Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why God?

I took my mother and her friend to Walmart today. Over lunch we started talking about death. I told Mom's friend that I missed my grandson. She told me she missed her sister, who died in 2001, and still asks God, "Why did you have to take her?"

This lovely lady works in a nursing home. Along with other residents, she takes care of a woman who is 101 years old. The woman is sickly and is now losing her mental abilities. My mother's friends says she asks God, "Why don't you take her? Her life is awful."

I've asked these questions myself. My daughter says if we knew the answers to these questions we would be God. Very true. Besides, I know we have to learn to trust God in this world of sorrow.

Psalm 31:15  says, "My times are in your hands..." I like the explanation of this verse by Barnes Notes on the Bible:

Barnes' Notes on the Bible
My times are in thy hand - That is, I said this in my trouble; when my friends forsook me, and when my enemies came around me and threatened my life. The meaning is, that all that pertained to him was under the control and at the disposal of God. He would "live" as long as God should please. It was His to give life; His to preserve it; His to take it away. All in relation to life - its origin - its continuance - its changes - its seasons - childhood, youth, middle age, old age - all was in the hand of God. No one, therefore, could take his life before the time that had been appointed by God, and he might calmly commit the whole to him. This we may feel in all seasons of life and in all times of danger; of sickness; of feebleness. We shall live as long as God has appointed; we shall pass through such changes as he directs; we shall die when and where and how he chooses. In the faithful discharge of our duty, therefore, we may commit all these things to him, and leave all at his disposal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Don't Despise the Messenger.

When the three wise men came from a far country to find Jesus, they were first led to Jerusalem. "When King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him." Herod called in the priests and asked where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "Bethlehem."

The wise men left to go to Bethlehem, but have you ever noticed none of the priests or Pharisees went with them to see if the Messiah had been truly born? Not one of them. Why? Wouldn't you have been overcome with curiosity and gone to see if it was so?

I think they could not believe God had passed them by and communicated with these men, who were not Jews as far as we know. But the Magi were seekers of truth, and I think that is what is important. They were open to the Holy Spirit's leading. The priests were not. God had to bypass them and go to those who would hear his voice.

Later, John the Baptist came preaching, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." He was proclaiming the beginning of the kingdom of the Messiah. The priests and Pharisees also rejected John. Who was John? A nobody.

When Mary came from Jesus' grave and told the disciples Jesus had appeared to her and had risen from the dead, the disciples didn't believe her. Who was Mary? A woman. Why would Jesus appear to her first? If he had risen, wouldn't he have come to them?

When Jesus was with his disciples, they came to him and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name; we tried to stop him because he does not follow along with us." What did Jesus say? "Don't stop him. For whoever is not against you is for you."

Sometimes a message from God will come to us through someone we would never imagine. Someone who doesn't belong to our group or church. We should keep our ears and hearts open. I think I have learned more about how to live the Christian life from Joyce Meyer than from any other person. She doesn't belong to my church and I don't agree with all of her beliefs, but God has used her to break the hold depression had upon me. He has used her to teach me about having true belief. I would have missed out on so much if I had dismissed her.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who is the Greatest?

Many times in the gospels we are told Jesus' followers fought among themselves about who would be the greatest in the new kingdom. They thought Jesus was the Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and be king over Israel. They all wanted to be sitting next to him on his throne.

James and John even brought their mother to Jesus to ask for this. Jesus answered that it was not up to him who would sit next to him, but up to his Father in heaven. In the verses just before this, Jesus had told his friends he would be crucified. They didn't seem to believe this and still clung to their old beliefs.

Finally, they asked Jesus, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child over and said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Humbles himself. The disciples were not humble yet. Still, Jesus stuck with them and showed them the way to humility. By his example and by the Holy Spirit they were changed. They did become humble. This is my prayer for me and for you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Complete Serenity of Jesus.

I read these descriptions of Jesus by Henry Drummond and was moved by them.

Christ's life outwardly was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived: Tempest and tumult, tumult and tempest, the waves breaking over it all the time till the worn body was laid in the grave. But the inner life was a sea of glass. The great calm was always there. At any moment you might have gone to Him and found Rest.

 Nothing ever for a moment broke the serenity of Christ's life on earth. Misfortune could not reach Him; He had no fortune. Food, raiment, money—fountain-heads of half the world's weariness—He simply did not care for; they played no part in His life; He "took no thought" for them. It was impossible to affect Him by lowering His reputation; He had already made Himself of no reputation. He was dumb before insult. When He was reviled, He reviled not again. In fact, there was nothing that the world could do to Him that could ruffle the surface of His spirit.

 Christ saw that men took life painfully. To some it was a weariness, to others a failure, to many a tragedy, to all a struggle and a pain. How to carry this burden of life had been the whole world's problem. It is still the whole world's problem. And here is Christ's solution. "Carry it as I do. Take life as I take it. Look at it from My point of view. Interpret it upon My principles. Take My yoke and learn of Me, and you will find it easy. For My yoke is easy, works easily, sits right upon the shoulders, and THEREFORE My burden is light." 

Pax Vobiscum, by Henry Drummond

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is Living Forever Worth to You?

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

In ancient days, sometimes a landowner would put his gold in a chest and bury it in his field to keep it safe. If the man died suddenly and no one knew where the chest was it would be forgotten. The man in this story had come across someone's buried gold. He went home and sold everything in order to buy the field.

What must his family and neighbors thought when he gave up all he had to buy this plot of land? Perhaps his wife was angry. Perhaps he had to borrow from moneylenders. We don't know, but we do know why he did it. He knew he would own much more than all he had once he owned the land.

Having the gift of eternal life is like this, Jesus said. It is so important, so valuable, that we should be willing to give everything to have it.

I became a Christian during my first marriage. My husband was angry about it. He told me I should love him more than I loved God. He said our marriage should come first. His mother came over to talk with me about it. She asked, "Why are you willing to risk your marriage over religion? Why do you want to be a Christian?" I was a bit stunned and answered, "Eternal life." I didn't know God very well then, but I did know I wanted to live forever. I didn't want only one short life on this planet and I wanted my children to live forever also. It was worth everything to me then and it still is now.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Does Repent Mean?

Matthew Chapter 3 has a theme of repentance. John the Baptist came saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

"Godly sorrow brings repentance..." 2 Cor. 7:10
 Repentance is not a sorrow for our sins, but sometimes the sorrow for what we have done wrong leads us to repentance.

Repent in the Latin means growing wise again. A time and change to think differently. In the Greek, it means a change of mind, a change of the will or heart.

John said to the church leaders, "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance, and do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'"

These teachers of the law of Moses thought they would be saved by simply being the children of Abraham. They thought it was their birthright. John was saying they needed to think differently (repent) and so have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, which is love, joy, peace, kindness...etc.

I began to have a change of my mind when I was nineteen. I gave birth to my firstborn daughter. I held her in my arms for the first time and the realization came that I was responsible for this little human being. I felt I was not up to the task of being a good mother and I asked God to help me. I turned towards God that day. My mind was changed, I no longer wanted to be the good-time party girl I had been. I wanted to be a good person and a good mother who was worthy of having this beautiful child.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When God Leads Us.

I was reading the first four chapters of Matthew and I underlined what each chapter emphasized. Matthew chapters 1 &2 show us how God leads us in this life.

Joseph was planning on divorcing Mary because it became evident she was pregnant before they had been together. "Because Joseph her husband was a good man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly." But an angel from God was sent to Joseph in a dream to tell him not to be afraid, that the child was from God Himself. God sent other dreams to Joseph to warn him to flee to Egypt and then when to come back.

God also sent a star for the wise men of the east so they could find Jesus. He first sent them to Jerusalem, where the whole city became aware of them seeking the Messiah. When they left Jerusalem, the star reappeared and they rejoiced. They followed it to Bethlehem and found Jesus. God then spoke to them in a dream and warned them not to tell King Herod where Jesus was, but to go home another way.

What I learned from these two chapters is that God will lead us where he wants us to go. We need not worry or fret, just let our hearts be open to God's directions.

"You will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, follow it whether it turns to the right or the left." Isaiah 30:21

"In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"I Will Never Leave You."

Jesus said, "And remember, I am with you always, even until the end of time."
Matthew 28:20

"For He has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'"
Hebrews 13:5

My husband was in the hospital for tests when the doctor slipped and punctured his liver. He was admitted and was being watched. A few days later I walked into his room and he said, "And who are you?"

I left the room and began crying. My husband had asked me where he was and who he himself was. He didn't recognize me. The doctors came running and they healed him. I was so glad. Later my husband told me that even though he didn't know me or himself, he said he remembered God and Jesus so he felt peace.

I love that God didn't allow Dan to forget him. To me it is almost proof that God exists, not that I need it. I have proof in myself He exists. I hear his voice and feel his peace.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning.
My God turns my darkness into light.

With your help I can advance towards an army.
With my God I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect.
The word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer.
He makes me able to stand on the heights."
Psalm 18:28-33

When I feel I am too small to face the troubles of this life, I read the Psalms. Many of them talk of God being our strength.
These Psalms give me peace and rest from turmoil.

"I love you, Oh Lord my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.
He is my God, my rock in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the power of my salvation, my stronghold."
Psalm 18:1-2

Friday, February 10, 2012


I haven't felt well for a couple of days. I thought I was getting the flu or my fibromyalgia was flaring up and getting worse. I didn't get out of bed much yesterday and slept until 2:00pm. I felt weak and my stomach was hurting.

I finally realized what was wrong this morning as I listened to a song on my friend Nezzy's blog at http://cowpattysurprise.blogspot.com/ As I listened, the tears started falling. I knew I felt upset about a few things, but I really didn't know how upset I was until I started crying.

You see, my sister called me and we talked about her sufferings, then my granddaughter Faith came and talked with me the same morning. They both told me the same thing. They have no hope. No hope for a better life, no hope that God will help them. My sister is very ill and can't work. My granddaughter has a mental illness and can't go to school or work. They are both so sad and feel so hopeless. I try to encourage them. I try to tell them there is hope. They have both prayed to God for years but they feel he doesn't care.

I was thinking this morning, "What is life on this world?" When Jesus was here he healed everyone who asked. He showed how much he loved every person. He gave and gave and then gave his own life. That is what God is like. He came to show us what God is like.

So then how do you explain why God says, "No," to healing? Some answers are "No" from God. I know that and accept it. I also do not believe it is a lack of faith in people when they are not healed. I don't think we have to drum up faith to be heard. If our faith is the size of a mustard seed, God will work through us.

Because my father sexually and physically abused me when I was a child, I have questioned the love and mercy of God. I know where my sister and granddaughter are coming from. I studied the subject of suffering for five years and finally accepted the fact we live in a dark and horrible world where people suffer all the time. We are in a war against evil angels who hate everyone and especially God. They want us to be discouraged and to doubt God's love.

Listening to the song this morning, I said to God, "I want to fall in love with you." I want to love and trust him no matter what happens to me, my family or the world. I want to believe and not doubt. It has always been a struggle for me, but I am determined to choose the Lord's side in this war - now and forever.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Dream.

I once had a dream that I believe was sent from God.

I was at church when I saw my father. He had abused me as a child. He came up to me and yelled something. I said, "You cannot hurt me any more because the angels are with me." As I said this I saw many angels surrounding me. I left the church with the angels and we walked until we came to some green grass. We began to sing a beautiful song and I saw on a hill in front of us three plain crosses. As we sang the middle cross became covered with roses. We stopped singing and I saw Jesus come up over the hill towards me. I ran to him and he hugged me and I felt completely happy.

I was going to write something else tonight, but this morning God brought this dream to mind. Then I couldn't get on my bible verse page just now and the dream came to mind again.  I'm not sure why God might want me to share this dream, but I will.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I was reading Proverbs chapter 8 this morning and found it deeply interesting how Wisdom is personified as a woman calling out to those in the streets pleading with people to listen to her. I underlined the attributes of wisdom:

Hating evil

The chapter ends with, "Whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death."

I have always prayed that I might love people and now I will pray for this Wisdom from God.

I love the image of God calling out to us asking us to follow Him. How much he wants us to live!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Assuming the Worst.

I was reading an article by Tim Schroeder, a pastor at the Trinity Baptist Church here in Kelowna. He said he and his wife were dining out and noticed the woman at the next table kept staring at them. The restaurant was crowded and the Schroeders thought she was listening to them and felt a little upset.

As the evening wore on, they realized the elderly lady had Alzheimer's disease. They spoke with her husband and he told them he was trying to give his wife a nice evening out. The pastor said he felt bad for what he had thought about the woman. He wrote, " I couldn't help but think about how easy it had been to misread the situation and draw wrong conclusions about reality."

I think we are all guilty of assuming wrong motives to people. I have done it many times in my life. But I was thinking today that if we look at people with love we wouldn't think about wrong motives they may have towards us. We would only be thinking about how we could be loving to them and share the love of God with them. I pray for that in my own life.

I would like to give a link to Mr. Shroeder, but I read this in the Daily Courier and they didn't have the article online.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"What is Truth?"

The Roman Governor Pilate once asked Jesus, "What is truth?"  He didn't wait for an answer, but Jesus had already told his disciples that night what was truth.

Jesus was praying for his followers and said to his Father, "Sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth."

Barnes' Notes on the Bible
Sanctify them - This word means to render pure, or to cleanse from sins. Sanctification in the heart of a Christian is progressive. It consists in his becoming more like God and less attached to the world; in his getting the victory over evil thoughts, and passions, and impure desires; and in his becoming more and more weaned from earthly objects, and attached to those things which are unseen and eternal.

God speaking to our hearts and changing us into better people is something that God will do in us every day of the rest of our lives. We are not saved by this. We are saved by Jesus death and his blood that was shed on the cross. We are covered by His righteousness. We are saved by faith, not by works lest we become proud. But just as we desire our children to become good and productive adults, so God desires the same for us.

"Thy word is truth." The Bible is truth. We become changed by reading God's Word and praying about what he has shown us. The truth of the universe is in the Bible. If you want to know it, look there.