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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Focus on the Mission

REACH FOR THE GOAL
courtesy photobucket.com

The scriptures for Sunday’s sermon by Pastor Jerry were Jeremiah 32: 1-12

The king was upset because Jeremiah prophesied that unwanted changes were coming including the fall of Jerusalem.  He was put in prison for prophesying the truth. 
 
The word of the Lord came to him to purchase a field which gave him assurance that the Israelites would indeed return to their land in God’s time.  Even when in captivity, there was hope if they would take their eyes off their present circumstances and focus on their future.

Deliverance finally came and along with it new policies, and much rejoicing.

The second scripture was from: Philippians 1: 12-26 - -

Paul in chains
Christian clip art
Paul was in prison for preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus.  He was confident that his chains brought boldness and fearlessness to his fellow ministers to continue to preach and teach. 
 
Paul was persistent to write and minister even while bound; and the prison guards were also influenced by his life and message.

Philippians 1:12-14 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Pastor gave an illustration of a ship and the various parts.  Port (left) and Starboard (right), the aft (rear) and bow (front), and the bridge where the ship is controlled by the captain.  The crew members follow the directions of the captain, and at all times must be focused on the goal, purpose and destination of the ship.
 
In many of our lives there is turmoil, anxious moments, even fear, however, we must keep our sense of direction on the goal.  May our ears ever be tuned in to hear the voice of our captain.

Our focus must be on Jesus and to set a steady course to reach our objective which is heaven and to bring as many with us as possible.

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Wedding in the Park


A Large Tree
courtesy photobucket.com

Although Robert and I worked for a growing church as associate Pastors, there came a time when our children needed us in the Bay area. 

We moved and settled in to help a budding Word of Faith church and often preached for them as a fill in.

Our mail often had the prefix Rev Robert Moon, as we were licensed with the Assemblies of God, and received books and magazines with the prefix Rev.

Our Postal lady who regularly took my orders for stamps asked me if my husband did weddings. 

She continued that her brother worked for the Park Department and he and his lady wanted to be married in the park under a giant tree that he had selected.

I told her I would ask my husband, and to have her brother call us so we could meet

A few days later they visited us at our home and we asked some simple questions.  I had requested them to bring their marriage license. 

As I scanned over the license it was apparent that they were already married by the Justice of the Peace. 

We asked, “What is going on?”  The gentleman explained that his wife was from Europe, and the license was a convenience for now. 

She wanted a big wedding in Europe for her family, and he wanted one here in California for his Park friends and family.

We could see no harm, and their plans were to have a roasted pig in the ground barbecue with all the trimmings.  It sounded like a lot of fun and a good experience for both of us.

Visiting the Bible Book Store, I selected a wedding certificate that had a place for witnesses to sign and also the Bride and Groom. 

Let’s make this official looking.
 
We did not know how many of the guests were privy to the couple being already married, and it wasn’t up to us to tell.  Even his sister seemed not to know.

On the morning of the wedding, chairs were set up under the beautiful tree, and a center aisle parted for the bride to enter. 

Soon the guests began to arrive, most in comfortable attire.  The bride was dressed in a pretty white dress with a simple veil.  The groom and his attendants wore jeans and a dark jacket that could be left in the car. 

After all this was a park with a lovely celebration to follow.

After the ceremony, I requested two of their friends to sign the card on the witness line.  The certificate was then given to the gentleman to keep with their important papers.

The couple planned to leave soon for Europe and the big Church wedding for her family.

The feast in the park,with the family and friends was enjoyed by all, and the Postal clerk and her brother were most gracious in their thanks and appreciation for us helping them with their second wedding.  

Robert and I both agreed that this was the most delightful and yet strangest wedding we had ever attended.

I am reminded that there will be a day soon coming, when the bridegroom will call his bride (the church) to the wedding feast of all time.. 
 
The invitations are out and the RSVP response is simple.  Just sign on the dotted line and accept the offer Jesus freely gives.

 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pray for Us

Praying for our Leaders
courtesy photobucket.com

1 Timothy 2: 1-7 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Gleaning from Pastor Jerry’s Sermon as he read from the letter Paul sent to the young minister Timothy.  
The Jewish nation was under the rule of the Roman Empire with their many gods.  Timothy was exhorted to pray for the leaders that they have clear heads and rule with wisdom and mercy in order for the people to live in peace.
As Paul began his letter he used the words: “First of All.”  This meant something very important was to follow.  There was only ONE God, ONE truth to be preached to his flock.

Paul urged Timothy to pray for everyone, family, friends, leaders and all in authority which meant to include their enemies of that day.

The Romans hailed Caesar as a God and called him Lord.  We know Jesus is Lord and there is no other before Him.  The fact remains that God wants all men to be saved.

When we attend a ball game, whether the Giants, or little league, we pray that our team will win.  We want to win with no thought for those who will be the losers for that game.

We go to the polls to vote and pray that our candidates will win, when perhaps we should pray that God’s will be done.

We may not agree with those in Government positions, but the teaching here is to pray for them to experience level heads, wisdom and mercy in their decisions.

This is right and God desires everyone to be saved.  Prayer is not just words, but our hearts must be in tune to give God a free hand to move according to his will.
 
It is easier to pray against our enemies.  The Old Testament prophets wanted their enemies to suffer and be defeated. 

We can get so mixed up in our attitudes, especially when we view the reports of recent mass shootings and murder. 

The terrorists are convinced that they are doing a good work, so how should we pray for them?

Horrible things are going on in our world today.  We must pray for hearts to soften, for wisdom to reign, and leaders to be willing to negotiate and bring about peace.

As we pray, we are not to pray our opinion but to express that God will have his way.

When we come to pray, it is good to be still and listen, for God is still speaking.  May we listen with our heart to what He is saying to us.

* * * * * * * *
This post is shared with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays

This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday

 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Red Hot Candies


Red Hots Candy
courtesy google search

Our Pot luck at church was over, and I sat with some of my friends enjoying a conversation. 

The young kids gathered near by and were having fun with some red hot candy. 

You may be familiar with these candies.  They are red, spiced with a lot of cinnamon and are a bit smaller than a pea. 
 
The kids were throwing them up in the air, one at a time and catching them in their mouth.

Suddenly my daughter Judie frantically came over to me and using hand signals alerted me to a real problem.  One of the candies was stuck in her throat and she was gasping for breath. 

There was no time to call for help, and it seemed it was up to me and God to change the situation. 

Thinking quickly, as I was seated, I stood and lifted one knee and turned her over that knee to an almost upside position, and gave her a good slap on the back while saying - -
 
“Come out in the name of Jesus.”

She coughed and up it came.  I think the children stopped the game for the rest of the afternoon !!

I was reminded of times when we choke on our words.  Hopefully the Holy Spirit will give us that slap on the back to watch it. 

It is difficult to retrieve words once they are released. 

May we ever be watchful and not do as I often do, speak and then repent.  :-)
 
This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s  Food on Fridays   Anything about food is welcome and it does not necessarily need a recipe.

This post is also Shared with Ramona at:  Friendship Friday with Joy

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don’t Volunteer ME



Volunteer
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Some many odd years ago, before we went into the roofing business, I worked in an office with a woman named Kelly.  She was a single mother with a growing son and a small house she was trying to keep up.

After a nice rain one night, Kelly mentioned to me, that her roof was leaking.

With out thinking I said, “Oh I will tell me husband to come over and look at your roof and perhaps he can fix it for you.” 
 
She gave me her address and directions how to get there and was happy for my offer.

That evening I mentioned this to Robert and showed him her address and directions.  He was not interested in the least, and I was met by silence.

I begged, “Will you please come and take a look at her roof and see if you can help her?”

I continued to receive only stares, but finally he spoke. 
 
“I will come this time, but please in the future never volunteer me to do anything.”  
 
He stated that he wasn’t against volunteer work, but he wanted to be the one to make that choice.

Robert put our ladder on his truck, and we both went to visit my friend Kelly.  Robert found that her gutters were full of leaves and were stopped up. 
 
This was causing water to back up and was the reason for her leak.  All it took was to rake out the leaves from the roof gutters, and run a hose down her drain pipe, and all was well.

Kelly was appreciative and wanted to pay Robert, but he refused and said, “This was done as a favor so no payment is necessary.”

That was a lesson I quickly learned: To not volunteer Robert or anyone else to do a job. 

In life, there are times when leaves and dirt collect in our spiritual gutters and they need to be cleaned out.  Not necessarily sins, but often it is leaves of busyness, we are just too busy and perhaps over committed. 
 
Too much on our plate can clog the drains

Then there is volunteer work.  Some projects are good in themselves - - even good works, but we must take care that they are truly something that God has given us to do. 
 
God may ask you to volunteer, but he will not place a burden on you that is too heavy to bear.

 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

LOST STORIES


Jesus Found the Lost Sheep
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Again I gleaned as Pastor Jerry ministered on Sunday, and he read from Luke 15:1-10 

Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them,

Jesus was a story teller as well as a prophet.  It seemed at every turn he was criticized and his answer was usually in the form of a parable. 

He began to speak of Lost things.  We are all familiar with the story of the lost son who was welcomed home by his father, but not by his brother.  The father called all his friends to rejoice because his Son who had been lost was now found.

Jesus began to tell of the Lost Sheep and how the shepherd left the 99 and searched until he found his lost sheep.  Then he called all his friends for a celebration to rejoice.   

The woman with the lost coin lit her lamps with the expensive oil and turned her house upside down until she found her coin.  To her this coin was of much value.  Having searched until she found her coin, she then called for her friends to rejoice with her, because that which was lost had been found.

Jesus stated that the angels in heaven rejoice over one lost sinner who is found.

Pastor told a story on himself when he took his six year old sister to the mall, and as he turned his back for a second, she was gone.  What a gut punch that was until he realized after searching for some time she was found one aisle over playing with some toys.

Jesus takes the position of a shepherd, a woman and of a Father, searching for the lost.

God hasn’t given up the search for lost souls.  He is still seeking the lost even those who seem of little value to many.  ALL who come to him, He is willing to save.  We too must celebrate when sinners are found and brought into the fold.

Paul spoke in I Timothy about himself being the vilest of sinners and was lost by thinking he was working for God.  Then the Holy Spirit shined his light upon Saul revealing Jesus. and he was given his new name of Paul.

This is good news for us, for often we may feel lost and undone as we fall short of what we know is right. 
 
Yes, we are lost sinners in one way or the other.  The Amazing Grace of Jesus is when we confess our sins he will forgive.

God is still seeking the LOST, but a better story is the story about those who have been FOUND.   Thanks be unto God.

This post is shared with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays

 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Dangerous Place to Work


Livermore Lawrence Lab
courtesy Google Search
 
Years ago, I received a request to mail in a written referral for my friend, who was applying for a job at the Livermore Lawrence Lab. 

There was a rumor going around that people that worked for or lived near the lab, were getting cancer at an alarming rate.

Immediately this was denied by the people in Washington, even after it was shown that the lab employees were being diagnosed with cancer at the rate of three times what the people who were not associated with the lab were. 

They were dealing with the development of Nuclear weapons projects at the lab and did have some radiation leakage.

I was concerned about my friend possibly being exposed to radiation and eventually getting cancer, so I carefully worded the reference letter.

Yes, I have know this woman for many years, and she is honest and a hard worker.  One of the questions asked was, “Does she have any faults”

I answered, “This flaw probably will not be reflected in her work life, but she is always late to the church that we both attend.  I have never known her to be on time for church unless it was the change in daylight savings time.”

Then I prayed and hoped that she would not get the job.
 
My friend asked me if I sent back the reference, and I told her, yes, I did.  Then I laughed and told her exactly what I had said, and she thought I was joking, so I left it at that.

As it turned out, the Lab employees must have chuckled at my honest reference, and what ever the reason, they decided to hire someone else.

My friend was disappointed, but within a very short time, she obtained a much better position at the same company where her husband was employed.  This meant only one car was needed for the two of them to work.

Many time things will work out fine with out interference from good intentions.   
 
However my friend is almost age eighty and I believe she would have been dead many years ago, if I had not answered the letter as I did.
 
This post is shared with Ramona at Friendship Friday with Joy
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Believing for Little Things!!


Ask and Receive
courtesy photoobucket
John 16:24  Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Our God is truly interested in our every day living and he is willing to do more than we even think or ask.

When my children were very small, and I needed to go to the bank, I would pray for a parking space right in front of the bank.  Without fail, by the time I was close; someone would pull out and offer me their spot.

Many would say that was a coincident, but no it occurred too many times to be just a happening.

The other day I was editing my Book Three of Rescue the Stories, and I wanted the page numbers to begin on page 3 which was after the Title Page and one other page. 
 
No matter which button I clicked on, it just was not working.  Finally I went to bed.  And as I relaxed, the Lord said to me, “Click on the small button on the left in the footer.”  I said, thank you Jesus, and “I will do that in the morning.”

Early the next morning, I did as the Lord instructed, and low and behold, it worked.

I can remember my mother praying about lost keys, and in the night, God would tell her where they were.  Yes, hidden in a place you would not think to look, but God knew where they were.

Another time, my youngest daughter could not find her shoes in time for school.  I asked the Lord, “Please Lord, where are those shoes?”  Look behind the sofa came out of my spirit, and yes, there they were.

 My friend, Kristin contributed an awesome story to “Tell Me a True Story,” about God supplying Tickets for the Amusement Park, when her boys prayed.  How they danced when God answered this simple request.

Often we think, God is too busy to help us with small details.
 
The truth is that God is just waiting for us to ASK.

1John 3:22  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.


 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Things We Wish Jesus Had Never Said


Take Up Your Cross and Follow
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Luke 14:27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Pastor Jerry was reading from Luke 14:25-33 where Jesus told his disciples to hate father and mother and follow him; and to take up their cross or they could not be a disciple.

Some words are lost in the translation process, and Pastor suggested that the word HATE meant to separate yourself from family.  To be able to detach from family, and to love Jesus MORE than anyone or anything else.  

Jesus did not mean to NOT love your family, but to love him more.   In those days family was extremely close knit and the familiarity of family might complicate a ministry to follow Jesus.  Some could not let go of mommy and daddy, to leave home and follow Jesus.

Jesus was asking them to, “Count The Cost.”  We toss those and many other words over our shoulders and do not consider that they might apply to us.

Hundreds of Christians are being killed today in Egypt and other countries, those who have severely counted the cost.

We count the cost when we go shopping, and for our medical needs.  We tally the cost for involvement in social problems and, even in politics.

Regarding Syria, we must count the cost and pray for clear minds to prevail.

Are we ready to pay the price?  Not too many here in America are wanting to kill Christians or run us out of town so that we become refugees.
 
Emergency workers daily count the cost to save lives at the risk of their own.

Discipleship for us is not largely risk taking, but there is a cost to taking up the cross.  Not a wooden cross, but to bear the Gospel in our ministry to  those in our community and in our missionary projects.

Jesus has already paid the price for us by his suffering, death, and resurrection.

Pastor Jerry told a story of a farmer and his hound dog.  A rabbit ran by and the hound howled and took off after the rabbit.   Neighborhood dogs heard the noise and decided to join in.  They ran, howled and barked too, but soon tired and went home.  The farmer was asked why the other dogs gave up and quit so soon.  The answer was obvious.  They had not SEEN the rabbit.

May we keep our eyes on Jesus and pick up our cross and follow.

Matthew stated, He who looses his life shall surely save it.  We must keep our eyes on Jesus, for he is the one to follow.
* * * * * * 
 
This post is shared with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays

This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Love Church


Rick’s site :”Planned Pleasanthood” and his  Saturday Shortcuts  contains many posts of note, where he was kind to include my recent post on his list. 
 
While reading there I came across this article by ROBSHEP.COM  “Reasons why people are leaving the church.” which inspired my post for today.

Worship Freely
courtesy photobucket.com
I was raised in a Pentecostal Church, The Assemblies of God.  
 
Years later my husband and I helped start a non-denominational Charismatic church.  Then my hubby got sick, and finds it difficult to be in crowds so he worships at home. 

I continued to attend a small non-denominational church until one day, the Pastor and I had a disagreement and he asked me to leave and not to come back.   Needless to say, I was hurt.

I decided to find a church with a short service and a fellowship time.  That is a good way to get acquainted with others sitting at tables sipping coffee and enjoying a cookie.

The church I found was so different than any I had even attended.  It was semi formal, lighting three candles each service, and celebrating Advent and other proceedings that were new to me.  The people welcomed me and their service had a time for persons to express  their JOYs. 

I began to share, my stories during this particular time in the service, and many told me how they enjoyed them.  
 
One of the council members called me aside and asked that I keep my stories shorter, and not so much preaching.  Also he asked that I limit my sharing to once a month.

That did set me back a bit, so I complained to my daughter, and she suggested that I start writing a blog.  My husband and I had just watched the movie, “Julia-Julia,” and that was my first introduction to a blog.

Another friend suggested two blog sites to help me select a place to begin posting.  Google seemed to be the easiest to work with, and perhaps a popular site, and I made my choice.

So it was in the early part of January 2010, I began posting my stories on the Inter-net.

My stories grew and as time passed, my daughter suggested that I write my memoirs.  Thus Book one was a collection of stories from age three to eighteen when I left home.

Book Two had too many stories, so I divided them into the early years and book three will contain the golden years.  Reading my books is almost like a visit to Church!

You may ask “What will you do with all those books?” 

They are an investment in those who will read them.  Each story has a spiritual truth and is a learning experience. 

One of these days, when my time comes; my family might have a giant “Book Give Away”


This post has been shared With Ramona at: Friendship Friday
The theme is change



 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Learning to Drive


This post was inspired by Floyd’s story “Old Habits Die Hard”

image courtesy photobucket.com

On one of our trips to visit our grandparents, my dad allowed me to sit on his lap and steer while he drove our car.  I wasn’t very old, and this was a real treat for me. 

Naturally Dad did all the shifting.  Dad seemed to trust me and all he said was, ‘Just keep your eyes on the road and drive straight.”

When I was in High School, Driver’s Education was not offered as it is now.  Our Government class had a guest visit from a police officer, who explained many reasons teens get into auto accidents.  The officer went over many of the rules of driving and a book of California DMV Laws was given to each student in our class.  
 
Taking the book home, I showed it to my dad, and, he promised, “One of these days,” he would teach me to drive.  I could not pin him down to an exact day, but kept on asking.

All the badgering at my dad, soon extracted a promise that on Sunday, he would take me to the Safeway Warehouse because on the week end the parking lot would be empty.  The lot was large and I could be trained to shift the gears and drive without the worry of other cars.

If you learned to drive a car with a gear shift, you probably had the same experience that I did.  Dad’s car jerked and wrenched, until finally I could smoothly go from one gear to the next.

Dad let me drive all over that parking lot, and then we pretended to back into a parking space.  He said, “This will be the hard part when you take the driving test.”

Dad insisted that he was not going to take me to get my drivers license because he was not about to give me the keys to our only car.

A few months later I turned 18, and that December Robert and I were married. 
 
Robert’s uncle had an old car that he was willing to sell to us, and Robert promised to take me to apply for my license.  Taking the written test was easy, and the DMV, gave me a permit to drive.

Robert decided I needed a few more lessons before he finally agreed to take me for the driving test. 

Horrors of all horrors, to my dismay I failed the first test. 

I think I forgot to put my left arm out for a turn, and the instructor marked it down.  In those days most cars didn’t have signal lights, so you put your arm out for a left turn and crooked your arm up for a right turn,  your arm went down, if traffic was slowing or stopping.. 

So there was a lot more driving practice, including the back up parking until I was pretty good at it.  Finally I passed the test with flying colors and was awarded my drivers license.

Through the years I have only had a few non serious accidents.  My first was when I backed out of my folk’s driveway, and turned too sharp catching the fender on the telephone pole that was next to the driveway. 
 
Robert was not happy, but he forgave me.

Driving is a privilege, so we must drive carefully and respectfully, just as we walk in life.

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Come Sit at the Table


image courtesy photobucket.com
 
Pastor Jerry read today from Luke 14: 1-14, regarding Jesus healing and doing good on the Sabbath as lawful.  Because so many were full of pride and arrogance, He gave an illustration about seats at the feasting table.

Luke 14:7-10 He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

Think back to the play ground and the swings, when you said, “Look at me.  See how high I can go.”  This is the American way as we live in a mobile society.  We are self seeking, upward to success. 

“Lift yourself up by the bootstraps, because here in America, even the lowest can become President of the United States.”  The desire to rise up is good, to better ourselves.

We seek Education, a good job, and then Retirement.

As a child many of us sat at the family dinner table, where there was often discussion and sometimes arguments.

We are so busy, to sit as a family at the table is no longer the norm.  Yes, there is the occasional hospitality, holiday dinners and celebrations.

Jesus points us in a different direction,  He is always counter cultural.

Jesus said, not to invite family and friends, but to invite the stranger, the poor, those in need, the crippled and the lame to your table.  Invite those who can’t repay.  This was a bizarre guest list.  Jesus flips everything upside down and rebukes the polite rules.

Much was said by Jesus around meals as this was the culture of the table; when he fed the multitude, turned the water into wine, and he often dined with sinners.

Today is communion Sunday.  The Pastor is not the Host, nor the deacons, but Christ is the Host.

May we lay aside our pride, our social climbing, our backgrounds, racial culture, our judgments, and instead see ourselves as barren, poor and needing to feast today at the table with our Host Christ Jesus.  His invitation is to ALL and He says welcome!

In order to reach out and take the bread and the cup, we must release our grip on possessions and ambition, and come empty to the table where we may be filled with joy and life everlasting.

 
This post is shared with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays
This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday

God is a Redeemer and a Restorer


mage courtesy photobucket

Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. Isaiah 54:5

God is a Redeemer;
He bought us with a great price,
He rescues and breaks the chains of bondage,
He finds us and brings us home.

God is a Restorer;
He returns what was destroyed and
replaces what was stolen.
He removes the stain of sin,
and brings beauty out of the ruins of our lives.

God is a Renewer;
He rekindles the flame
which flickers in the heart grown cold.
He takes away the old things
and makes all things new.

God is a Refresher;
He sends the cooling wind on a summer's day,
brings rivers to the desert place,
and sends seasons of refreshing to the soul.

-Devotion by Roy Lessin, from his blog Meet Me In The Meadow.
CLICK HERE to visit Roy's blog and subscribe to receive his Free Devotionals.