Saturday, July 30, 2011

We are Reconciled with God.

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation...  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this; that one has died for all, therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."

Jesus became sin itself on the cross. Someone equal to the law had to satisfy its claims. Jesus kept the law, there was no sin in him. Therefore he could fulfill the law for us who cannot keep the law. His goodness becomes ours when we accept his sacrifice.

I don't really understand how Jesus became sin or how he felt on the cross. I have read that he felt eternally lost as he hung there; that he felt what a lost person feels at the judgement and this is why he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He must have felt he would never see Heaven or his Father again.

I thank Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit for going through all this for me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Gambling Habit.

The last year I've been going to bingo and the casino a lot. My mom and I liked to go together. I knew it is a waste of money and I needed to stop. But like I said to my mom last night (after losing $110), "It is the only fun thing I like to do to get me out of the house." Nice excuse. My husband and I used to do stuff together, but not for many years now because he is usually too tired on the weekends to do anything.

I've been talking with God about it and this morning he spoke to my heart. He said, "Your problem is that you don't trust me to give you something else to take the place of gambling." He was so right. I thought if I gave it up I would have nothing fun to do. I didn't think he could fill that niche in my life. But from experience I know that isn't true. He can fill up my life. He only wants me to stop gambling because it hurts me (in the pocketbook).

So, I am letting go of gambling (by His grace and strength), and I am going to trust Him to fill the need in my heart for fun and games! I believe in Him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


eunuch (play /ˈjuːnək/; Greek: "Ευνούχος") is a person born male who does not reproduce and may bear non-masculine or even effeminate characteristics, many of whom were castrated. Usually, if castrated, this was done early enough to have major hormonal consequences.
The term often refers to those castrated (without their consent) in order to perform a specific social function, as was historically common in many societies. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 21st century BC.[1][2] Over the millennia since, they have performed a wide variety of functions in many different cultures such as: courtiers or equivalent domesticstreble singersreligious specialists, government officials, military commanders, and guardians of women or harem servants. In some translations of ancient texts, individuals identified as eunuchs sometimes historically included men who were impotent, as well as those who were celibate. Wikipedia

I love how God speaks to everyone in the Bible. He has this promise for eunuchs, who must have suffered and been lonely in this life. 

"Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, 'The Lord will surely separate me from His people.'
Nor let the eunuch say, 'Behold, I am a dry tree.'
For thus says the Lord, 'To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
and choose what pleases me, and hold fast my covenant,
To them I will give in my house and within my walls a memorial,
And a name better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.'"
Isaiah 56:3-5

No matter what we suffer in this life, God will make it up to us. He promises this over and over in the Bible. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Love is Fulfilling the Law.

"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

For this, 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,' and any other commandment, is summed up in this saying, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Romans13:8-10

Paul goes on to say:

"Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed.

The night is almost gone; and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."
Verses 11-12.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jesus' followers had been fishing all night. They were out of their boats and washing their nets when Jesus came up to them.

"Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch," he said.

Peter answered, "Master, we have toiled all night and took nothing! But because you said so I will let down the nets."

When they did they caught a huge number of fish, so many that their nets were breaking. They asked others to help them and filled the two boats full. When Peter saw this he was astonished and also fearful. Even though he had seen Jesus heal the sick, this miracle seemed to impress him even more. It showed that even the fish of the sea, nature itself, was subject to Jesus' power.

"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord," he said. He felt he wasn't good enough to be with Jesus. But Jesus had other ideas.

"Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men." We don't need to be afraid of being too sinful to be with God. He will take us just as we are and teach us and use us to work for his kingdom.

The Bible says, "And when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him." Jesus showed them his power to supply all their needs so they left everything, their only means of monetary support, and followed him.

Friday, July 22, 2011

We are Not Condemned.

Romans 8 is full of wonderful promises. In the previous chapter, Paul speaks about the war within us of good against evil; how sometimes when we want to do good, we instead do what is wrong. He talks of how we cannot obey the law of God ourselves. But he says that we are not condemned because of this for Jesus can deliver us.

Romans 8:1-6

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

For what the law could not do (save us), weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

For the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Verse 10 - "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness."

So, although in this life we may sin, Christ's righteousness covers us and saves us. We need only confess our sin and set our minds on things of the Spirit by prayer and Bible study.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Come to Him.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found;
Call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And he will have compassion on him
And to our God,
For he will abundantly pardon."
Isaiah 55:6,7

After showing John what was to happen in the future, Jesus said,

"I, Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' Let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost." Rev. 22:17

Monday, July 18, 2011

May Goodness Spring Up From the Earth.

"I will rejoice greatly in the Lord.
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation.
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness.
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
As a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
As a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations." Isaiah 61:10

I believe everything good in this world comes from God. He causes goodness to grow in minds and hearts throughout all the nations. He covers those who believe with his own righteousness and salvation. The world without God would be a dark and desolate place, but with God there are streams of light coming down from Him and then returning back to Him from his people.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Song of Solomon

I used to wonder why Song of Solomon was in the Bible. It is a song of love between King Solomon and a woman he was to marry. It is full of beautiful imagery, but why include it in the Bible?

I asked God one day, and it seemed like he said to me that it is showing how our love for Him should be and how His love is for us. Now it makes sense and I love reading this small book. These are my favorite verses:

The Bride:

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the young men.
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He has brought me to his banquet hall,
And his banner over me is love.

Listen! My beloved!
Behold, he is coming,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping on the hills!

The Groom:

Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come with me.
For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come with me!

I love the image of God leaping towards us, coming to our window and asking us to come away with him! Wow. It just makes me feel so loved.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Springtime Believers.

"How blessed (fortunate) is the man whose strength is in you Lord. In whose heart are the highways to Heaven. Passing through the valley they make it a spring, the early rain covers it with blessings. He goes from strength to strength  and appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7

I love this verse how it tells us we go from "strength to strength". In our walk with God this is surely true.

I love how God puts "highways to Heaven" in our hears. I love this picture of our walk with Him.

I love how when we pass through a valley we can make it be like Spring. We can bring joy and gladness wherever we go.

Here are some lovely pictures of Springtime:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Daily Bread.

I read Our Daily Bread devotionals almost every day. Since I recently posted a story about feeling old, I thought it would be nice to share what Mr. Fisher wrote. They allow you to copy their articles.

Paul the Aged, by Dennis Fisher.
Celebrating my 60th birthday really changed my perspective on life— I used to think people in their sixties were “old.” Then I started counting the number of productive years I might have left and set the number at 10. I went along with this dead-end kind of thinking until I remembered a very productive co-worker who was 85. So I sought him out to ask what life after 60 was like. He told me of some of the wonderful ministry opportunities the Lord had given him over the last 25 years.
The apostle Paul, referring to himself as “aged” in Philemon 1:9, really resonates with my own sense of aging: “Being such a one as Paul, the aged, . . . I appeal to you for my son Onesimus” (vv.9-10). Paul was asking Philemon to take back his runaway servant Onesimus. Some scholars believe Paul was in his late forties or early fifties when he wrote this—certainly not a senior citizen by today’s standards. But life expectancy in those days was much shorter. Yet despite awareness of his mature years, Paul went on to serve the Lord for several more years.
While we may experience physical or other kinds of limitations, what really matters is that we continue doing what we can for the Lord until He calls us Home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Forgiveness & Loving Your Enemies.

I was watching Joyce Meyer on TV and she was talking about forgiveness. She asked the people if any of them had anger in their hearts against anyone. After the show, I sat and thought about that. Did I have resentment or anger against anyone I needed to forgive? I couldn't think of anyone for awhile and then it came to me. I have anger towards certain politicians.

I realized I needed to forgive these people and asked God how to do that. He seemed to tell me to pray for them, so that is what I did. You know what? You really can't stay mad at people you pray for. As I began to pray I thought about how these people were following evil, how they didn't care about the poor, how they only cared about themselves and money. What a terrible condition to be in! How sad. Now, I feel pity for them.

God is so wise. The Bible says not to fret yourself about wicked people. Not only that, we are to love them. I am praying they will see the light. I am praying their eyes will be opened. I am praying my anger will go away and love will fill its place.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Growing Old

With all the aches and pains that come with aging, I sometimes miss how healthy and active I used to be. Some days I can actually take the dogs for a walk. Some days it seems impossible. My fibromyalgia comes and goes in waves. My energy ebbs in and out. I don't know if I start a walk if I can finish it, so I stay home most of the time.

Even so, I know I have been fortunate most of my life to be healthy. There are many people who are sick all their lives. There are many who die at a young age. So instead of dwelling on what was and what is with my body, I try to be grateful I can still see, walk, feel, think and move.

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

"Teach us to number our days rightly, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1John 3:1

No matter how old I am, I am still a child of God!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Choice.

Moses gave a long speech to the people of Israel as then came to the border of the Promised Land:

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life..."
Deut. 30:19-20

There is so much good in this verse to think about.

Choose life.

Love God.

Listen to His voice.

Hold fast to Him. 

The Lord is your life.

I believe God has set this choice before every human being through the Holy Spirit. Everyone has a choice to make, for good or for evil. God has made it clear what the results will be: blessings or curses.

When the Israelites came into the promised land, Joshua had this to say.

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Did You Doubt?

When Jesus was walking on the water to meet his disciples on the lake, Peter saw him and asked, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." And Jesus said, "Come."

"And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and took hold of him, and said to him, 'You of little faith; why did you doubt?'"

Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the wind and waves. He became frightened and Jesus had to save him from sinking. He looked at his circumstances instead of at God.

Most of my life I have been afraid.
Afraid of what may happen in the future.
Afraid of a loved one dying.
Afraid of my own death and the pain that may entail.
Afraid for my family's salvation.
Afraid for my own salvation.
Afraid of getting old, infirm and senile.
Afraid people will not like me if they really knew me.

Fear of anything is a lack of faith as Jesus pointed out to Peter. It is an unbelief in God's abiding presence in our lives and that he is in control of everything and will help us through anything.  Fear is an arrow sent by the enemy of all good.

I am slowly learning to be unafraid. It is a much more peaceful and happy life that I now live by faith in the Son of God. Of course my faith is not perfect, but as Paul says, " thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians3:13-14

Be Careful What You Ask For.

My daughter, Christine, needed a job and had an interview with a natureopath. She wanted that job so much. She said she begged and begged God to give it to her. She got it, but they hired two women. She wasn't all that happy there. After just two weeks they let my daughter go. She was devastated. She had never lost a job before.

Later, she had an interview to work at a doctor's office. She didn't think she would like working there so she asked God to not let them hire her. They hired her last week. She has worked there a week and loves it. She loves the doctor and the work. The doctor already gave her a raise and praises her all the time for what a good worker she is. Christine has never been so happy at a job.

Sometimes we can beg God for something that will not make us happy and He will give it to us because we ask. Sometimes the things we don't think will make us happy, do make us happy. Who is to know? Only God, which is why it is always best to say to Him after we pray, "Not my will, but your will be done."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Losing My Temper.

I went on a political blog yesterday and what I read made me so mad I swore and called politicians a bad name. I've been trying to avoid political shows on TV, blogs and news because I become so angry at what I believe is lying politicians who oppress the poor and are ruining the U.S. (I am a citizen) I want to make clear, this is not about the Obama administration.

Anyway, I was talking with God about it and the verse came into my mind about how Christians should think on "good" things. I've even posted about this verse. Whatever is true, honest... etc. We are to think on those things. I obviously have a problem thinking about politics without getting mad, so I will try and leave it alone again.

Jesus wasn't flipping out about the Romans in his time. I need to follow his example. Here is the verse I am talking about:

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Will You Be Offended?

When Jesus gave a sermon in his home town of Nazareth, he preached about faith. Faith that is in other nations and religions than their own. Faith that God gives to all.

Jesus said, "There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land. Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow." Luke 4:25-26

God sent Elijah to be fed during the famine to a pagan city and to a certain widow. God knew she had the faith needed to help Elijah. Even though she only had enough food for herself and her son, she fed Elijah first. Because she did this, she was given food by God all during the famine. 1Kings 17

I think Jesus was trying to tell the people that there are other people who believe in God even though they don't belong to their particular religion. They needed to understand they weren't the only ones being saved.

"There were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."  Luke 4:27

Why was Naaman, a pagan, cleansed? He had enough faith to first go to Elisha and then to do what Elisha told him to do. He decided to let go of his pride and dip in the Jordan River seven times. After he was healed, he worshiped the God of Israel. But there is an interesting detail in this story. Naaman asked Elisha if God would pardon him for going into the pagan temple once a year with the king of his country and bowing down to the idol. It was part of his duty to do this. Elisha told him yes, he could do that and it would be alright. I wonder what a pastor would say today to what Naaman asked?  2 Kings 5

The people of Nazareth were so angry that Jesus would say pagans were deserving of God's blessings they grabbed him and took him to the edge of a cliff intending to push him over. But Jesus disappeared while he was in the middle of the crowd. God would not let Jesus die that day, he had more work for him to do.

"God has given to each man a measure of faith." Romans 12:3 We do not know the faith that others have towards God, that is why we are never to judge anyone no matter what religion they belong to.

Friday, July 1, 2011

What Shall We Do?

When John the Baptist was preaching repentance different people came to ask him what that really meant. They were used to being told what to do by their priests, so they asked John.

The crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?"

John answered, "Whoever has two coats is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise."

Tax Collectors came to be baptized and asked, "Teacher, what shall we do?"

John said, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do."

Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?"

John said, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."
Luke 3:10-14

I found it interesting that John focused on greed and nothing else: share your clothes and food, don't steal from people, be happy with the money you have.

The priests at that time were concerned about keeping the Sabbath and obeying the laws of Moses and traditions. John went to the heart of what is most important to God; helping others and being content with what we have.

Later, when asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus taught the same thing in saying, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."