Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I've been reading the book of Hebrews and have finished chapter 11. I love what Paul says about faith. I'd like to write some verses down and what they mean to me.

"Now faith is the assurance you will receive what you hope for." verse 1

When I was first a Christian, I had little faith but I know I had some, for Jesus told us all humanity has a seed of faith in them. But at that time, I was afraid of God. I thought if I did any small thing wrong, he would turn away from me and then punish me. Little wonder I didn't enjoy my walk with Christ.

Over the years my faith has grown. I know God loves me. I know I am his child. What do I hope for? I hope some day to live with him in heaven. I hope to sit at his feet and hear his stories, his wisdom and his love. I believe I will receive what I hope for. By God's grace I will be with him in heaven to be happy and at peace forever more.

"Faith is the conviction of things you have not seen." verse 1

I have never seen God except in dreams, but I believe in him. I cannot see love, truth or justice, but I believe in them. I cannot see the results of the sacrifices I have made, but I believe they will bear fruit. I cannot see why I have had certain trials, but I believe there is a reason and I will understand one day.

"By faith we understand the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made of things which are visible." verse2

I believe in the creative power of God. I believe he made the whole universe out of nothing. I believe he created the world in six days and rested the seventh day. I believe he made man in his own image. The world says no, it could not have been done that way. But the Bible says in the fourth commandment, "For in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in it..."

Oh Lord, may our faith grow each day. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dread or Faith?

In my other blog, Tales From a Loser, at I wrote last night about the fact a roommate of my grandson bought a python, a snake that can even kill and eat a deer! I was very upset at the news and was feeling sick about it and crying when I went to bed.

I've been re-reading a book by Joyce Meyer called, "New Day, New You," and the first chapter I opened last night was entitled , "Dread Drains, Faith Energizes." I thanked God right away, for I knew this was a subject I needed to read about. She quoted a verse from the Bible: "Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

The last paragraph in this teaching was: "The future is coming, no matter how much we fear or dread it. God gives us what we need for each day, but he does not give us tomorrow's grace or wisdom today. If we use today trying to figure out tomorrow, we feel pressure because we are using what we have been allotted for today. Probably one of the greatest ways we show our trust in God is by living life one day at a time. We prove our confidence in him by enjoying today and not letting the concern of tomorrow interfere."

Today, I will choose Faith instead of Dread.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

He Endured the Cross.

"Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

"For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2-3

When we feel discouraged, Paul tells us to consider what Jesus went through for us.

Crucifixion was not only painful, it was shameful, since everyone was crucified naked.

This is an explanation of Crucifixion by Wikipedia:

Crucifixion was often performed to terrorize and dissuade the onlookers from perpetrating the crimes punishable by it. Victims were left on display after death as warnings. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful (hence the term excruciating, literally "out of crucifying"), gruesome, humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period.

In some cases, the condemned was forced to carry the crossbeam on his shoulders to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 300 pounds (135 kilograms), but the crossbeam would weigh only 75–125 pounds (35–60 kilograms).[7] The Roman historian Tacitus records that the city of Rome had a specific place for carrying out executions, situated outside the Esquiline Gate,[8] and had a specific area reserved for the execution of slaves by crucifixion.[9] Upright posts would presumably be fixed permanently in that place, and the crossbeam, with the condemned person perhaps already nailed to it, would then be attached to the post.

The person executed may have been attached to the cross by rope, though nails are mentioned in a passage by the Judean historian Josephus, where he states that at the Siege of Jerusalem (70), "the soldiers out of rage and hatred, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest."[10] Objects used in the crucifixion of criminals, such as nails, were sought as amulets with perceived medicinal qualities.[11]

While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have depicted the figure on a cross with a loin cloth or a covering of the genitals, writings by Seneca the Younger suggest that victims were crucified completely nude.[12] When the victim had to urinate or defecate, they had to do so in the open, in view of passers-by, resulting in discomfort and the attraction of insects. Despite its frequent use by the Romans, the horrors of crucifixion did not escape mention by some of their eminent orators. Cicero for example, in a speech that appears to have been an early bid for its abolition,[13] described crucifixion as "a most cruel and disgusting punishment", and suggested that "the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen’s body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears."[13]

Frequently, the legs of the person executed were broken or shattered with an iron club, an act called crurifragium, which was also frequently applied without crucifixion to slaves.[14] This act hastened the death of the person but was also meant to deter those who observed the crucifixion from committing offenses.[14]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Moses' Faith.

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
He considered the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward." Hebrews 11:24-26

I feel stirred inside when I read these verses. All around us in the news we here of what people will do for power and riches. Then we see Moses, who gave it all up and followed God. He knew what was truly valuable in life; knowing God and living for him.

Moses made a terrible mistake when he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. He thought he was ready to lead the Hebrews to freedom. But he was wrong, and in the desert, for forty years, he learned patience, faith and love until God could finally use him to free Israel from slavery.

What an example Moses was for us! We can learn so much from his life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Kind Word.

Every day I go to the web site of Our Daily Bread at
They have a list of devotionals that I read through. They are usually thoughtful and inspiring. The one I read tonight made me smile. It was written by David McCasland.

He tells of two students from Purdue University who wanted to help people. They decided that once a week they would hold a sign that said, "Free Compliments" and to give a compliment to anyone who stopped by. Some students said they would go there each week to hear a kind word.

Words have great power; they can lift a person up, or pull a person down.

I remember when Peter said to Jesus, "You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68

The people noticed Jesus' words, "And all were speaking well of him , and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from his lips..." Luke 4:22

One man called Jesus, "A prophet, mighty in word and deed in the sight of God and all the people."

When I think of my own life; the words people say to me are important. I pray that we might always say kind and loving words as we interact with people. May God's hand be on us prompting us to say the right thing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is an excerpt from the book, Jesus Did it Anyway, by Kent M. Keith.

"We know there is beauty and goodness in the world, but sometimes it is hard to see. Instead, we see only conflict and suffering. Every day, the newspapers report the beatings, the killings, the sickness and starvation, the inhumanity of human beings toward each other...Does anybody understand what we are going through?"

"Jesus suffered. He experienced cruelty and pain and hate. But he did more than that; he showed us how to triumph over the cruelty and pain and hate. He showed us that even in a world in which evil is strong, we can be who we are meant to be, and do what we are meant to do. He showed us how to rise above our fear and despair. He showed us how to live our faith and find meaning and deep happiness."

As I think about the suffering in Japan right now, and the suffering all over the world, I need God to help me rise above my fear and despair. There was the same kind of suffering in Jesus time. There has been suffering from the beginning of sin in heaven. How God and Jesus must have suffered when they lost their child Lucifer! How them must suffer still as they see all he has caused.

Yet Jesus never despaired or was fearful when he was here as a man. Although, perhaps in the Garden of Gethsemane he came close to that. But as God does for us, he did for Jesus, in sending an angel to strengthen him. I wonder how I would react if I were in the midst of a terrible earthquake and lost everything. Would I trust in God? Would I have peace and patience? Or would I be angry and depressed? Having never gone through such a thing, I don't know.

I pray for the people of Japan and all the countries where there is great suffering. May God help them. May God help us all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jesus was Tempted.

Paul says in Hebrews 4:14-16 that Jesus is our high priest in heaven. He goes on to say, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet he did not sin."
Paul says this should give us confidence before God to receive mercy and find grace.

Jesus was tempted in all things. What does this mean. Did he sometimes feel like swearing, stealing, killing? Was he tempted to go his own way apart from God?

When he was in the wilderness, Satan tempted him by showing him all the kingdoms of the world. He told Jesus he would give him all this if he would bow down and worship him. Jesus said, "Go, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only."

Satan's temptation was that Jesus need not die on the cross. He need not suffer. Satan himself would give the world over to Jesus if he would worship him. I would think that would be a great temptation.

Hebrews 2:18 says, "For since he himself was tempted in that which he has suffered. He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted."

When Jesus was being beaten, whipped and spit upon, it must have been a temptation to get angry, to retaliate, to leave earth and go back to heaven where all is love and peace. When I go to heaven, I want to hear what it was like for Jesus to be a man. I want to know exactly how he was tempted.

"Although he was a son, he learned obedience from the things which he suffered. And having been made perfect, he became to all those who obey him the source of eternal salvation." Hebrews 5:8,9

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Powers of the Heavens will be Shaken.

When I see all the natural disasters that are occurring in the last 10 years, I am reminded of what Jesus said about the end of time. He said that the powers of heaven would be shaken and men would be fearful. Here are the verses that quote him:

"There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves. Men's hearts will be failing them in fear with the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Then he told them a parable; Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves you see it and know that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near." Luke 21:25-31

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jesus Turned and Looked.

When Jesus was on trial, Peter was watching from courtyard. He had run away when Jesus was arrested, but he and John had found out where they took Jesus and followed. Three people asked Peter if he was a follower of Jesus and Peter denied it with cursing and swearing.

Luke says that when the cock crowed, while Peter was still speaking, "The Lord turned and looked at Peter." Peter ran out and, "...wept bitterly." Luke 22

That look from Jesus must have been a look of love and forgiveness. Later, when Jesus had risen from the dead, angels gave instructions to the women who came to the empty tomb, "But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.'" Mark16:7 Perhaps this message, in which Peter's name is emphasized, was to give Peter comfort and the knowledge he was forgiven.

When the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the authorities, they said, "The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon (Peter)." The Bible never tells us what Jesus and Peter talked about when it was just the two of them together after the resurrection. I would guess that Peter was filled with guilt and perhaps thought God would never forgive him. Jesus must have had a message of love and forgiveness because Peter became a mighty worker for God. Thank you God, for loving and forgiving us no matter what we do.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Miracle for Our Family.

As miracles go, I suppose this is a small one. But it is huge for us. My daughter has to go to Vancouver for hospital tests because she is donating her kidney. Her husband was going to go with her, but their daughter was too upset about them both being away, so he couldn't go. Their daughter has OCD.

Christine was afraid to drive over the mountains and around Vancouver alone, so I said that maybe her dad could get the time off to take us all there. I looked on the calendar and lo and behold - he already had that week schedualed to take vacation time. We were so relieved and happy, as he can't always get the days off that he wants. Now, he didn't have to ask.

I am so thankful, God, for making sure all this has happened at the right time. You knew ahead of time that Christine would need us. Thank you we are physically able to do this also. Thank you we have a good car and money for the hotel. In the name of Jesus our Lord, I pray.

Monday, March 7, 2011

They Did Not Understand.

Luke tells us Jesus told his disciples three times that in the future he would be killed and raised from death on the third day. Luke then tells us the reaction of the disciples:

"But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this statement."
Luke 9:45

"But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said." Luke 18:34

I have often wondered how the disciples could not understand such plain statements from Jesus. I know that in that time everyone expected the Messiah to become the King of Israel and to fight off the Romans. What Jesus said was directly opposed to that belief. It must have confused them. Many times they did not understand the things Jesus said and asked him to explain what he meant. This time they did not do this. It says they were afraid to ask.

I think if they would have asked Jesus for more information, he would have taught them further and then they would not have been surprised on the night Jesus was arrested. They would not have deserted him on that night if they would have been prepared.

I've tried to think how to relate this to my life. What have I not believed that God has told me? I can think of a few things. One time, five years ago, I was coming home from church and I heard God say to my heart, "You will start smoking again." Instead of immediately praying and talking with God about this, I thought, "What! That can't be true!" Then I promptly forgot about it until later, much later, after I had indeed started smoking again after 24 years of not smoking.

At the time I had thought that maybe it hadn't been God speaking to my heart, for what he said seemed impossible to me. But when I look back, I should have been positive it was Him, because God has spoken to my heart many times. I just did not want to believe what he said.

I think the disciples did not want to believe what Jesus said; it seemed impossible to them the Messiah could be killed by their nation. It was a horrible thought, so they pushed it out of their minds. Where the Bible says that it was hidden and concealed from them, I think it was done so by Satan tempting them not to believe. He would not want the disciples to be prepared for this terrible event. God was trying to tell them, but they didn't want to listen.

I pray that we might all be open to what God is trying to tell us as we walk with him each day.

Never Too Busy.

I love the story of how Jeus blessed the children. He was never too busy for anyone.

"Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when his disciples saw it, they told them to go away. But Jesus called them to him, saying, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.'"
Luke 18:15-17

How do we receive the kingdom of God like a child? A child relies on her parents for everything. A child trusts her parents, loves them and looks to them for guidence. I think that is how we need to look on God.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I'm having a struggle with lending.

Jesus said, "f you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lent to sinners in order to receive back the same
amount...Lend, expecting nothing in return."

I have no trouble lending, it is the not asking for it back that I find hard. My grandsons borrow money continually. They always run out before the next payday. So, I loan them anywhere from $20 - $100. Unless I remind them, they don't usually pay me back.

The Lord has been working on me in this area. Sometimes I ask for it back and sometimes I don't. I want to get to the point where I trust God enough to never, ever ask for anything back from anyone.

One time, when I was in college, I had a friend, a single girl who was quite poor. I am nowhere near rich, but I did have more than her. One summer, she asked to borrow my small BBQ. I gladly loaned it to her, but a month or so later I needed it to go camping. I called her up and she didn't want to give it back. I was angry, went over to her house and took it out of her back yard.

I have felt bad about that ever since. I know God would not have wanted me to do that. I was angry at her for presuming I could just go out and buy another one, which I couldn't. But, no matter, I definitely should not have taken it back. I should have trusted God about the whole thing. I didn't.

This week, my daughter need some money for bills. I got fretful and worried - which always leads to trouble. I called my grandsons and said I wanted the money they owed me so I could give it to my daughter. One of them was having a hard time, so I told him to forget the loan. The other one said yes, it was easy for him to pay me.

Afterwards, I felt guilty. I thought, "Are you ever going to learn this lesson and obey God?" I hope I do some day, because he will test me again and again until I do learn it. I don't mind. It is my own fault. But if God keeps reminding me when I do it that I am doing wrong, I think I will get it some day.


I want to develop patience in my life. When I am impatient, I tend to run ahead of God and do things myself. When I do this, I get into trouble.

This is an excerpt from, Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer.

"For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and enjoy what is promised."
Hebrews 10:36

"This Scripture tells us that without patience and endurance we will not receive the promises of God. And Hebrews 6:12 tells us that it is only through faith and patience that we inherit the promises.

The proud man runs in the strength of his own flesh and tries to make things happen in his own timing. Prides says, 'I'm ready now!'

Humility says, 'God knows best, and He will not be late!'

A humble man waits patiently; he actually has a reverential fear of moving in the strength of his own flesh. But a proud man tries one thing after another, all to no avail.

Chapter 1 in the book of James teaches us that when we have become perfect, we will be lacking in nothing. The devil cannot control a patient man."

God, teach me to wait for your will to be done. Make me into a patient person.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Two Men at Church.

This is a story from Jesus. I put a little twist on the story. In the Bible, Jesus called one of the men a tax collector - I call him a used car salesman.

One day, Jesus told a story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One man, a preacher, thanked God he was not like other men. "I don't commit adultery, or steal, nor am I unjust. I fast twice a week and I give ten percent of all my money to the church.

The other man, who was a used car salesman, was ashamed to even look up to heaven and said, "God have mercy on me, for I have done many wrong things."

Jesus said, "I tell you, the car salesman went home forgiven, but not the preacher. For everyone who is proud of himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be lifted up."

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Question for God.

Last night I was at the casino with my mother. I went outside for a cigarette and while I was smoking I asked God, "I love to gamble, I love to drink, I love to smoke and I love to swear (the F bomb). What kind of a Christian am I?"

I didn't really expect an answer. I was just sharing my feelings with him. But he did answer. He said to my heart a verse from the Bible, "But we are saved through faith, and even that doesn't come from ourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, lest any man should boast."

I looked that verse up this morning. It is found in Ephesians 2:8.

I know that few Christians would think I was a Christian because of some of the things I do. But thank God he is different. "For the Lord sees not as man sees. For the Lord looks at the heart." I am so thankful to God that he doesn't judge harshly, that he is merciful, forgiving and kind. Thank you God for loving me just the way I am.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thank You God!

Last week my vacuum quit working. We couldn't really afford another one. But God was so gracious, my oldest daughter, Sandy, had an extra vacuum and gave it to me.

Last year, the springs boinked through the bed on my side. I woke up with a hole in my hip and a little blood. We finally Had to get a new mattress. They are expensive, but you will never guess what God did for us. My ex-husband's ex-wife works for a mattress store. They often get trade-ins when someone buys a new mattress. Well, someone traded in a mattress from their guest room that had never been used and she kindly gave it to our family. My girls gave it to me.

My mother needed a new mattress two years ago. She didn't have the money to buy one either. Someone moved out of her apartment building and had a mattress that was like new. They gave it to my mom.

I just want to thank God for providing the things that we need. Thank you God!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do Not be Anxious.

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God."
Philippians 4:6

This is an axcerpt from, Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer.

"Murmuring, grumbling, faultfinding and complaining usually occur when either something or someone has not gone the way we want it to, or when we are having to wait for something longer than we expected. The Word of God teaches us to be patient during these times."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Avoiding People.

When I lived in Vancouver I would always look people in the eye and smile. I soon learned life is different in the big city than in a town. Many times people, who were not what most of us would think of as normal, would stop me to talk. Usually, they would ask me for money, but sometimes the men would ask me out. Sometimes the men would be rude when I turned them down, but not often. I gave money to those who asked.

After a few years I was wary. I didn't look and smile at men any longer and barely at women. I now understood all the things I had read about New York City. They say people are cold there, but mostly they are just trying to get through the day without a confrontation.

Anyway, Joyce Meyer was talking about how Jesus took time with people and stopped what he was doing to attend to them. She is so right about that, and I am ashamed how my open attitude changed while in Vancouver.

Once, when I was in my twenties, I saw a person from church coming towards me. I was an extremely shy person and prayed, "Oh, God don't let him see me." God said to me, "Ask him to come to your Bible study tonight." I did what God asked me and the man came.

He told the people at the study that he had decided to kill himself that night because he was so lonely and depressed. He decided he wouldn't because of our kindness to him that night. He became a good friend to all of us.

You never know what God will do with you if you are open to his leading and open to people.