Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Love People Who are Gay.

"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? But those who are outside, God judges."  Paul, 1 Corinthians 5:12,13

I love people who are gay.
I love people who are brown, black, white or whatever.
I love people who live in the Middle East.
I love people who live here in Canada.
I love Asians, African-Americans, Europeans, Africans, Indians, Native-Americans, Australians, Swedes, Americans, and so on...
I love Jimmy Fallon, because he seems to have a loving heart.
I love Bill Mahr, because he is searching for truth.
I love Jon Stewart, because he cares about righteousness.
I love John McCain, because of his courage, even though I don't like his politics.
I love Barack Obama, because his forgiveness and patient endurance reminds me of Jesus.
I love Jerry Falwell because of the school he built that has helped countless young people.
I love Tom Cruise because of his courage and kindness in helping people who were in trouble.
I love Johnny Depp for paying off Nicolas Cage's back taxes. (He paid him back already.)
I love Prime Minister Harper for giving Canadians tax breaks. We needed them.
I love Thomas Mulcair because he cares about the underdog.
I love Justin Trudeau because he is passionate about our country.
I love Winston Churchill because he was so brave and a great inspiration.
I love Martin Luther King because of his courage and loving example.
I love Oscar Wilde because of his honesty, his brilliant writing and especially his book, "Deprofundis," where he tells of his acceptance of Christ.
I love my father, who abused me, but also taught me some good things and gave us kids some good times. He was born from a twisted family and became twisted and I'm so sorry that happened. I forgive him and I love him even though he may never have changed before he died. But maybe he did! Maybe he did just before he died. I would be so happy if that were true.

Love is a funny thing. For years I have prayed to love everyone - all people everywhere. God has been gracious to me in giving me love for people. I'm not all the way there yet - there is still lots of room for growth. I still get angry and still sneer inside sometimes. Gotta keep praying.

As the apostle Paul says, we have no right to judge those people who don't belong to our church.
I see plenty of judging from Christians against people who are gay.
We have no right to do it. We have no right to say they are not Christians. We have no right to fight against gay-marriage. 

When Jesus was on earth, he told the church of his time what their sins were. He did not condemn the Romans, their religion or their government. 

"Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord's help, they will stand and receive his approval." Romans 14:4

Jesus, when he spoke of the Holy Spirit said, "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment."

It seems to me Christians just love to convict people of sin. Especially sins they themselves don't commit. I think the Holy Spirit is big enough to do his job and we should leave people alone except to tell them Jesus loves them. Then let the Spirit do his work.

One last word. God says in the Bible, "I hate divorce." Yet, Christians get divorced just as often as non-Christians. So don't cast a stone if you have even one sin you have committed. Jesus said that too.

The Courage of Jesus.

I saw this question online today on Wendy Pope's blog at

 "What is one character trait Jesus bears that you would like to imitate?"

I immediately thought of courage since I feel like I have none. When Jesus was here, he seemed to have a lot of courage. He stood up to those who criticized his friends and were doing evil, he lived a life of poverty depending on the offerings of others, and he walked towards the cross with... "his face set like flint."

"And I know that I will not be ashamed.I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint,"  Isaiah 50:6

After thinking a bit, I decided love was a better trait than courage. Love is what God's kingdom is all about. It is what he is. Still, I just love Jesus' courage. I love how he faced life, trusting in his Father, never worried or seemingly afraid. 

However, the thought of the pain and humiliation of the cross brought Jesus a terrible sadness. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour."  John 12:27

I used to imagine what it was like to die for Jesus. Through the years, many were burned at the stake, tortured to death or thrown to the lions. It has actually been millions of people, starting with the death of Stephen and James. It is still going on right now in the Middle East and Africa. I wonder and I hope I would have the courage to die for the God I love. I pray I would. I would need his courage to do it.

Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

Jesus didn't have to just die; he had to bear the sin of the world on his heart and become sin for us, an offering of blood and death so we could be saved. How that felt and what that really means is beyond my understanding. I think it means he went through hell for us.

"So Jesus said to Peter, "Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"

I thank God for Jesus' courage, for he decided to drink the cup of suffering that would save us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Food in The Wilderness.

Photo by:,_OFS

Then they (Israel) spoke against God; They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? "Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?"  Psalm 78:19,20

for they did not believe in God
or trust in his deliverance.
Yet he gave a command to the skies above
and opened the doors of the heavens;
he rained down manna for the people to eat,
he gave them the grain of heaven.
Human beings ate the bread of angels;
he sent them all the food they could eat.  Psalm 78:22-25

Although God had worked so many miracles for Israel, each time they were in need of something they did not trust God. As crazy as it sounds to humans, yes, God can furnish a table of food in the wilderness.

Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?"  He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”  John 6

Jesus answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take more than half a year's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?" Mark 6:37

This took place at the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples had just returned from their missionary journey where they had healed the sick and cast out demons. (Mark 6). Jesus tested them on their faith. Would they say to Jesus, "We know you can provide bread." No, they only saw the impossibility of his request.

Feeding of the 4,000.

And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way."

The disciples said to Him, "Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?"

Even though they had seen Jesus feed 5,000 people earlier, they still lacked insight and faith that they could do anything, even with Jesus standing right there in front of them.

When I read this I thought about myself. Do I believe God can put a feast into my wilderness? Do I think my problems are insurmountable? Even though he has helped me in the past do I forget what he has done? 

Whatever your wilderness is, God can do something. It may not be exactly what we want, but he can do something wonderful for us in our dry, empty wilderness. The best thing he does is hold our hand and walk through the wilderness with us. We are never alone.

"I was so foolish and ignorant--I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Psalm 73:22-26

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Does God Want?

Jesus said, "But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval."

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”  
John 6:25-27

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And 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 this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.  Mark 12:28-31

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

Two of my granddaughters.
Kindness and love for each other; a gift from God.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

He Lifted Me.

All Bible verses are found in Psalm 40.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

God lifted me up out of the slimy pit of sexual abuse. He set my feet on the Rock, which is called Christ. Jesus is a firm place to stand.

"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD."

God put a new song in my mouth. I can praise him now, even when I feel sad, because in praising him I become happy in his friendship. I hope my life will help many to see the Lord and put their trust in him.

"Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods."

When I trust in God, I am at peace. I don't look for guidance from men and women who are proud of themselves and love this world. No, I look for God to guide me through life.

"Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count."

As I look over my life, I see many miracles you have done for me and my family. Thank you so much. All of us on earth are in your thoughts day by day. What a wonderful God you are. 

"In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required."

An open heart and ears that listen to your words are more important than any sacrifice we make for you, Lord. Open our eyes and ears so we may see you as you really are.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Parent's Love and Worry.

I said to my husband this morning, "I'm 65 years old and I still have trouble trusting God. It astounds me how little faith and trust I have."

I said this because I was thinking about my granddaughters. All three of them are now adults, ages 22, 19 and 18. They are getting jobs, traveling, and making decisions about careers. For better or worse, they are now on their own in this crazy world.

I was visiting them last week and I noticed that my daughter worries about them as I've been doing. We both know how the world can hurt you. Of course, I mean the people of the world. Those people aren't in love with the girls like we are. Those people can be mean, nasty and dangerous. We want to shield the girls from any harm that might come. The trouble is, we know we can't.

A person can go nuts with worry. This is not what Jesus wants from us. He says to trust in God in every situation; and it's no wonder, because worry is so destructive to our minds and hearts. I must give my granddaughters to God. I must trust he hears my prayers for them. I must trust he loves them even more than I do.

Even as I type those words I feel a peace come in.

I read in the Bible this morning, "Righteousness will go before Him, and He shall make his footsteps our pathway."  Psalm 85:13

"His footsteps will be our pathway." I thought of Jesus and how he said, "Follow me." He trusted his Father. Jesus never worried. He suffered, but he continually trusted God. I pray for his trust, his peace and his serenity. Worry comes into my heart every day; that is the kind of person I am. But I can pray every day too. I can pray for Jesus to fill me with himself and he has promised to do this. I can pray he will take my worries about my grandchildren and cast them into the depths of the sea, and I can believe he will, for this day. I can trust for this day, one day at a time.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dying for Jesus.

I read of a man of Afghanistan who had heard the gospel preached. He was impressed by it but had not yet made a decision to follow Jesus.

One day he went to a barber shop, as he sat down the barber put a razor to his neck and asked him, "Are you one of those Christian infidels?"

At that moment the man made his decision for Christ. He said he was a Christian and began to share the gospel message. The barber slit his throat, but not deep enough, so the man ran out and got help from other Christians and lived.

As I read this, I remembered a story I had read in the news that was similar. It was a story that gave me joy even though it had what some might call a terrible ending.

"1 of the 21 men who were beheaded a few weeks ago was not a Christian, that is he wasn’t a Christian until he saw the faith of the men who refused to deny Jesus and died for it. By their witness, he decided to believe in Jesus too! Here is the story:
"ISIS announced the execution of 21 Copts but only 20 names were confirmed, most of them were from the province of Minya(Upper Egypt). There was an inaccuracy in the number of Egyptian Hostages; there were only 20 Egyptians(Copts). Then who was this remaining one non-Coptic victim?
"Ahram-Canadian News was able to gather information about this man. He was a Chadian Citizen (Darker skin shown in picture) who accepted Christianity after seeing the immense faith of his fellow Coptic Christians to die for Christ. When Terrorist forced him to reject Jesus Christ as God, looking at his Christian friends he replied, “their God is my God“ so the terrorist beheaded him also."
I am so happy for this man who gave his life to Jesus and immediately died for him. 

"Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you." John 16:2-4

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake...But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." Matthew 24:9,13

Saturday, June 6, 2015

God's Work in North Africa.

Men of Algeria, 1987
"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions." Joel 2:28
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."  Acts 2:17
I read that there was a wonderful movement of God in Algeria, so I went online to see if it were true. Yes, Praise God, it is true! Muslims are having dreams and visions of Jesus and angels. How wonderful, how good is our heavenly Father!  Here is an address to go to to read about it.
"...a profound move of God in the predominantly Muslim nations of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.
From the shores of Casablanca, Morocco, to Tripoli, Libya, experts say the growth of Christianity, especially in the last 20 years, has been unprecedented.
Now that growth is also evident in the North African nation of Algeria."
God is pouring out the Holy Spirit in abundance. Praise the Lord! It is wonderful to be in the last days of earth's history and see how God works to bring thousands of people to himself. May the whole world be lightened with his glory.
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains."  James 5:7
“Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before."  Joel 2:23

Friday, June 5, 2015


Psalm 33
1Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathers the waters of the sea into jarsa ;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.

Monday, June 1, 2015

What Trips A Christian Up?

In Mark 4:14-20, Jesus likened the good news of salvation to seeds planted by a farmer.

"The farmer plants seed by taking God's word to others.
The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.

The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.
But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word.

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

I wanted to write about the things that can keep us from God so we can be aware of them when they happen:

1. Problems/Troubles.
2. Persecution.
3. Worries.
4. Lure of money.
5. Desires for other things.

Everyone in the world is tempted by these things. When we are going through hard times, we wonder what God is up to and why we have to suffer. Why does he let these things happen to us? 

When we are worried about paying the rent or buying food, we can be tempted to get mad at God for allowing such a thing to happen to us. 

When we see other people with good jobs, nice cars and beautiful homes we wonder why we can't have those things. What have we done to deserve poverty?

We are all tempted to love other things more than God. We may love something innocent, like playing baseball. But if we give most of our attention to baseball or shopping or work, then we are worshiping it. We have made it our idol. If something fills our thoughts all day or as soon as we are off work, then it could possibly be an idol we put above God.

I must admit my own failures. I have failed the most in going through troubles. I have been angry and rebellious towards God many, many times. I didn't see why anyone, especially my daughters or me should have to suffer so much. But God never gave up on me. He moved on my heart to study this problem in the Bible and other Christian writers. I finally realized I was not understanding God or suffering. 

Desires for other things has sometimes tripped me up. I think I have desired for too much in this life instead of being completely content with my life. I am coming to terms with these desires through Jesus' strength and wisdom.

What all these sins represent is not trusting God. We don't trust he has enough comfort for us. We don't trust he will help us when we need money. We don't trust that we will be happy with a simple life. We think he is a spoil-sport. But he is far from that. What we don't see is that he will comfort us in every trouble and help us in all our ways. They may not be the ways we think we want, but when we look back over the years of our lives we will see that if we had seen as He sees, we would have chosen the same path he chose for us.