Wednesday, June 29, 2011


In Mark 9 there is a story of a man who brought his son to Jesus' disciples. His son had seizures and had been sick since he was a child. The disciples couldn't heal him. Jesus came onto the scene and the father said, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

Jesus answered, "If you can? All things are possible to him who believes."

Immediately, the boy's father said, " I do believe; help my unbelief."

I love the father in this story. He realized his mistake in saying, "If you can..." He realized his faith was small and he needed help. Like Jacob, he wouldn't let Jesus go until he blessed his son. After asking Jesus to help him have more belief, Jesus immediately healed his son.

This man's prayer to Jesus has helped me in my life. Sometimes I just say to God, "Help my unbelief," and He does.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why Be Humble?

"Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right.
And teaches the humble his way."
Psalm 25:8-10

Humble people are open to learning from others. People full of pride think they know everything, or almost everything. They are irritated by instruction and want to run their own lives the way they see fit. I think we must be humble to go to God for help and salvation. It isn't that God requires it; it is that we must have it to feel our need of him.

We may not often think of God as humble. But I believe that describes a part of God's personality. Jesus left heaven, became a man and even washed his friend's feet. He humbled himself to die in public. I think that shows his humility.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

True Beauty

"We tend to cling to the small delights of this world, even to try and make them as permanent as we can. But this we can never do, for we are part of an eternal world. The things which lift our hearts or catch our breath with wonder or lift us into an ecstasy of delight in the here and now are merely those "inklings of eternity" to which I referred earlier; echoes of the eternal, changeless world to which, through Christ, we belong.

If we set our hearts on this world or "lay up treasure" in this world, death will be a bitter wrench. But if we have learned to lay up treasure in Heaven, to set our affection on things above rather than on things on earth, we shall find that there is not one lovely or beautiful thing which we have known here which will not be there, clear and true, permanent and indestructible."

J.B. Phillips, from the book, For This Day.

As I read this, I thought about all the beautiful things of nature we have seen on our trip south.  I thought, "Those were the things that thrilled my soul. Those were the things that made me feel sweet joy. Being in Reno and even Virginia City is nice, but nothing compared to being surrounded by the things God has created.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"I delight to do your will, O my God.
Your law is within my heart."  Psalm40:8

I remember many times God promised us he would write his laws in our hearts. For me, this is the way to obey him. He changes our hearts to love what he loves. He gives us new desires to replace the evil ones. He makes us able to delight in him.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Empty Places.

"Now when an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which it came,' and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept and put in order."
Matthew 12:43,44

I used to wonder what these verses meant, but I've read a few explanations and it is very interesting."Just cleaning up one's life without filling it with God leaves plenty of room for Satan to move in." This was in my Bible commentary.

 What are "waterless places"?  Unclean spirits go there. I would guess it is a place not watered by Jesus' blood; places not watered by the Holy Spirit. It is "unoccupied" by God.

I have also read that we cannot be lazy Christians and let the world constantly fill our minds with trivia. We must actively seek to fill our minds with the good things in God's word. We must choose to think good things instead of evil. There is always something in our minds. Our minds are never quiet. Let's fill it with God.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who Else is There?

"For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?

He is the God who equipped me with strength
 And made my way blameless.

He made my feet, like the feet of a deer
And set me safely on high."
Psalm  18:31-33

In my mind, there is no other god but the God of the Old and the New Testament. How have I found this to be so? Because when I read the Bible I see truth; it shines out like a beacon on the seashore.  When I read and pray to God I have felt him equip me with strength.  He has shared his heart of love with me and shown me the right way to go.  He has made my way blameless by the shedding of his blood.

Friday, June 10, 2011


"You make known to me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy.
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalm 16:11

When I think of the pleasures of being with God in heaven, I envision smiling babies, beautiful music, miles of grass, flowers, tree, streams and mountains.

I see myself climbing a huge mountain, swimming with whales, playing in snow, having a picnic by the sea.

I see myself visiting with family, giving a dinner party, dancing to any kind of music I like, talking with Jesus and hearing his words of wisdom. I see my self flying off to explore the universe: every star, every planet, every nebula.

I know we can experience the joy and pleasures of God here on earth, and I do that.  But Heaven is what I look forward to with a deep longing in my soul. For heaven is what we were made for.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


"The Spirit helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
Romans 8:26-27

The thought that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and helps us in our prayers is often a comfort to me. At times when I can't think of the right words to say, I remember this verse and it gives me peace.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Burden is Light.

"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart
You will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

The yoke is used to guide the oxen in the field and to keep them side by side.
Jesus said his yoke is easy. The world will guide us in the wrong direction, towards those things that will harm us. It looks easy at first but ends up being a heavy burden.
Jesus will guide us to a better way. He will be yoked together with us and help us.

What are the burdens of the world? Worry, money, mistrust, heartache etc.
What is Jesus burden. He says it is light. I think his burden is learning to trust in him by reading the Bible each day and praying for ourselves and others. This is a light burden. It is something he cannot do for us, but it is easy and light.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trails and Temptations.

I was watching Joyce Meyer yesterday and she gave the best sermon on how tests and trials lead to temptations. She also explained why we are given tests by God, or why he allows trials.

Trials show us what we are really like deep inside. When we are suffering we can:

Be angry at God.
Complain constantly.
Resent people who have no troubles (so we think).
Take matters into our own hands and don't wait for God.

We can also run to an addiction to help us instead of trusting God.

For when we are having a hard time in life; if there is a set-back or a heartbreak, we are all tempted to make ourselves feel better in some way. The temptation is different for each of us. For some, it might be to get drunk for days on end, for another, it might be to overeat or take drugs. Anything to feel better.

I have to say with shame that I have done all of the above. All.
Yes, God has shown me what was in my heart. But I am learning as I walk along the paths in this world. I used to get discouraged at my lack of maturity, but I don't any longer. I know God loves me. I have no fear. He loves slow learners too.

Joyce says to tell yourself, "Don't Panic. This is only a test."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Do Nots, From the Sermon on the Mount.

When I was reading chapter 6 & 7 or Matthew, I noticed there were quite a few "Do not..." passages. Like the ten commandments, Jesus gave us some "Thou shalt not..." advice. Here is what he said:

Do not tell everyone and brag about how you help the poor.

Do not use meaningless repetition in your prayers.

Do not let everyone know when you are fasting.

Do not save up treasures for yourself here on earth.

Do not be worried about your life; what you will eat, drink, or wear.

Do not worry about tomorrow.

Do not judge other people. That is God's business.

Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw pearls before swine. (Don't keep talking about God with people who don't want to hear it. Let God lead you.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Free Will.

I've heard the idea of free will discussed in college and elsewhere. Some people believe we have none, that our life is determined by circumstances. I was interested in this teaching called, Determinism. I came to believe it was true, except for one important area: God.

We do have complete freedom to believe in God or not. We have the freedom to seek for him or not. It is totally up to us. And I think the way we find him and stick with him is by setting our minds on him each day.

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot." Romans 7:5-7

"Set your mind"

 To me this means to take time to read the Bible and other spiritual books and to pray. Ask God to help you think of him through the day. Take time to thank him for the good things of life.

Setting your mind on the flesh means only thinking of the things of this world, taking no time for God at all. If we do this, we cannot submit to God's law of love because this submission comes from spending time with him.