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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rooted and Grounded

Our Oak Tree had shallow Roots
Through the night we enjoyed a light soaking rain, but what we viewed the next morning came as a complete surprise.

Our giant oak tree next to our mobile home, had toppled over and hit our propane tank. 

Fortunately it did no permanent damage, only moving it a few inches off its base.

If the tree had fallen the other way, perhaps the roof of our home would have been victim of its destruction. 

The shallow roots of our tree were dead and the tree had no stability.  The damp ground simply gave away allowing it to fall.
~ ~ ~

I was reminded that in life it is important to be rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus. 

Of central importance is allowing our Spiritual roots to sink deep into the Word of God.  Also it is necessary to become one with Christ by an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Next is the significance to align ourselves with a Bible Believing Church where we can gather and receive support.  A place where we can set down our roots of community with other believers of like precious faith.

Ephesians_3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Colossians _2:7  Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Enjoy these Exerts from God's Word Today,

Perhaps the best-known example Jesus gave is the parable of the sower and the seed. Once again we see the importance of our connection with the Lord himself-how we need to be rooted securely in him to sustain life and bear fruit:

"Some of the seed landed on rocky ground where it had little soil; it sprouted immediately because the soil had no depth. Then, when the sun rose and scorched it, it began to wither for lack of roots" (Mark 4:5-6).

These seeds put down roots, and the roots struggled to find anchorage, but the soil was rocky. Finally the plant withered and died, because the roots found no source of water and nutrients.

As Jesus explained, "Those sown on rocky ground are people who on listening to the word accept it joyfully at the outset. Being rootless, they last only a while. When some pressure or persecution overtakes them because of the word, they falter" (Mark 4:16-17). Thus we see how important it is that we strike root deep in the Lord, being anchored firmly in faith, and sustained by our fellowship with him.

One of the most effective ways we can be rooted in Christ is to immerse ourselves in his word. When you read and study Scripture, remember that it is a lifeline with the Lord. You are striking your roots deeper and deeper into good life-giving soil and drinking from the living waters: "Happy the man who... delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, whose leaves never fade" (Psalm 1:1, 2-3).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Put Up Your Dukes


My brother was a quiet child and kept to himself most of the time. 

The boys at school would bully him regularly so one day my dad decided to take action.

“We are going to teach Allen how to fight,” said my dad.

“Come here, Hazel and put up your dukes.” 

I always obeyed my dad, so I did as I was told. 

“Okay, Allen get over here and let’s practice boxing.”

I wasn’t about to suffer getting hit by my brother, so I hauled off and smacked him a hard one, right on his nose, which began to profusely bleed.

The fight was over for that day, and I was never called back into fight duty after that. 

I think my mother must have had a talk with Dad because a stop was put on the fight lessons.
~ ~ ~
In life there are times when you must “Put up your dukes.”  Yes, even times when to protect yourself and your family you must fight.  Usually it is a fight of words, or a letter, or a legal battle in court.

In our Spiritual walk, we must also learn to fight our spiritual enemy old Satan, for he comes to lie, steal, destroy and even kill if he can.

Put on your spiritual armor, and especially the head gear, because the toughest battles are in your mind. 

Cover those negative thoughts with the blood of Jesus and replace them with praise that God is already at work on your behalf.

Watch yourself that you do not try to fight fire with fire, because pay back will only make things worse. 

Let God come along side of you and bring Wisdom with Him for you.

God will avenge you in ways that you have not thought of, so expect to be surprised when He steps up to fight for you. 
2 Chronicles  20:17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Do We Fear?

Fear Has Torment
I was taking notes on the Sunday sermon as Pastor Jerry was reading from the 25th Chapter of Matthew about the parable of the Talents; Three slaves given, Five, Two and One talent apiece.

Matthew 25:24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 30And he commanded to cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The perplexing thing with the third slave was his fear and the terror of outer darkness.

Jesus gave this story as a metaphor about the Kingdom of God and spiritual gifts.

Each of the Master’s talent was valued at about two year’s wages, and the responsibility placed upon the servants was great.  The Master trusted his slaves to invest his money wisely.  Two servants doubled the Master’s money, but the third to be save, hid his because he was afraid.

In today’s economy we place our trust in our bank, pension systems, Social Security and our Government.  Yet the stock markets plummet, and banks fail leaving us with fear.

The disciples of Jesus had fears just to survive with no thought of pension plans.

Pastor told a story about a little girl asking her grandmother, “When bad people die do they go to the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth? GM said, “Yes.”  The girl said, “What if they don’t have any teeth?  GM said, “God will give them new teeth to gnash.

The Jewish people had many fears and Jesus often commanded them to fear not and do not be afraid.

The Spiritual leaders were afraid of Jesus and his large following.

This Gospel text is about fears and using your talents.

The generous master entrusted his wealth to his slaves.  God is our Master and he has given us talents or gifts, to some one or two and to others a larger amount.  He trusts us to use our talents to serve His kingdom.

Jesus talks a lot about money, and we have strong fears about money especially when we are asked to part with some of our hard earned cash.

In 1999 there was great fear about the year turning over to 2000 and what would happen to the computers, but we heaved a sigh when nothing occurred. 

Two years after there was a huge financial spin in Asia and the biggest bank in the world closed.

The word ability and gift is the same word as talent.  Why do we fear? 

God entrusts each of us with precious gifts.  Sometimes throughout life there is a change and we have different gifts.  There are many Spiritual gifts and some take more “RISK” than others.

Our hope is in Jesus and he expects us to use what He has given us.  We never know when we will be called to accountancy.

We are often worry and are afraid. We’re afraid that we will offend. We’re afraid that we may be laughed at; yet we have the promise that Jesus is there with us as we use our gifts.

So worry warts, do not be afraid – let us go forth and use our talents for God.  Be willing to take a risk for God is over all.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Barren Woman

Why or Why?
Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor. —Isaiah 54:1

Isaiah could say that about one who longed for a special touch, a breakthrough, or vindication, and that's God's word for you. Do not be afraid. You will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace. You will not be humiliated.

My friend had an angry look on her face in fact she was hopping mad. 

She vented at me, “I don’t see why those girl friends of mine are having babies and I can’t seem to get pregnant for the life of me. I hate them!”

My friend had been married for several years, and desiring a child was not a secret she kept with in her breast.

As I stared blankly at her, the Lord spoke to me a simple “message” to say to her.

With trepidation I spoke up and said with a calm voice, “You are just going to have to forgive your friends.”

She grabbed her stomach as if I had given her a gut punch.  Then she relaxed. 

“You are right, but I guess I didn’t realize I was harboring such hostility toward them.”

My friend never did get pregnant, but when her marriage failed, she later married a widower who had three young girls. 

His daughters knew he was lonely and they suggested he join a dating service, which he did. 

The way they met was not the method I would suggest, but it worked out great for both of them.

Last time I heard from her, our barren women is now a grandmother.
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In life as we look at ourselves, are we unhappy because others are thinner than me, married and I am still single, drive a nicer car, are richer than me?

If we are embracing similar unpleasant thoughts, perhaps we need to do some forgiving of others, and then give thanks for what we do have.

Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Hebrews_13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Baby Sleep Patterns

Nite Nite - Sleep Tight
Beginning at about 6 weeks, you can reinforce your child's biological rhythms by establishing a regular bedtime routine.
At about the same time every night, for instance, give him a warm bath, read him a book, and then feed him before putting him to bed. (For more ideas, see the article on bedtime routines.) Try to get your baby up at around the same time every morning and put him down for naps at the same point in the day.

Newborns may genuinely need a close warm loved one to help them make the transition to sleep.

But many parents neglect to allow their own habits to change as their babies develop. They continue to hold their babies as they fall asleep, never even giving them a chance to begin to learn how to sleep on their own.

If you’re holding, rocking, or feeding a baby while he falls asleep, the baby—guaranteed—will wake up again later that night after you sneak away. He will need you to come back and resume holding, rocking, or whatever to ease him back to sleep.

The concept here is “independent sleep associations,” referring to the kinds of things we’re used to having around as cues to help us fall asleep. It would be very hard for most of us to fall asleep without a pillow—because we’re used to having a pillow when we fall asleep. And if someone were to steal your pillow in the middle of the night, you can bet you’d wake up quick.

If your baby depends on you as a sleep association, she will not stay asleep if you leave the room. You’ve got to camp out all night. Maybe that’s what you want to do.

But if you’d like to have your own nighttime for yourself and your spouse, you cannot be a sleep association for your baby.

I’ll make it simple with some good rules of thumb: by two months of age, you should sometimes be putting your baby down when awake; by four months of age, you should usually be putting your baby down awake; by six months of age, always put your baby down while awake. If you never try, it will never work. It does not get easier to start working on these independent sleep associations as babies get older.

So what do you do when your baby isn’t falling asleep on her own? Follow the plan, and keep it simple. Put your baby down with confidence and no apologies. Say “Good night, honey, I will see you tomorrow.” Then leave.

Do not go and check every few minutes—that teaches your baby that hysterics will bring mommy in running. The lesson here is: it is night, you are in your bed. It is time for sleep. This is the way it is. Now, you cannot make a child sleep—but you can control your own reactions.

When Junior learns that this is the way it is, the crying stops, and the sleeping begins. Keep in mind that the older your baby is when you start this, the more stubborn she will be, and the longer she will cry.

There are genuinely times when tough love is needed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not of Our Mission?

Mormon Missionaries Love Jesus

Mark 9:38-41 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.  For he who is not against us is on our side.  

Many years ago, when our son told me he was planning to marry the girl, I said, “You know that we do not believe like they do, but I must say they are family oriented.” 
He replied, "yes, and the girls are chaise."

To please her parents, our son was obligated to join their LDS/Mormon church and be baptized. 

It has been 21 years since they married, and now their handsome 19 year old son has signed up for a two year “Mission.”

When our LDS grandson was 12 and preparing to be baptized in water, I asked him if he understood all that this meant.  Then I proceeded to explain to him, the spiritual application; how we are buried with Christ and are raised in newness of life to live always for Jesus. 

In his teen years our grandson began getting in with the wrong crowd, and the LDS church leaders took him aside and gave him a solemn talk.  What ever they told him, it caused an about face. 

Our young boy still in high school; found a job and began to save his money.  He changed his friends, and before long he was attending local classes to prepare for a mission.

Last Christmas he announced to our family about his plans after High school graduation; a two year mission.

As he left our home that Christmas, I told him, “I know you love your church, but always focus on Jesus and put Him first in your life.”   

Our grandson made a special trip to visit us before he left for Utah to the training center.  We asked him a lot of questions most were simple and not deep probing interrogations.

He told us that mostly they were going to find people who needed help and offer assistance and also tell them who they were.

We told him we will pray for his safety and that what ever he does that he will be acting as Jesus would have done.

Were we happy about this mission trip? 

Probably not, but as my husband so aptly put it, “Things could be a lot worse.”


Sunday, November 9, 2014




Pastor Jerry was reading from Joshua 24:1-3, 14-25.  God had chosen Joshua to be the new leader and to take the children of Israel into the promised land.

During their long journey the people had been rebellious and at times would worship foreign gods.  Some had even brought with them idols of the Egyptian gods. 

As far as The Lord God Jehovah, their worship was merely lip service.
Joshua called the people together and gave them an ultimatum. 

They must make a choice because God is a jealous God and he does not want a rival.

The people needed to make a covenant to serve God only and to put away their false gods.

New ground was ahead as it is for us in our lives.  For each of us there is an uncharted future ahead.  Our journey may seem strange, and it is time to make a solid choice. 

Are we allowing tradition and religious ceremony to become our god or will we choose to have a personal relationship with the True and Living God? 

Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.
Serve the Lord!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The choice was not to be made lightly but in all sincerity.

Joshua pointed the people in the right direction by recounting all that God had done for them;  Their escape from Egypt, and how God had fed and protected them on their long journey with the large congregation and all their livestock.

They had good reason to trust the Lord and serve Him with faithfulness. 

Pastor reminded us of Joseph and Mary who took a journey with the baby Jesus into Egypt to escape the wicked King.

The Apostle Paul, and others took long missionary journeys as they proclaimed the Gospel of Christ Jesus.

We mark time on our journey and there are always decisions.   We can say yes, or we can say no.

Pastor gave an illustration of two frogs seated at a banquet table.  One frog said to the other frog, “I truly miss eating flies.”

Are we like the frogs and sometimes want to eat flies?  But then Kings and Queens do not eat flies !!

In the old country dirt roads, there often are ruts from rain, mud and previous vehicles.  It is easier to travel if you place your tire in the rut and allow it to take you on your journey; but the truth is the rut might take you to where you don’t want to go.

Decide to serve The Lord God for serving Him helps you to choose relationships, work, career, friends and blessings along the way. Serving God makes a difference in your life.

Do we choose God’s path or demand to have our own path?

Choose to serve God and eliminate many heart aches and troubles.

God’s way is best.