Sunday, March 31, 2013

Christmas is Fulfilled


Jesus is Alive
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Pastor Jerry read from Mark 16:1-8 about the women bringing spices to anoint the body of Jesus and their puzzled questions, “Who will roll away the stone for us, because it is very heavy?” 
 
I gleaned from his sermon and will share an edited version here.

When the women arrived at the tomb they discovered the stone had been rolled away and a young man in a white robe sat inside and spoke, “He is not here for he has risen as he said.  Go and tell the others that Jesus is alive and will meet with them in Galilee.”  The terrified women hardly dared to believe, yet they went and did as they were told.

The followers of Jesus were grieving and hiding, and believed all was lost.  They did not remember the hints that Jesus had shared with them; that this would truly happen; he would die and in three days He would rise again.

Pastor reminded us of the Christmas story, and the angel‘s message, “And you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  Jesus was born to save us.

Christmas was the beginning of the promise that was first given to Adam and Eve in the garden and introduced us to a new hope.  Good things were to come, a Savior was born.

To every promise there must be a recipient.  Promises and vows are given at a marriage ceremony, in business, in school, in life - - one gives and one receives.

Jesus Christ was born to save and completed his part of the promise.  Our part is to receive him as our Lord and savior and invite Him into our life.

The world has offered substitutes for Christmas: Santa Clause, rain deer, candy canes, and also for Easter: bunnies, colored eggs, baskets filled with treats, and spring fashions.

Pastor gave an illustration of a man looking at the names on the Vietnam wall searching for his uncle’s name.  There he discovered his own name entered there in error, for he was alive and well. He said, “I must be one of the living dead!”

Some today are “living dead” as they have not received newness of Spiritual life from Jesus.  They are dead in their sins, but Jesus calls for them to receive the promise of life.

Jesus referred to pain at birth and the memory is soon past when the child is held in the mother’s arms.  The pain of the crucifixion was real.  The struggle of good and evil is real. 
 
Evil is alive and real and we see it all around us.  We hear it on the news and read about it in the paper.  The earth groans, and at times we are confused about the future.

We may be in mourning, and having problems, but do not fear or be puzzled.  He promises to be with us, what ever comes our way.

Easter is a wake up call, the promise of Christmas is fulfilled, that Jesus is alive and because He lives, we too may live. 

This post has been linked to Fresh Brewed Sundays

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Ugly Beautiful Cross

 
Cross, courtesy photobucket.com


The cross of Jesus Christ was ugly splintered wood, spattered with blood, sweat and possibly other body fluids. 

Not a pretty sight, but that was not the worst part.  Other unseen things happened that affected you and me.

The sins of all mankind were placed on Jesus as he hung on that cross and the sky turned dark with grief and then the worst thing happened!

God turned his back on Jesus, because his father God could not stand to look down on this sight any longer.

"Father why have you forsaken me?" cried Jesus.   When his friends and all others ran, Jesus could take that, but not His heavenly father.  That was too much and it broke his heart.

He proclaimed that what He had been sent to do was done.  "It is finished" he cried.  I did it for you - - - he thought in his mind and he could see into the future and view all those he was dieing for, including You and Me! 

It was then he died, and the temple curtain that blocked access into the Holy of Holies was torn from the top to the bottom by the finger of God. 

Now we can enter boldly into the throne room and cry Abba Father.

That cross reminds me of a horrible death, but I am go glad the story did not end there.

We know that Jesus rose again on the third day, full of life, power, forgiveness and love. 

During the next 40 days he proved to his friends and others that it was truly he and that He was alive.

On the mountain top, He gave instructions and another promise, I will return, but until then I am sending you a Comforter and guide.  The Holy Spirit will abide IN you and WITH you and never leave you.

Praise God we can celebrate Easter!! - - It is Resurrection Day, a Glad and Glorious Day. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

Glad Glorious Day

 
Empty Tomb
courtesy photobucket.com
           Easter is a fun time for children as they hunt eggs and receive gifts in their Easter Baskets.

As children we dyed hard boiled eggs, had fun hunting for them, and often hiding them again.  Later we enjoyed deviled egg sandwiches, and potato salad with lots of eggs inside.

Spring time, flowers and fun all are in order this time of the year!

However the days prior to the original Easter were NOT a fun day for Jesus. 

Jesus was betrayed and rejected by his friends, yet he uttered, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  He suffered and died for you and for me.

On that Glad Easter Morning, He arose from the dead and He lives for ever more.

Not only is he alive, but after 40 days he was escorted by Angels back to heaven leaving us with a promise that he would return some day to receive us unto himself.

Jesus did not leave us comfortless.  He sent His Holy Spirit to be our helper. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can know that He is IN us and will be with us always! 

He says, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

So let this Easter be a Fun day! Let it be a Joyous and Glorious Day! 

Let it be a day of Hope!

It is Resurrection Sunday!!
 
This post has been shared with Ann Kroeker
at her Food on Fridays site

  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clean Straw (Repost)


photo by Granddaughter Ashley
                                          
There’s just something about a Blue Tick Hound Dog that my husband loves!  I think it must be that baying bawl that they let out when they have a varmint “treed”.  It is definitely not for their odor, as the Blue Tick unquestionably, has a distinct, pungent aroma.

We have an area in our home with a specific rug where we allow our hound dogs to share some quality time with us.  At the close of the evening they are sent to their boxes which had been neatly lined with straw to help keep them warm.

One morning, my husband reached his toleration level for our pooches’ lovely smell.  That was it!  Time for baths! Since he was on his way out, he passed that task on to me.  Wonderful!

Shower ‘n suds - scrub-a-dub-dub!   In rotation, I led each hound into the shower, me in a swim suit trying to hold them still and then suds, scrubbing and rubbing until they glistened!   Two hours later - - - they looked good enough for a dog show!  

With that chore behind me, I hurried around the house to catch on some other things.  My husband was extremely pleased when he arrived home that evening.  As for me, I was ready for an early bedtime. 

The next morning, our babies greeted us eagerly!  Phew!  What was that smell? Each dog reeked!  There was that unmistakable hound-dog odor again!

Oops!  I had forgotten one minor detail!    I neglected to change the old straw in their boxes!   How could I forget that?  The dogs had wallowed in it all night, undoing all my hard work!  They stunk!

Isn’t that often the way it is with a new Christian? He is born-again and cleaned up as he kneels at Jesus feet, but because of a lack of knowledge or desire, he doesn’t make the changes necessary to keep smelling like a newborn.  Instead, he returns to his “old bed of straw” – those worldly habits that make him stink!

The Bible speaks about those who turn back to their old ways and referrers to them in rather descriptive language.

2 Peter 2:22  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Let us, as mature Christians, make it a practice to begin each day to start out brand new, ourselves.  If our “straw” has become affected by the world, we have the knowledge that we can always exchange it for God’s fresh touch. 
 
No need to smell anything but sweet in the presence of our Lord.
 

This post has been shared at some of my favorite Blog Parties:  Please visit them!

With Ramona at:  Create With Joy

with Jennifer at: Tell His Story

and with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday







 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Deception and Revelation


This story is for anyone who has ever been betrayed, or stolen from. 
 
I am reminded of Jesus who was betrayed by his closest friends.  They denied and betrayed him, yet He forgave and was our example.
 
Shocked
courtesy photobucket.com
We were ignorant as to why the seller of the land we were purchasing, was at the Title Company, working on one of their computers. 

He did not belong there, but for some reason the staff must have known him because they had allowed him access. 
 
We were there to sign papers for our purchase of his land and this seemed so strange to us.

What we did not know was that as he sat there he was changing some information on their records. 
 
The piece of paper that we received gave us clear title, but it was not true. 

The actual records did not show up until three years later when our buyers had a new title search done. This time the title search revealed that there were Water Bond Liens against our land.  The truth was there were a LOT of liens against our land and home.

This evil seller had fudged the records when we originally purchased the land to build our dream house on.   We had heard a rumor about water bonds, but when we approached the “Christian” Man who supposedly held them, he feigned innocence, so we felt safe.

My husband was ill, and it was necessary that we sell our home.  We had waited for over a year for a buyer, and we were in a bad situation. 

While our house was in escrow, the “Christian” man holding the liens laughed at his cleverness, that we were obligated to pay him a large sum of money before we could finalize the sale of our home. 

Visiting an attorney in our city, we told him our plight.  After hearing our story, he went to his partner and soon returned.  It seemed the Christian man had already visited this and other attorneys in town which legally would stop us from hiring them to represent us. 

That smarted a bit and my hubby still hurts over this as our loss was hard earned cash earned by sweat, and not by skillful maneuvering.

We were in a difficult place and there was no other option and the payment had to be made in order to sell our home.  The amount owed to the “Christian man” was much larger and the Title Co paid all they were legally bound to pay.  The balance of several thousand dollars was up to us.

We had two choices, either to go ahead with the sale and take our loss or suffer the loss of our buyer.  Our decision was to go forward and accept what was ahead.

That was many years ago and you may wonder what happened to the seller who typed in the false information?   He went bankrupt and lost his property across the street from us.  We heard he left for parts unknown.  His sins I am sure caught up with him.

And as to the "Christian man," who stole from us, we left it up to God to avenge us and to be honest - - we hope that God did just that.

Jeremiah 30:16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil.

 This post is Shared with Laura at The Wellspring 
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

It Started Here in Baltimore Maryland


Fifty Years Ago
Bible and Prayer Removed from our Schools
courtesy free clip art
Our missionary Martha Wright, full time children’s minister in Maryland reports:

It was in 1960 that Madalyn Murray walked into her son's classroom at Northwood Elementary school, Baltimore Maryland and heard the children reading the Bible and praying.

As a proclaimed Atheist, she became furious, and immediately launched her own crusade to get Bible reading and prayer taken out of our public schools.

On June 17, 1963 the Supreme Court in an overwhelming 8-1 decision ruled that the opening of schools with Bible reading and prayer exercises was unconstitutional.

This coming June it will be fifty years that the Bible and prayer was removed nation wide from our schools.

You may know about the Supreme Court decision of June 11, 2001 where the justices voted 6-3 that the Good News Club must have equal access to public school facilities like any other club.

This has been a window of opportunity God has given us to teach the Bible unfettered to today's children.  We have 90-120 minutes per week to teach the Bible, teach the kids to pray, teach them to memorize Scripture, sing songs about God and the Lord Jesus and to teach them about missions!

But we don't know when this privilege will be taken away. In the meantime, we need to aggressively challenge every Bible-believing church in America to adopt its local community school to take the light of the Gospel to this vast mission field.

A half-a-century has gone by since that horrible decision, and the moral decay of our country is evident.

It all started in Baltimore -- NOW LET'S GET THE BIBLE BACK INTO EVERY SCHOOL IN BALTIMORE AND ACROSS MARYLAND!

Right now, on this 50th anniversary, we have put together a team of experienced teachers who are ready to establish a Good News Club at Northwood Elementary School, where the ban on the Bible first took place.

For me, getting the Bible back into that school will be like placing an American flag on the moon! Please pray as we meet with the principal, that she will give permission.

The vice principal attended two workshops we recently held at our state headquarters! She retired February 28 but will be an advocate for the club! Thanks for your prayers for open doors to this school.

The Good News Club at Lockerman Bundy Elementary has been going for five weeks. I was at the first club and 48 children were eagerly waiting to hear about Jesus.

Four teachers from the school are teaching their children God's Word each week. (Is that amazing, or what?) They know more than anyone how needy these children are. They know it's only by God's power that the lives of these kids will be transformed! The enrollment is now over 60!

Keep praying that many of these children and their families will come to Christ Jesus! I see a revival coming in that school!

We launched two more clubs in inner city Baltimore, also in needy schools and bad areas of the city. God is doing something special as these children memorize His Word, sing songs about God, learn Bible lessons and make decisions that will change their lives forever.

Corporal Holifield, a Baltimore City police officer who oversees security for over 40 schools in his district, was anxious to get a club going at Barrister Elementary.
 
We pulled a team together and had our first club last week. It was a joy for me to witness the enthusiasm of these children.

However, it was sad that when the teacher asked the children "Do you know what sin is?" that not one child in the group knew the answer. That was a new one for me! But kids here in the United States of America are so Biblically illiterate that it's amazing.  May the Lord continue to bless you richly as you serve Him!

Send all missionary support to: Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF)
Box 348 Warrenton, MO 63383
Please designate for account HQ 000 9753 00

Dr. Martha J. Wright,  Executive Director CEF of Maryland   (410) 944-6435


This post is Linked up with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday
 
 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Do the Palms Say?


Hosanna courtesy Google search
 
Zechariah 9:9 reminds us of the prophesy;

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.

Today we celebrated Palm Sunday, and were reminded of the children waving palm branches, and the people placing cloaks in the pathway of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

Pastor Jerry was reading from Luke 19: 28-40 about the triumphant entry of Jesus
The people assumed that Jesus was ready to restore the kingdom, and to rescue them from Roman rule.  Usually a king would enter on a charging white horse as if coming to war, but Jesus had chosen to humbly ride a young colt, the foal of a donkey.

The people were reminded that 400 years earlier, a wicked Syrian King had desecrated the temple by bringing a pig into the temple and setting up an alter to Zeus.  An Israelite priest and his sons formed a coalition to over throw the king.  It took time, but finally they were victorious and the people cheerfully waved palm branches and shouted Hosanna and praises to the Lord God as they cleansed and rededicated the temple.

On this day as Jesus rode seated on the donkey, the people shouted Hosanna, but their cries were short lived.  In a few days they would change their shouting to “Crucify Him.”

What do the palm branches say to us?  “We are tired of oppression and unfair treatment.”  They are a cry for help and deliverance.  “Save us now,” they say.

No, Jesus did not come to conquer Rome.  Jesus came to save the world.

If you are standing with a shouting crowd who are crying “crucify Him,” it might be time to separate yourself from those who are against Jesus.  

Are you tired of those who tell you to believe lies and want you to settle for their way of thinking that evil is good. 

So many of our leaders today have twisted thinking and are making laws that mock God.   Let us lift our Bible high and accept it for what it says.

If push comes to shove, are you willing to perhaps stand alone, and wave your palm branch while singing your own song of; “Victory in Jesus!”

This post is shared with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Street Meetings


Pump Organ courtesy Google Search
 
Being a shy teenager, I was a bit embarrassed but went along with the others in our church to hold a street meeting.  My mother must have coerced me into attending.  She said the experience would be good for me and would help me later in life. 

I think it must have helped me, because I am no longer afraid to speak out.

The church owned an old fold up organ that one of the men carried to our site, and in order to play it, you pumped it with your feet.  The rest of us had song books and we set up on the corner a couple blocks away from our church.   

We began to sing, The Old Rugged Cross, and other old hymns.  Several of the group gave testimonies how Jesus had “saved them,” and then our Youth leader invited the small crowd to come to our church for special services that would be held that evening.

There was one man who followed us back to church, and from what I could tell he was a bit tipsy. 

When we arrived at the church, our Pastor took the man aside and talked with him and invited him to receive Jesus. 
 
Suddenly the drunken stupor left him and he was as sober as any of us.  Apparently he had been raised in a Christian home but was far from the Lord.  He made a new commitment that evening and was rejoicing.

Except for that one time, I don’t remember anyone following us back to the church, but when you fish and catch one, that is good as a net full.

That evening at church we must have sang that old hymn, “Bringing in the sheaves, I shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Matthew 4:19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Fresh Chard


Fresh Chard
photo by Hazel
 
Last spring as we planted our garden, my daughter gave me a packet of chard seed.  She knows I love fresh chard, so we planted two rows in our garden spot.

At first I blamed it on the soil, because we had not added fertilizer last year and failed to do a deep rototill, only a shallow dig.  Our chard was miserably stunted.

That did not daunt me, so with my handy knife, I dutifully cut off the tiny leaves and managed to have a few small “messes” of chard for our dinner.

Then fall arrived and with it some rain and the season changed.  Around Thanksgiving, low and behold there were large leaves on my chard rows. 

After all, chard is an early winter vegetable, so the fault was with me planting my nice vegetables too early.  Through this winter, I have been able to take my trusty knife along with a plastic bag, and carefully taking each plant, cut down to the bottom of the plant.  Moving on to the next plant until my bag is full of that dark green “good for you,” vegetable.

Chard is rich in vitamin C, K, A and B vitamins, plus minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc, which are important for your system.  It also has Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits which is good for your heart.

Preparing the chard is not that much trouble when you consider stringing fresh green beans or opening fresh pea pods to gather your green peas.

Place chard in the largest bowl or pot that you have, run cool tap water over your chard and bounce it up and down several times.  Then transfer to your largest colander.  Dump the water and begin to wash again until you have washed at least 4 (four) times.  Next break off the long stems and then rinse a final time and you are ready to cook your chard. 

Use your largest pot, and understand that the chard will shrink, so go ahead and cook it all.  The water still clinging to your chard from your last rinse will probably be enough, but my husband likes to add a bit extra water.  Simmer around 15 minutes and your chard will be ready to enjoy. 

We like to pour a dash of apple-cider vinegar on each serving, but season to your taste.

The more you cut your growing chard, the faster it will multiply, so keep up the good work and continue harvesting your healthy green.

I am reminded that when we give our gifts to God, he returns to us more than what we originally gave.  That is a spiritual law and it will work for you.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s  Food on Fridays  


 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do What Pleases you


Teens
courtesy photobucket
Are there times when you just do what ever suits you?  Times when you merely do what ever you please?
 
I Corinthians 15:1-10.  “We are created as His Workmanship,”

The people at Corinth were from every nation, a diverse group of persons, worshiping numerous gods, and countless wicked immoral individuals were living there.

Much like any city in the world, and the same as many of our cities here in the United States. 

Just as people in any city need to know the true gospel; Paul began to preach and teach them about Jesus, His love, His mercy and His grace.  Many in the city began to follow Jesus but it was difficult for some to leave their old manner of living. 

They misunderstood the message of grace and took it to mean that they could, “Do anything they pleased,” and grace would cover their sin.  Paul explained that it did not work that way, and they were NOT to sin so that grace could much more abound.

Martin Luther, when he was asked by a listener, “Does God allow us to do anything we please?”  Martin Luther asked the person, “Just who is it that you please?”

If we have received Jesus as our savior, then we can do what ever we please, because we will only do those things that please God.

We do not earn our salvation by feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, building homes for the homeless, or other worthy projects.  After we receive Jesus as our Lord, then we may desire to feed the poor, visit the sick and other worthy projects, because we do those things which please God.

We all have a choice, and we can do as we please, NOT the rebellious, stubborn, willful having our own way attitude, but it is because we do that which pleases God.

We are to let our light shine in our sinful city showing others by our lifestyle, and our actions that we are pleasing God, because we are called according to His purpose.

Are you doing those things that Please YOU, and are those things pleasing to God?


This post has been shared With Ramona at:  Create With Joy
And also shared at Wednesday Wanderings

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

She Came Bearing Gifts


Gifts of Hope
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Her arms were filled with plastic bags full of assorted soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, band-aids, candy, bottles of water and other items of personal care.

My daughter Judie is a bargain shopper, and she is a coupon collector and usually is able to purchase most items by only paying the tax. 

Honestly I don’t know how she does it, because coupons in my newspaper are not that good.

She has made this a ministry and she often takes school supplies and other items to homeless shelters, and schools that can put this merchandise to good use.

She loves to get a bargain; in fact all my girls are happy shoppers when they can get something for half price or less.  Less is better.

Robert and I can only use so much of these wonderful items, so with her permission, after she left, we took bags and boxes to our local “Hope Center” where they are carefully distributed to the needy.  

Hope center also has a community kitchen set up on their premises to feed the many volunteers, and hungry neighbors.  We viewed the busy cook preparing a hot meal for the lunch hour.

On Sunday, more bags and boxes of items went to church with me.  Our senior citizens members at church might be embarrassed to seek help with their budget, at the Hope Center, but are happy to take a few items from a “free” table set up at church to “help your-self.” 

Judie was on her way to Oregon to visit her daughter Ali who is attending college in Portland.  On her way she planned do more bargain shopping and leave items at a school where she enjoys stopping at in Redding, CA.   (More about Bethel Redding church later)

During the week her husband, Chuck works, so when Judie who likes to drive for these trips, when work is over, he flies and meets her at the destination, and together they visit their daughter.

Then they spend the week-end, at their second home in Oregon that they purchased from Chuck's brother. When Chuck’s mother passed away, he and Judie purchased her home from Chuck’s brother, and the thought is eventually they may retire in Oregon.

Their plans include attending a church there on Sunday. Then Chuck will again fly home and Judie hopes to stop by here for another short visit as she heads for home.

In our life, we may not be able to secure these type of gifts for others like Judie does, but we can extend our hands to help in what ever way God shows us. 

One of my friends makes it a habit to reach out and touch others when she prays over them.  Most persons will welcome the gentle touch of a concerned person.

When a hug is appropriate, or a hand on the shoulder, perhaps a kind touch can go a long way to lift sagging spirits.

 
This post is linked with Jennifer Dukes Lee at: Tell His Story

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Good Grief !!


This post was shared at Peter Pollock’s “One Word Carnival.”  The Word is GRIEF

Grief
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Tears flowed down my face as I received the telephone call from my mother, and I realized my father had passed away from his long illness.

Although I knew he was in heaven, it did not stop me from grasping the fact that I would not be able to visit and speak to him any longer, here on this earth.

My husband, Robert told me, “Hazel, those tears are because you are ‘feeling sorry for yourself,’ and they are not tears of grief.”  You must change your thinking,”  He continued with some other words of wisdom that caused me to consider what he had said. 

How often do we enjoy a good “pity party, and get pleasure from feeling sorry for our-self,” and we call it grief for what ever reason. 

Honestly I have seen some people weep and wail more over one of their animals who died then they did when one of their own family members passed on.

There is a time to weep, according to the Bible, and a time to rejoice.  Our grief time is sadness usually because we will miss the person here on earth.

God does not want us to STAY in the mode of grieving, for how long, I can’t say, but it should be temporary.  A short time to grieve is okay, but then there comes a time to wipe away the tears. 

There are moments to remember the person for who they were to us and the memories of happy times together.

Even if there were sad times, those can even yet be forgiven whether the person is with us or not.  Speaking out the words “I forgive you,” is healing.

If the person was Hell bound, then we should really grieve.  We can no longer help them, but we can do what we can to give and live the gospel to those who are still with us. 
 
The rich man in hell wanted someone to warn his brothers to repent and come to God, because he knew Hell was real.  His was true grief.
 
As we live here on earth, may we do our part to show others who a Christian is, by our example and by reaching out to others with kindness and encouraging words.

When it is our time to cross that river between earth and heaven, may our friends and loved ones, grieve for a few moments, and then rejoice with us that we are with Jesus.

Isaiah 53:3  He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

Monday, March 18, 2013

A New Thing

Fire by Night
courtesy photobucket.com

Isaiah 43:18,19  “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Pastor Jerry was reading the prophesy from Isaiah about the children of Israel returning to their home land after being in exile for many years. 

God promised to do a New Thing and told them not to look back at the old.

Pastor questioned, “Can we go home again?”  When we return, we do not find things the same as before.  Changes have occurred.

College students find it difficult to support themselves, and often they return home, but now they are expected to contribute and there are new rules.

When the children of Israel worshiped God, and obeyed his laws they prospered, and when they turned their back on God, it was not so, and bad things happened. 

We question if that is part of the problems of today that in general the people of our Nation and other Nations are not serving the True God.

When the Israelites returned to their land, their needs were many.  Vineyards needed to be planted, and water was important.  God promised to help as they put their hand to the plow and worked.

During the 40 years the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God provided for them.  His presence was continually shown with a cloud by day that protected them from the sun and heat, and by night a pillar of fire that created warmth from the evening chills.

The cloud was moving each day and they needed to move with God.

At times we find ourselves in a rut and it is difficult to change and put aside old ways.  We may need to lay down some old traditions and discover what New Thing God is doing and follow Him.

What is God doing in our city and in other cities?  He promises to do a new thing as we agree to get out of our rut and move with Him.

May we expect God to do miracles among us and minister to our needs?  We have many needs, physically, financially and spiritually.
 
Let us be willing to reach out and allow God to do a New Thing in us as a people and as individuals.

 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What’s Up? Repost

Image courtesy photobucket.com

Hey!  How are you doing?  Hi there!  What are you up to these days?  What is going on?  How have you been?

These and many other short sayings are common everyday expressions used to open up a conversation. 

Some would take you wrong, and think that you were prying into their private life.  Offence is often made unwittingly and certainly not intended.  Why do some hold their feelings attached to their coat sleeves?   

Another common expression for those easily hurt is:  “Get Over it!”

Then there are others who would be happy that you cared to ask, and even speak to them.

Usually you will get a short answer that lets you know they are fine, or doing good.  Some would even answer that they are “Blessed.” 

Honestly you would prefer that you do not get a detailed report of their last physical examination, but that could happen too. 

Others might let you know they would appreciate prayer regarding something going on in their family. 

Use caution yourself not to relate all your woes and troubles, for your sad story may fall on deaf ears.

Ecclesiastes 5:2  Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter  any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and you upon earth: therefore let your words be few.

Instead let your listener leave feeling they have been encouraged to have spoken with you.

How did the Gospel writers greet their friends?  Usually they said, “Greetings to all the saints.”   Simply stated that means if you are a Christian, then you are a saint.

Romans 1:7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
May all you Saints be greatly blessed !! 

This post has been shared With Ramona at:  Create With Joy

 

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Don’t Lift Your Head


Crystal Chandelier
courtesy photobucket.com
You have heard it said; those were the “Famous Last Words.”  This is what happened many years ago at the new home we were building that overlooked the Pleasanton Valley. 

We had carefully selected the lighting for each room, and for our dining room table we wanted a crystal chandelier to suspend over the table. 

The fixture was a special order and had to come from Europe where these gorgeous hanging lights were beautifully crafted.

Everything was going smoothly, and although the carpets were not yet installed, our lovely chandelier arrived. 

The electrician installed it and warned us that it needed a chair placed under it and a sign not to raise your head while under the light.

We were staying in a motor home on site while the construction was going on, so we had a careful watch for each phase of the building.

A truck from the carpet supply arrived the next day, and we rushed out to instruct the installer about the dining area.  “Please do NOT lift your head while you install the carpet in that area.”  

The gentlemen said he understood and would be careful not to do so.

By now you have guessed what happened soon after.  Yes, for some unexplained reason, the installer forgot all about the warning as he reached to answer his cell phone. 

The entire chandelier was not completely damaged, but several of the crystals were broken, which resulted in needing to replace the order, and wait many more weeks.  Finally we were pleased and happy to be able to move into our new home.

In life there are many warnings of danger, some are written, some are verbal and many are simply known by our inward conscience. 

The answer as to why these warnings are not heeded is simple in that, we believe we are the one who these bad things will not happen to.  It will be the next person, not us.

Many foolishly believe if they do enough good deeds, it will out weigh their bad behavior and God will allow them into heaven.  They fail to go to the Bible and seek for truth.

Moses gave us Ten Commandments but Jesus gave us one; to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, and to love your neighbor as much as you do yourself.  If we obey this one, we will automatically be obeying the ten. 
 
Yet this will not give us access into heaven!  Jesus proclaimed that HE was the way to the Father.

Paul reminded us to believe on Jesus and all that he did for us, and we would be saved from destruction.

Believe on Jesus and be saved - - how simple is that?  To many those will be the “Famous Last Words,” that they will hear. 

A wise person will pay attention now.


This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story
 Also linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Out of Our Comfort Zone


Out of Our Comfort Zone
courtesy Google search
This post is a gleaning from Pastor Jerry’s sermon, as he read from Luke 15 about the scribes and Pharisees being disturbed because Jesus ate with sinners. 

Jesus did many things that to others were out of their comfort zone. 

When he was accused of eating with sinners, he at first gave them a story about the lost sheep.  The shepherd placed the 99 safely in the fold, but left his comfort and went seeking that which was lost.

The men, did not understand this story as it was too simple.  Jesus then told the story of the Prodigal Son, who requested his share up front of his inheritance.  When he had squandered it all, he finally realized that he was FAR away from his comfort zone.  He did not consider his father’s broken heart. 

He was not sorry for his wastefulness, but was sorry about his final pig pen condition.  He realized his father’s servants had it better than he presently did and he decided to return home and try to become one of his father’s servants.

His father welcomed him home, and called for a celebration, which was more for the father’s benefit than for the young man.  This feast honoring the younger son caused discomfort to the older son.  He was not happy because the father had never given him a similar banquet.  Would you say he was normal to be this uncomfortable?

How does the young son now live, knowing he is forgiven by his father?  Does he feel “at home” and comfortable in his present forgiven state?  How does he view his brother who harbors jealousy?  The sad fact is that in the home (and church) there is often friction.  Living in peace calls for a walk of forgiveness.

How do we react when a sinner comes to the Lord, and decides to visit our church?  Do we rejoice and welcome him, or do we get pushed out of shape because he is not as mature in Christ as “we are.” 

King Pharaoh reneged on his promise to let the Israelites go.  Once his discomfort was removed he changed his mind.  Actually he had no intention of releasing God’s people.

Satan has sinners in bondage in his zone.  Although there are support groups, rehab centers, the truth is the Devil does not want to let them go.  Only Jesus can set them free.

There will be a lot of people in heaven that you and I never thought would be there.  Jesus is at the back fence letting them into his kingdom as His Holy Spirit stands guard.

We may be called to leave our comfort zone to welcome new converts into the fellowship of believers, and assist them to grow in Christ.  They will need help to understand all that God has available for them. 
 
Time to get comfortable perhaps in a new zone!!


This post is shared with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays
Also Linked up with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday