I bought a new NKJV Bible from the same publisher – Nelson. I thought that would work. I have used it only a little more than my NIV. It sits here – practically new – unused as I caress the pages of my old worn out Bible and try to ignore the scribbles. I don't think this is a bad soul tie. I certainly would not allow myself to lose my life over it. If my house were on fire and if I could grab it as I go, I would take it. I would not risk my life for it. I do not love it more than family. There is the difference…..
I am no different from other people who have tokens of remembrance from loved ones both here and gone. They do not rule my life. In an emergency, I would grab my Bible before exiting my home. I would not bother with the THINGS. I know myself…I know this…
The old farm house still stands straight and tall. The foundation is shifting again. It needs more repairs. It has become a soul tie for other family members – I know not why. It drew the life out of their Mother/Grandmother. The danger is there. The evil is there. The property survives to claim another generation who will work and toil for it…for what? It is a money pit and it will consume all who value it more than life…more than family. It is a THING. It has no value except as a soul tie that consumes. It divides…it destroys.
A burned shell of a travel trailer sits behind the house in the stand of pine trees. It is a reminder of the terrible cost of soul ties.
Jesus spoke of soul ties in Luke 12:13-34. I hope each reader will read this portion of God's Word as it is long to add here. I will, however, quote a portion…
Then one from the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Luke 12:13-15
Jesus followed with a parable of a rich man, then instruction to His disciples about simplicity of trusting God over soul ties, culminating in the following verses…
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:32-34
In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus instructs us to put God first. He said "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Soul ties shattered a family, and then divided a family. Soul ties bind us to the world. To loosen those ties and let them go is freedom. Can you not see?
Friday, November 14, 2008
She made toys for us – a doll cradle out of an oatmeal box, a big button and a string made a fascinating whirling toy, or just a string gave hours of fun as we played cats in the cradle. I am glad to have such good memories. Mom was a homemaker, loving and nurturing. Our childhood was the best anyone could want.
For my first birthday, Mom made a doll out of an old pair of Dad’s black socks. I still have that old doll. She is 60 now. Her name is Mandi and she sits on my dresser. She was nearly loved to pieces and she has some holes, but I keep her and always will because when I look at that doll, I don’t see a doll… I see love. I see how my Mother loved her baby enough to make my first doll out of what could be found in our old farmhouse. I have often imagined her hand stitching the doll in anticipation of the surprise for her baby girl’s birthday. I’m told it was love at first sight – Mandi and I. Mom gave me so much more than an old sock doll. She gave me a lifelong reminder of a Mother’s love.
I’m not special, nor did Mom have a favorite child. She was careful to treat my sisters and I equal. My sisters have their special memories too. This one is mine.
We grew up in a time when money was scarce but Mom was thrifty and budgeted well. She made a lot of our clothes. She baked cakes, pies, cookies – even bread. We did not know lack. We had a rich childhood.
When tragedy strikes a family, often we ask God why. We don’t understand why Mom had to leave us the way she did. We are wounded by the harshness.
I find my comfort in the promises I find in my Bible – I am comforted by the Book of Ecclesiastes. God’s Word tells us that there is a time for everything under the sun.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love and a time to hate; A time of war and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
November 11, 2008 was Mom’s appointed time.
God’s word also tells me that God gave her life and that her spirit has returned to God:
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:6-7
We know Mom has returned to God. We know her last days were spent where she wanted to be and that she was happiest when she was at the farm.
Mom lived close to 81 years. She had a full life. Her life was not cut short – she had a full measure and now she is back home with God.
We have the comfort of knowing that we will see Mom again, according to the scripture found in I Thessalonians 4:13-18:
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
When the trumpet blows and Jesus returns for us, Mom and all of our loved ones who have gone before will be resurrected first and we will meet them in the clouds. What a glorious day we have to look forward to!
Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
So, for now we say goodbye to Mom for a season but we have the assurance that we will see her again one bright day. Then we will be with Jesus forever more.
I love you Mom… I’ll see you soon.
Grace Kirk Watrous
1/7/28 - 11/11/08
I wrote this and read it at Mom's graveside service on 11/14/08. At the service were former high school classmates of my Mother (Class of 1946). I thought that was pretty special that they came to the service because it was a cold, windy day. One of Mom's friends gave me a couple of old snapshots from the '50's. The images were small and hard to see. I scanned into my computer, enlarged and was delighted to find the following picture of my Mom...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I was reading a blog written by HerSoul today. Excellent blog... It really got me to thinking.
The Lord has done quite a work in me since the election. I was compelled to comment on HerSoul's blog, then the Holy Spirit convicted me to share the comment in a blog of my own. So, as obedient as I can be, I am posting the comment here:
I am a new reader to your blogs and am so glad I found you. I did not vote for Obama either. I woke up Nov 5th feeling a deep grief. Not because my candidate did not win, but for the unborn children. I was so grieved that I went to God's Word and stayed there for about 3 hours.
Here's what the Lord gave me: First I went to Romans 13 to remind myself of my Christian responsibility towards our government/leaders. Much time in Revelations reminded me that though the Lord's coming is eminent, it is not immediate. And then I Thessalonians 4:9-12 reminded me that while we wait for the coming of our Lord, we must love each other, lead a quiet life, mind our own business and work. We are to be a living witness to the lost.
Refreshed and renewed by God's Word, I began to pray for Obama. I will not stop praying for him. Since I have been praying, I am seeing him in a different light. With all the campaign boloney over, I see a different man and you know what? I think I like him. I know I am 'in love' with his beautiful daughters! (May God bless and protect them!!!)
So, I pray every day for God to soften Obama's heart regarding the unborn children and to give him wisdom to do his job as president of our nation. I pray for protection for him and his family.
So, while I felt like our Christian nation had ended on 11/5, by the afternoon of 11/5, I had peace in my spirit once again and the assurance from the Lord that all is as HE WILLS. I CHOOSE to believe that Obama will be a good president. I CHOOSE to believe that his office is by divine appointment. I CHOOSE to believe that Obama wants the best for our nation. I CHOOSE to believe that racial healing will soon be complete. I CHOOSE to believe that GOD WILL convict Obama's heart to the point that he supports protection of the unborn innocents.
I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE!!! AND I PRAYERFULLY SUPPORT!
Glad to meet you, Sister! May God bless you wonderfully!!!
In addition to the scripture used in the comment, I would also encourage you to read, meditate and pray upon the following scriptures:
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. (I Peter 2:13-19)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
I am also reminded of a portion of scripture in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 22. In this chapter, the Pharisees continued to try to entangle Jesus in His talk, so they questioned Jesus about if it was lawful to pay taxes...which was their sneaky way of asking if man made laws should be followed. Jesus said:
"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21)
For those of you who may be struggling in your own spirit about the results of the election, I pray you will find the same PEACE in your spirit that I have found in mine.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
AS I AM YEARNING
FOR THAT PLACE
BEYOND THE SUN
WHERE GOD'S PEACE REINS
WHERE GOD IS ONE
I LOOK AROUND
I SEE GOD'S HAND
IN THIS LAND
I WONDER HOW
HEAVEN WILL BE
A PLACE FOR ME
THE BIRDS CRY OUT
THEY DO NOT KNOW
FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
OR WHERE THEY'LL GO
BUT I HAVE PEACE
I'M NOT UNDONE
I TRUST MY LORD
TIL KINGDOM COME
I STAND ON GOD'S WORD
AND REST ASSURED
THAT ONE DAY I WILL SEE
THE PLACE JESUS HAS PREPARED FOR ME
BUT FOR NOW
I LIVE FOR HIM
WHILE LIFE GOES ON
NOTHING LEFT TO WHIM
THIS WORLD IS:
AS I'M YEARNING
Monday, September 8, 2008
If your idea of Christianity is to go to church, sing our little songs, listen to a sermon, then go home and live the way your flesh wants to live, you are WRONG. You should be living out your Christianity every minute of every day. Yeah…I know…it's too hard…yada, yada, yada. We all have flesh and we all fall down. JUST GET BACK UP AND THANK GOD FOR GRACE!!!
What if Jesus lived his life on earth like us happy little Christians? What if Paul lived his life like a happy little Christian? How about Dr. Luke and Peter? You HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE CONVICTIONS!!! YOU MUST STAND UP FOR YOUR CONVICTIONS AND BE HEARD!!!
OK...Now that we understand each other, here is the REAL DEAL. Our nation has been railroaded – BIG TIME! We have been lead to the slaughter – cleverly and cunningly. We have stood by while prayer has been removed from schools, Roe vs. Wade gave women choice, our American Flag has been desecrated, same sex marriages…the list goes on. Our youth are deep down the rabbit hole of drugs, alcohol and sex. WHY???? APATHY AND COMPROMISE!!!
IF YOU THINK FOR ONE MINUTE OUR NATION WILL NOT OR HAS NOT ALREADY COME UNDER THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD, YOU ARE IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING!!!
We have looked the other way. Most of us have done nothing to rock our little world. I have been as guilty as the rest of you. We have lived in our "I'm a happy little Christian…just let me sit here and sing my little songs, hear my weekly sermon… not my problem…, see...wearing my Jesus pin... " world. We let things happen - laws passed - morals sliding while we DID NOTHING to uphold moral standing in our great nation!!!
Well, I am about done with my rant. I just want every Christian to research the candidates and pray before you go to your polling place. God is NOT going to help us unless we ASK. We can stay in our little APATHETIC , COMPROMISING ruts or we can RISE UP and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!
HOW? Don't vote without doing your homework. KNOW what your political candidate stands for. Don't let other people do your thinking for you. God gave you a really good brain…USE IT! Do not let yourself be fooled.
Please do not let your current dissatisfaction with the state of our nation be your building block nor your stumbling block. PRAY…THINK….EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!
MAY GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU IN YOUR DECISIONS FOR PRESIDENCY. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON OUR NATION.
Monday, August 11, 2008
FEAR THE LORD
Many places in the Old Testament, we find the term "Fear of the Lord". What, exactly, does that mean?
Fear, scripturally, does not mean to be afraid. Fear means respect for God's power and might, reverence, and obedience to the Lord.
Fear of the Lord is:
The beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7)
To hate evil, pride, arrogance and the perverse mouth (Proverbs 8:12)
The beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)
Prolongs your life (Proverbs 10:27)
There is strong confidence and a place of refuge (Proverbs 14:26)
How do we come to a place where we "fear the Lord"?
Keep God's laws and commandments. Teach your children the same. (Deuteronomy 6:2)
Walk in His ways, love Him and serve Him. (Deuteronomy 10:12)
Serve Him and obey Him. (I Samuel 12:14)
Incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:2)
Ask for understanding and discernment (Proverbs 2:3)
Seek wisdom and search for hidden treasures [in His Words] (Proverbs 2:4)
"Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice and preserves the way of His saints, then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path." Proverbs 2:5-9
Fear of the Lord – THAT is wisdom and to depart from evil – THAT is understanding. (Job 28:28)
The Book of Proverbs IS a book of wisdom. I would encourage you to read a chapter a day until you get the wisdom and understanding deep into your spirit. A good program is to read the chapter corresponding with the day of the month. For instance, on the first day of the month, read chapter 1. When you read the chapter corresponding to the day of the month, you will always know where you are in the book. There are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs – that is one chapter a day for 7 months out of the year. How you handle chapter 31 in February, April, June, September and November is up to you. Read thoughtfully and, if you have a study Bible, check out some of those cross references.
In the Book of Proverbs, you are repeatedly encouraged to "get wisdom – get understanding". There is no better advice! I can assure you that if you follow this plan for 3-4 months, you will grow spiritually by leaps and bounds. Also, I might add, this reading plan is a sure cure for those "desert" times in your life.
"Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name." Malachi 3:16
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I have a history of a heart/brain disorder. It seems my heart is bigger than my brain! This has been proven over and over. I once had rental properties….NEVER try to have rental properties when your heart is bigger than your brain! I can assure you that it is disaster in the making… I have another disorder from birth… I actually trust people and believe what people say until they prove to me that they lie… Needless to say, I lost a lot of money, including property damage, in my miserable little sideline business of renting property. I could give other examples; however, I think you get the idea…This is my brain/heart ratio:
Once again, I have proven that my heart is bigger than my brain. I DO know better than to feed the wildlife, however, when wildlife looks like this, my heart melts and takes over my brain:
We moved into our house 18 years ago. My heart sang when I discovered that cute little raccoons lived in the woods behind my house. So began my long-time love of the raccoons. For 18 years, I have thrown table scraps, stale food and whatever edible discards out in the back yard. I named them all – and I can remember every name over the past 18 years… "Rocky!" Sorry…just my sense of humor…but this is true. Yes, I DID name them all "Rocky"… Raccoons came and went. Occasionally, one or more made my back yard their hangout. I never minded once I got smart enough to move the cat food from the garage to the Florida Room…......
Most recently, there are two raccoons that made it a habit to stop by for supper every evening. Usually they waited patiently for their hand-out, however, three weeks ago, little Rocky got a little impatient with me, so decided to bite me on the leg. ....
Let me tell you folks…raccoons have razor sharp teeth!!!....
So, here I am – treating to prevent rabies. I have most of the shots behind me and one more before I am done. Rocky is still looking for food. Every night she is on my patio – looking all confused because I dare not toss another morsel of food into the yard for my own welfare, but she does not understand. So, she paces around the patio, looks thru the glass of my back door and sniffs the air for food…any food! I don't feed her. My husband wants to kill her…I won't let him. So then, hubby wants to trap her and cart her off….I won't let him. Rocky has three little Rocky babies…how will they eat? Once again, if Momma Rocky is not here to feed her babies, I am afraid my heart will become bigger than my brain……..AGAIN!....
July 6, 2008....
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It was 1947
That you first became a Dad;
As you tenderly held your new daughter,
What fears you must have had!
Within three years,
Our family grew.
Two more daughters!
How would you ever get through?
But...as time will,
The years flew by.
You heard us laugh,
You saw us cry.
You watched us play
And run and grow.
Your love and guidance valued
More than you'll ever know.
You are my Rock
Through good and bad.
You've earned your name
You are my DAD!
(Written for Dad's Birthday -1989)
I have now added another verse:
With wisdom you have guided me
To who I am this day.
My heart is full of riches as
I honor you today.
IN HONOR OF FRANK OWENS
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The phone rang and as I looked at the caller ID, I began to smile. I answer and hear a sweet voice…."Hi, Mom". My smile gets broader. We talk about anything and everything. It doesn't matter what we talk about. What does matter is that she called. Just hearing "Hi, Mom" changes the day. Suddenly my day is sunnier, warmer, sweeter…
Yesterday, I was thinking about how much pleasure I have when one of my daughters calls me.. Then I started wondering if God feels that way when He hears my voice. I am not eloquent when I pray. I know people who pray the most beautiful prayers. Me…I just talk to Him. I don't think He cares – just as long as I talk to Him. We talk about anything and everything. The day is sunnier, warmer, sweeter….
I wonder if God smiles when I pray…