Category Archives: Daily Walk

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

The other day I received an email from Crossway.org.  It was a post by a man that I have never heard of but the post made quite an impression on me and I wanted to share it with you.  Here is some information on the author.

Donald S. Whitney (PhD, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa) is professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has written several books, including Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Don blogs regularly at BiblicalSpirituality.org.

So, I want to share his post with you because I believe we all could gain some insight from it.  I am just copying and pasting his blog (with his permission) below.  Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

by Donald S. Whitney
(This is a post on Crossway’s blog site.  Here is the link to the post)

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

Consider the Direction of Your Life

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

  1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
  2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
  3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
  5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
  6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
  8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

  1. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?
  2. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?
  3. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?
  4. What habit would you most like to establish this year?
  5. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?
  6. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
  7. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?
  8. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?
  9. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?
  10. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?
  11. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
  12. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?
  13. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?
  14. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?
  15. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?
  16. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?
  17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?
  18. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?
  19. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?
  20. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?
  21. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person than if you hadn’t considered the question.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace—in a day planner, PDA, calendar, bulletin board, etc.—where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

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Thank you, Don, for providing us some very good and wise words to begin this new year with.

 

Rainy Night in the City; How raindrops on my windshield spoke volumes to my spirit!

It was a rainy night in the city
as I drove picking up passenger after passenger.

It was a rainy night in the city I drive Uber in.  You may or may not know that I am an Uber driver now.  I clock a lot of windshield time.  I drive in the sunshine or rain.  I really do not mind driving at all … through the rain or sun … makes no difference to me.   I just don’t drive after dark.  Except now during the Fall/Winter when it gets dark so darn early.  I do try to be off the paying road and headed home by dark anyway.  I have a thing about people getting into my vehicle that are … well … a little inebriated.  You see, my “new-to-me” vehicle, that I have had a year now, is the first vehicle I have had that has all leather and loaded.  Yep, I made a heck of a deal Black Friday 2015.  I love it!  It is a Toyota 4Runner and it is probably the nicest vehicle I have had since I have been single.  Anyway, I digress.  Back to the windshield time.

The other day it was raining on and off and I found myself headed home in the rain.  So… I noticed something that spoke volumes to me.  Actually, I heard that familiar voice in my spirit that said… “This is a good topic to write about.”  To be honest, I have heard that voice a lot in the last few months and just never wrote about any of the topics.  I made a note about the topic but just never put the words down that went with it.  That happens from time to time.  I just seem to think I am too busy and do not take the time to write those important words that are waiting to be put to the keyboard.  As you have read before, if you have ever read any of my blog posts, that I don’t really know what I am going to write fully until I sit down and do it.  It seems as though God is guiding my thoughts and fingers as I type.  I like that too!

It usually takes me anywhere from 3-4 hours to write a blog post, proof it, add scriptures and pictures to it and then do the “Yoast, SEO perfection”.  That is why I don’t do much writing lately.  I am trying to drive and do many other things to earn $$$ so as NOT to return to “Corporate America” to work.  I love being more available for mom and dad and for a few other things.  Really, I am so much happier now than I ever was before in so many areas of my life.  One of the many things that makes me happy is having mom and dad living here with me.  God has truly blessed me with their presence, every day!  We have a lot of fun together.  Yes, it’s not always peaches and cream but it is life.  It is real and it is love.  It is family! We do love each other and we are learning how to co-exist and have a grand time doing it.

Is Jesus Lord of your life?

So, back to the rainy night on my way home from “Ubering” all day.   It wasn’t really raining hard, just a little sprinkling.  One of those kinds of rain that if you are in the darker areas you can see just fine through that windshield, but once the light of an oncoming vehicle shines on your windshield the reflection of the light on the rain droplets makes it difficult to see unless you use your windshield wipers.  It was just about the time when the light from an oncoming car hit my windshield and my eyes couldn’t adjust to see when I heard … “This is a good topic.  The spots all over the windshield represents the sin in your life and the light … well, represents Me.” Also, when you turn on the windshield wipers they wipe the rain drops (sin spots) away like Jesus does when He becomes Lord of our lives.  It brought tears to my eyes, as it always does.  I immediately knew in my spirit what was being said and knew I was going to write a post about it someday!

We may have a clean windshield for a very short time, but then that old sin nature creeps back in – because we are human – and we sin again.  Just because Jesus comes into our lives and becomes our Lord doesn’t mean that we become perfect and never sin.  There will always be those showers of just sprinkles of sin or the “Oh My Gosh! Downpour!!” of sin.  Rainy nightI have experienced both, more than I care to say, since Jesus shined His Pure, White Light onto the windshield of my life and exposed all the sin spots and wiped those sin spots away.

You know, we are human and God/Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows that we are going to sin and sin again.  He is our Creator.  The Creator always knows what the created is going to do. However, Jesus didn’t come to this earth to just be an excellent example.  He came to do just what He did.  Live a sinless life, be crucified on a cruel cross and die there.  Then be buried in a borrowed tomb and RISE AGAIN on the third day, after defeating death and Satan.  He is now in Heaven awaiting the time when the Father says “Son, go get my children.”  That will be THE MOST AWESOME DAY!!!  We will meet Him in the air and live with Him forever.  That is if you have asked Jesus into your heart to Shine His Pure, White Light onto the windshield of your life and wipe away those sin spots and the sin that you will commit in the future.

1 John 1:6-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

You say, well, “If Jesus is going to wipe away my sin now and in the future, I can sin and not worry about it.”  That, my friend, is one way you can look at it, however, if you truly give your life over to Him and want Him to lead and guide you in your daily walk with Him, you will not EVER have that attitude.  He loves you and wants a true and healthy relationship with you.  Let’s look at it a different way.  If you are married, you don’t say … “Well, since I am married I can do anything I want.”  WRONG!  You want your relationship to be a good one.  You want to please the person you are spending the rest of your life with.  You love them so you want to do whatever it takes to make them happy and feel loved.  You don’t want to hurt them intentionally.

Although we want these things for our loved one, sometimes, we mess up.  They mess up.  We neither one are perfect.  We should know this going into the relationship. Likewise, in our relationship with Jesus.  Although He is perfect, we are not and never will be.  We should want to please Him and want Him to feel our love.  You don’t ever want to do something intentionally to hurt Him but it happens.  When we begin to live our life for ourselves and do it “our way”, that is basically a sin.  It is not easy to live with one foot in the world and one foot with Jesus.  It pulls at your heart and it hurts Jesus’ heart.  He wants all of you, just like you want all of your spouse’s love.  This is the way we should feel if we have a “real” relationship with Jesus.  Sometimes, though, we do hurt Him.  We do disappoint Him.  We are human and He knows it.  This is a link to a very good website about hurting God.  It speaks to many different things.

Pure White Light

Anyway, the raindrops on my windshield will always remind me of my sin and how Jesus shined His Pure, White Light onto the windshield of my life and wiped away my sin because of His death on the cross.  His blood on that cross covered my sins.  Even 2000 years ago, He knew then that I would need His cleansing power over my life.  His blood has wiped my windshield clean of those sin spots,  so-to-speak, and always will.

If you would like to know this Jesus I have been speaking about, click this link and it will take you to a website that will explain what it means to be saved and it will guide you into a relationship with Him.  He loves you so much.  After all, He calls you His beloved.

The Video:

Covers All – Powerful Worship Music by gloryfall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0M8lI2SIRs

We Will Never Forget

We will never forget what this day was in the past  It will always bring sadness and quiet tears.  However, America is strong and we must continue to fight for her.  We are America!  Do not forget and keep fighting for our freedom!  Thank you to those who have lost their lives knowing and not knowing they were fighting for her freedom.

picture2America!  We Love You!

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God and the Utility Pole: Are we aware of His presence?

Is God like that Utility Pole in your neighborhood?  God and the Utility Pole is about His presence. Read on and enjoy.

There are so many things that grab at my mind at any given time.  Especially when I sit down to write.   Things that try to take my focus off of the “MAIN DEAL”.  Simple things,too.  I hear that familiar voice that says, “This is another good topic to write about” and the next thing I know… I am reaching for my computer to type up some thoughts and “BAM”… I am off looking at the bank account online, or my phone vibrates and I have to pick it up to see what it was.  Oh, it’s an email or another message from someone.  Then I remember, oh yea, I gotta see this or that….STOP!!!!  FOCUS LEAH!!!  What was God wanting to tell you in HIS MESSAGE?1002354_454543324643909_243508337_n

OK, let’s get started… do I need to eat breakfast first?  My tummy is growling… so I must nourish my body and brain first, right.   This goes on and on sometimes more than I really care to admit.  Seems I have a mix of ADD and OCD and any other acronym you might want to attach to me.  No matter… God loves me.

Really though, my attention gets pulled here and there at any given moment by the “world”.  There are so many “things” that are simply hard to resist.  I just have to… I MEAN HAVE TO… STOP and focus on God and His Goodness.  His infinite love He has for me.  When I do that… I can usually find my way back to where He was and listen and actually hear His voice.  Not an audible voice, but in my heart or spirit.  He is there, always.  His presence is so real to me … and when I get pulled by the “things of the world”, His presence seems to be overshadowed… but how can God be overshadowed?  Well, He really can’t except for in my heart.  My heart replaces His rightful “center stage” place with “stuff”… Stuff that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  Really, folks.  How much more wonderful it is to sit at the feet of the CreatGod-god-the-creator-13229144-500-341or of everything than to check Facebook!  The Creator that knows my name.  He knows my struggles.  He knew I was going to be sitting here this very moment long before I was born.  He knew me then and knows me intimately now!  That is the most wonderful thing I can ever imagine.

Yes, there are tasks that needs to be done, on time, and other things that need to be taken care of in a timely manner.  However, I figure if I would manage my time in a better way, I would be able to do those things (for the most part) in the right time.  In a good and complete way and then I will have time for my time with God, or better said, God’s time with me.  I like to think that will work.  Some days it does and other days … well, not so well.  But I have a very loving and forgiving God and He doesn’t reprimand when I miss most – if not all – of my quiet time in the morning.  He is always there so I can talk to Him and fellowship with Him all day long.

This past week has been a week from another world, it seemed.  There was some BIG news from a test my mother had and then I was dealing with the most awful hives/rash situation and doctors that didn’t have a clue and very little sleep and on and on.  The good thing from this past week was that mom’s test came back as a positive outcome.  That is about the only great thing from this past week.  I searched for God all week and would find bits and pieces of Him here and there, but I didn’t want bits and pieces.  I wanted more!  So much more!

Leather-Chair-And-Ottoman-With-A-Half-bestI have a very favorite and comfortable chair in my bedroom.  It is a great chair to just sit in and think.  A very good place to listen for and to God.  It’s the kind of chair I have always wanted and when I am in that chair, all seems well with the world… well, my world at that time, anyway.    I sat there one morning this past week and gazed out my bedroom window at the Northwest sky.  I can see a pretty good portion of it along with my thornless blackberry bush and the fence.  However, there are some very pretty sunsets I can see remnants of through that window.  This was a morning time though.  What caught my attention was the Utility Pole… not the “telephone pole” that some folks call them, but the Utility Pole.  That pole has about 3-4 different kinds of wires on it.  It supports wires for the telephone company or the electric company or the cable company or any number of other service type companies.  There are probably hundreds of conversations being carried over those wires… or maybe those conversation wires are underground.  20160815_121837884_iOSHumm…. Never thought about that before I began writing this post… you know though, that is just how it goes when I begin writing.  My brain begins to look at things a little differently.  I love that about writing.  Anyway, let’s say there are telephone conversations going on along with the power that supplies our electricity to the homes in my neighborhood along with all of the television shows being watched or recorded and any number of other things.  WOW… that’s a lot of stuff that the utility pole is supporting.  There has to be several poles to support the heavy wires too.  I don’t know how much the wires or bundle of wires weighs but I do know it is a lot.

The pole itself has quite a history (Wiki history info).  I just looked up Utility Pole and came across the Wikipedia about them.  Now you know Wiki is the ultimate source … other than Google … of information.  Wiki has so much to say about Utility Poles.  They have a myriad of criteria to be a Utility Pole.  Most of which I never thought of.  The first Utility Pole was used by Samuel Morse.  Yes, of the “Morse Code”.  This was in 1844 when he first used them to hang the first wires on them to carry those Oh-So-Wonderful dots and dashes conversations.  Oh but I digress a bit here.  I didn’t intend to write about Utility Poles, really.

GOD'S MESSAGEThe Message that I believe God has here is this.  God is kind of like that utility pole.  He is present.  He has many things going on around Him.  He supports things around Him.  He has ways of getting messages to us (albeit not wires and cables, but people and situations) in our lives.  We rely on those utility poles to send and receive messages, telephone calls, television programs, etc. every day and never think twice about them being there, really – unless you are me and gaze out your window and see one and hear God say… “This is one…”  Honestly, though, how many of us ever really pay much attention to the utility poles in our neighborhood?

There are so many things about utility poles that the average person or even an expert might spend years learning about.  Many laws that govern the placement, the size, type, etc.  So, let’s compare again.  God … there are so many things that the average person or even an expert (preacher, scholar, student, etc.) might spend years learning about.  But with God, I believe we will never know all there is to know.  He is God.  If we knew then we could be God… right?  God is God and I am not!  Remember that!  An expert may learn all the ins and outs of a utility pole but any expert or anyone else, for that matter, will never “know” all there is to know about God.  Period!

Now I never truly mean any disrespect to God by comparing things like this with Him.  He created me.  He knows how my brain works.  But think about it.  God is present and sometimes we never even pay attention imagesto Him being there.  God is supporting many things that support our world but we still are not aware that He is there.  Right there in the midst of us.  He allows people and situations to cross our paths and we sometimes don’t realize where they ever come from.  Not that God causes problems for us but I believe He allows things to happen.

What about that gorgeous sunrise or sunset that He blesses us with from time to time.  Or the clouds in the sky?  My dad loves that scripture in Nahum about the clouds.

Nahum 1:3

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

NAHUMGod created the whirlwind and the storm.  The wind is His!  Amazing!

Then last… I think… there are so many things about God that we will never know.   He is an ever present help in time of need

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present[
b] help in trouble.

Yes, if that utility pole was not there to carry that wire to carry that conversation then… well, you get the picture.

God loves me so much and tries to get my attention so many times of the day to tell me just how much.  I have to stop and be quiet and “know that He is God”.

Psalm 46:10-11

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

God loves you too!  He loves you so much He calls you His beloved.

Song:  Your Presence is Heaven – Darlene Zschech

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Writer’s Block. Who Me?

I have never suffered from Writer’s Block!  But I think I have had it lately… well, in the last 6 months or so.  Writer’s Block.  Who Me?   Why am I having such a hard time with writing again?  There has been so much happen in the past several months I just don’t know where to start.  There have been many times when God has pointed something out to me that spoke to my heart.  I was going to write about it that evening and it just never would feel right.

I am one that has to feel it before I write one word.  I have to feel God speak to my heart to say “This is something…” and then when I sit down to write, I pray the entire time I am writing and searching for scripture.  Why?  So I can make sure it’s His message and not mine.  Writer’s Block.  Who Me?

By the time thereLess-Time-With-God is quiet time, it seems I am so tired and all I can think to do is to play a stupid game or read a few pages and close my eyes.  I remember when I would stay up until midnight writing and researching scripture and commentaries to complete my post.  It doesn’t seem that there is time for that any longer.  Why?  I want to know why!?  Writer’s Block.  Who Me?

When I was so prolific in my writing I was working in a call center.  I had a mindless job and when I got home I didn’t really have a lot on my mind.  There wasn’t really any stress in that job… well, there was some, but not like when I was a Trainer or Project Manager.  Anyway, it seemed so easy to write at night then.  I had an outlet for my energy that I had built up all day.  Many times I would write during the day and then type it at night. There were times between calls that allowed the writing and then sometimes it was constant phone ringing.  Nonetheless, I wrote almost every day.  I got a lot of good stuff written too!  I reread some of my posts and ask myself… did I really write this?  Then I remember… ahhhh… well, God and I did.

I just looked back and saw that the last post was exactly one month ago, July 7th.  That was about a friend’s new website that I helped him with.  The post is here – Hello Baseball Fans.  This was not my normal post.  It was one to introduce you to his new website.  I had fun helping with that and it did consume a lot of my time and energy.  It was an experience for both him and me.  I was so glad to have been able to help.  Check it out… especially if you are a baseball fan!  You will love it!Baseball Diamond

So, one month ago I was talking about baseball.  This post will be about something much different.  Something that most of you, if not all, can relate to and understand.  Let me explain.

Tonight I was not feeling very well.  I have begun to feel a little sick, like I felt in January and February when I had pneumonia.  It is not something that ever want to relive or wish on my worst enemy.  Anyway, my dad invited me to watch a church service with them.  I used to watch it with them years ago and enjoyed it then.  I wasn’t doing anything particularly so I sat down and watched.  The music that this church sang was always good.  Mostly old hymns.  I really love the old foundational hymns.  Some folks simply don’t like the old hymns and only go for the new Contemporary worship.  I enjoy that too.  I just like a mix.

Then the pastor began to give his sermon.  It was quite interesting.  It was on Jonah.  If you don’t know anything about Jonah you can read it here.  It is a rather short book.  Only four chapters in all.  The general gist of the story, as the pastor told it, is Jonah was called by God to go to a city to preach against their evil ways.  Jonah didn’t want to go so he fled as far as he could go.  The Bible states Jonah went to Joppa and boarded a ship there to go to Tarshish which would have been about 2,000 miles from where he was.  But he didn’t quite make it to Tarshish.

Jonah 1:1-3

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil[a] has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

The preacher pointed out that Tarshish was about 2,000 miles from where Jonah was.  He really wanted to get away from God.  No telling how much it cost him to travel to Tarshish by ship.  Well, it really did cost him a lot more than the money he had on his person.  It cost him spiritually, too.MAP IN JONAH'S TIME

Jonah was trying to run from God, but I think we all know that is impossible.  God is everywhere.  I cannot imagine what Jonah was thinking.  Jonah was a prophet of God in those days.  He had seen what God could do!  He knew God and walked with Him regularly… all the time.  He was a prophet!

Well, one thing about it though… he was human.  Ahhh yes, human!  The human factor seems to always raise its not so pretty head in the thick of things.  Well, Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because Nineveh was not liked.  Where Jonah lived was being controlled by the Assyrians.  Nineveh was Assyrian territory.

Here is an excerpt from a document I found on the internet.  The website is Entrusting the Word and the document is here.  The document is actually a PowerPoint presentation.  I will say I have not researched everything on this website and I may or may not believe what they believe.  I just wanted to share the link so you could do a little checking for yourself – if you wish.  I also liked the information presented about Jonah and the map.

Israel in the Reign of Jeroboam II

Jeroboam II (c. 793-753 B.C.) was king of Israel. “He was, in fact, the greatest and longest-reigning of all the kings who reigned over the northern kingdom. In a moral and religious sense there was little to choose between him and his evil predecessors on the throne, but in military prowess, he remarkably excelled. His recaptured and newly annexed territories reached up as far as Hamath, over 200 miles north of Samaria, so that his domain became almost as extensive as David’s has been! – and all this is plainly said to have been the fulfillment of a prophecy by ‘Jonah, the son of Ammitai, the prophet which was of Gathhepher.’… Gathhepher is now identified with a village name El Meshed some miles north of Nazareth, in Zebulon, where, according to a firm tradition dating back to Jerome’s time, the tomb of Jonah is pointed out even to this day.

“Incidentally, the reference to 2 Kings fixes the time of Jonah’s ministry. It was during the later years of Joash, and (presumably) the earlier years of Jeroboam II. He would probably be one of the leaders among the ‘school of prophets’ when Elisha was nearing the end of his remarkable ministry” (Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book, p. 148).  Since the days of King Omri (c. 885-874 B.C.) the northern kingdom had been attacked by Syria and Assyria.

 The Israelites particularly hated and feared Assyria because its growth as an empire threatened their national security. In the midst of that tension, God called Jonah to go to the capital of Assyria: “The word of the Lord came unto Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me” (Jonah 1:1-2). We know little about Jonah, but his name means “dove,” symbolic of a messenger of peace.”

 Back to Jonah and his … “running” from God.  I can say that I have done this.  In my past for sure and in the not so distant past, also.  I know logically that this is a silly thing to do.  It simply makes no sense to do so.  Because God is everywhere!  He is with us when we sleep.  He is with us when we are in the shower.  He is with us when we are driving, eating, working, playing, etc.  He is everywhere!  He is Spirit!   (John 4:24 – “God Is Spirit…”) So He can be everywhere all at the same time!  I am so grateful for that too!  We never have to wait for our turn in the Que or never have to take a number to get an audience with God.  He loves to talk to us and loves to hear us call His name.  He is waiting now to hear from you.  Just call out to Him.  He will answer.

One thing He does not like is for us to ignore Him or not be obedient to His call.  I know I have heard God tell me to do something and I have not done it.  For example, writing a blog post. I have heard so many times in the last six months… “Leah, this is a good thing to write about.”  It seems that I have had writer’s block.   I used to immediately make a note so I could write about it as soon as I got home or to a place to write.  Now, the note is taken, but it gets put in a stack just like the rest of them.  I can’t seem to actually sit down and write about any of the notes I have taken.  I have NEVER had “writer’s block” to where I couldn’t find something to write about.  I am very seldom without words.  Writer’s Block.  Who Me?writers-block

So… tonight when I heard that sermon on doing what God has called us to do, I felt very convicted.  I know God has called me to write.  I don’t write about the usual things that you would expect a devotional blog to be about.  I write about every day things that coincide with my walk with God.  I write just like I speak.  I try to not be too “churchy” with my writing, either.  I love to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for me with my writing.  He has changed my life and I know when I hear that familiar, still, small voice, I am to respond with “Here I am, Lord” and follow through.  Unlike Jonah that tried to run as far as he could.  Writer’s Block.  Who Me?  Let me start tonight!

You know, Jonah never made it to Tarshish.  I am sure you know the story of Johan and the whale.  I loved what the preacher said tonight about the whale swallowing Jonah.  Jonah was thrown overboard by the fellas on the ship (read the story – it’s quite interesting – Jonah 1).  He said that the Lord provided a safe place for Jonah (albeit in the belly of that whale) until he came to his senses.  So after Jonah prayed a prayer to God, the whale got rid of him out of his belly.

Jonah 2:1-10

Jonah’s Prayer

2 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
For you cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
    at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.
When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

So, yes, Jonah got swallowed by a whale, but God provided that whale to protect him from drowning.  Isn’t that just like God!  He provides a safe place (it may not be the most comfortable but safe) for us until we come to our senses and say… “OK, OK, Lord.  You win!”  Maybe not in those words, but you get the picture.

So the question is this.  Have you heard from God and are you trying to either pretend that you really didn’t hear that still, small voice in your heart or are you running as far away as you can from God?  Are you avoiding doing what God has called you to do?  If He has called you to it, He has equipped you for it.

I can tell you that if you step in that direction, He will guide you the whole way.  He will provide you with whatever it is you need to do the job He has asked you to do.  Mine is writing and telling others about my walk with my Savior Jesus and how God in His infinite wisdom and grace, provided His one and only Son to save me from myself and my sins.

Jesus can save you also.  He wants to walk with you daily and help you through any problems and doubts you may have.  If you click this website name here – Bible.org you can read about what it means to be a Christ follower.  If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.  If I don’t know the answer, I will be happy to find out and get the answer for you.

God loves you so much!  After all, He calls you His beloved!

Listen to Charles Billingsley sing “For God So Loved the World”.  It’s a wonderful song!

Video – God So Loved the World

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Return America, Return

Return America, Return

America.  Land of the Free, Because of the Brave!   Return to your Roots! Return to the One who gave us this great land we call America!  Return America, Return.

Red, White and True RED WHITE AND TRUE BLUE, Return America, Return!Blue is a musical play by some local artists.  It was held at the Artisan Theater in Hurst, Texas.  I was invited to attend with my brother and sister-in-law last night.  It was absolutely wonderful!  The local talent was impressive.  Ages from 10 (Jonathan – who made his debut last night) to around 70ish?  It was so heartwarming and such a wonderful reminder that we live in a fantastic, phenomenal and special land.  We need to remember – those of us that can – and those that cannot, need to read and study how it was and why it was.  So many younger folks just don’t “get it”.  How it used to be… not that I want to go back to every way of living in the 50’s but the attitude and the standards and the state of mind was so different than it is now.  Women were modest, men were gentlemen, and businesses had integrity and government … well, for the most part, was better.

This play was a mix of young men and women and a few students and some older men and women.  Many different walks of life and very excited to tell us, the audience, how excited they were to live in America!  Reminding us through narration and song that God Blessed America and shed His Grace on us.  We were so blessed with many things and now… well, now, it seems that many of those blessings are waning.  A lot of the reason is because some folks in America have chosen to turn a blind eye to things happening in America.  Others have just stuck their head in the sand and have no clue … and furthermore … don’t want to have a clue.  They just want the world to drift by and they can stay in their little bubble with their head in the sand.  WAKE UP AMERICA!   Wake up and Return To Your Roots!  Our Roots!  Our Roots being God.  The founders of our nation were rooted in God!  God will not always bless us if we don’t bless Him.  I found this scripture reference and comments on Timberline Baptist Church homepage.  I think this states it quite clearly.

Jeremiah 18:7-10

“- Our opening text from Jeremiah 18 teaches us there is hope for backslidden America.  Look at verses 7-10, “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”

– Notice what these verses said in that God says “at what instant” a nation decides to repent, that nation can be restored by God.

– This is a very powerful passage, and it shows that God’s grace and blessings can be poured out on a wicked nation that returns to Him.  A nation, who has denied God and murdered her innocent unborn and promoted Godlessness and immorality, can be restored in an instant if only that nation will repent and return to God.”

However, if …

2 Chronicles 7:14

“14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I could say a lot about the play last night.  I could elaborate on all of the messages and songs that they brought to us.  However, that is really not what I want to tell you.  My brother has a blog also and his blog said it so good and his words were quite on target.  I feel led to refer you to his blog.  It is a fantastic bunch of information that a lot of you may not know.  I didn’t know some of it either.

Please read his blog and learn about the “Roots” of America.  Return America!  Return!  So if you will allow me… this is my brother’s post from yesterday.  I know you will love it too!

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Independence Day

By John Adams

Flag, Return America, Return!“Independence Day is the day that America sets aside to remember its beginning; the beginning of the greatest experiment in personal freedom that history has ever known. “Give me liberty, or give me death,” was the heart-felt cry of the forefathers that secured that freedom. With that tenacious attitude, they would affix their names to the Declaration of Independence; the document that affirmed their steadfastness and unity in mission. This action placed them, their families and their very subsistence in jeopardy in the face of the ruling nation, England.

Ben Franklin said it best at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Theirs was a resolve to break from tyrannical bonds and provide life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness for every citizen, no matter the cost. They understood that to take this stand for truth and demand fairness and equity in government meant the possibility of paying for their decision with their lives and well-being. Their decision would take its toll on the signers.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!As a result of signing the Declaration, there was a heavy price exacted on these fifty-six men of freedom:

. 7 lost their lives

. 2 lost their health

. 5 were taken prisoners of war

. 4 lost their wives

. 17 lost entire fortunes

. 5 experienced huge debt resulting from financing the war effort

. 4 lost children

The Crown sent twenty-five thousand troops to track down and kill these fifty-six rebels. Abraham Clarke, a lawyer and surveyor, could not be found. The British found and captured his two sons and put them on the prison ship Jersey, referred to as the “Hell Hole Jersey”, a death camp from which no one ever returned alive. Then the offer came to Clarke that his sons would be released if he would surrender and recant his signature. Abraham Clarke refused to go back on his words of pledge to the cause of freedom alongside his companions.

These brave men were not professional politicians, but representatives from the thirteen colonies from every walk of life. This body was made up of two of the wealthiest men in America, Charles Carrolton (merchant and plantation owner) and Robert Morris (plantation owner) as well as one of the poorest, Samuel Adams, a merchant from Boston. (When Sam Adams was elected to Congress he did not own a suit. His neighbors took up a collection to purchase a suit of clothes for him to wear to Congress.) These were land owners, lawyers, physicians, ministers and merchants of every sort.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!You will predominantly hear that all these men were deists, atheists or agnostics in their religious beliefs. Jefferson, Franklin and James Wilson, a Pennsylvania lawyer, are the only ones that are known to be deists.

The truth is, however, that the majority were men committed to the Christian faith. A few examples and facts include:

. 29 of them held seminary or Bible school degrees

. Dr John Witherspoon was one of the best known Gospel evangelists of that day, was a long time member of Congress, serving on 100 committees.

. Sam Adams, known as the Father of the American Revolution – “I rely on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of all my sins.”

. Dr Benjamin Rush, physician, Presbyterian – considered 1 of 3 most notable of the Founding Fathers, started the first Sunday school and Bible society in America.

. Roger Sherman, lawyer, Congregationalist – He was the only one of the signers to sign all 4 founding documents – Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Articles of Federation, Anti-Federalist Papers.

“God has promised to bestow eternal blessings on all those who are willing to accept Him on the terms of the Gospel that is in the way of free grace in the Atonement,” Sherman declared.

. John Adams was well known as a strong Christian leader. He wrote to Abigail of the first meeting of the Continental Congress and explained how powerful it was to begin with a three-hour prayer service and Bible study from Psalm 35.

. Lyman Hall was a minister from Georgia.

John Adams would relate to his wife that all the prayers of these leaders were being answered after a fifteen-day time of prayer and fasting. He said they were witnessing the “direct intervention of God.”

Of course, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the odds heavily favored the British, especially on the water. The largest naval deployment to that date in New York Harbor was in 1776, when the British war ships’ masts were reported to “look like a forest in the harbor.” This was the most powerful navy in the world. The British Man-O-War was feared by rival navies on the high seas. They were undefeated for 300 years.

Inpendence Day, Return America, Return!Enter the fledgling US Patriot Navy armed with small gunboats and the prayers of righteous men, pleading for their country. These small ships were no physical match for these powerful ships and experienced crews. But as the Congress worked and prayed they would realize the capture of 600 British ships. The US Navy began to take control and in 1778 John Paul Jones became a well-known naval hero as he captured the HMS Drake. The hand of God was with these dedicated patriots.

Sadly, how far we have drifted, as a nation, from our earliest moorings. We have weighed anchor and left the harbor of security and guidance from The Almighty and are attempting to prove that we can go it alone now. “Thanks for your help, God, but we can handle it from here.” This is a dangerous, dreadful and disastrous path to travel.

President Woodrow Wilson said, “The nation that does not remember what is was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.” It seems that we are adrift now and we are told that we must trust people, who we know that we cannot trust, to guide us into the future.

In our current malaise of uncertainty, immorality and violence it is only logical to encourage our nation, leaders and citizens, to return to our safe harbor before all is lost and the death knell sounds for freedom and goodness. As President George Washington made his farewell address, September 17, 1796, he explained the foundations of America’s greatness. Thirty percent of his speech was laden with strong Christian admonition. He said, “Of all the habits and dispositions that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” We must return to our foundations and make them strong again.

Independence Day, Return America, ReturnHow long can all the madness continue? How long can the freedoms we have enjoyed all our lives continue? Will the next generation understand what we are saying and why we are sounding alarms? Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writer, activist and critic of the Soviet Union, was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953 for speaking against the Russian government. Later in life, he spoke at Harvard University to the student body. He remembered the days of his youth under Communist control and oppression and he recounted hearing his grandfather and father speak of why the great Russian society had come to this dreariness. He remembered his grandfather commenting that it was because they had forgotten God. Solzhenitsyn then compared our situation and made the statement that we are experiencing these times because, “we have forgotten God.” He was promptly booed in masse by the Harvard student body.

America was founded on sound principles of freedom and righteousness and it has prospered for over 200 years as the greatest nation in history. The American experiment has been a success and it certainly could continue to succeed. All indications are that it will not. The alarm is sounding and the general attitude is to hit the snooze button and roll over, back in a deep slumber of apathy and self-indulgence.

But if the Church, the true people of God wake up and decide to pray and get serious again about what is true and important, America can return to the safe harbor and continue to stand as the light of freedom the world desperately needs. People still are risking everything to come to America to escape oppression and misery because of its open arms and promise of liberty and safe haven. If this ideal is lost, it will not be because God is unfaithful, but because America will have forgotten its moorings and safety in the God of blessing.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!Are we ready, as our forefathers were, to take a stand for truth and our American way of life and freedom? I pray that we are and that a new army of rebels will be raised up to sound the alarm louder and encourage this country to return to the God of our fathers.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is The Lord.” Psalm 33:12″

 

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The Grace and Mercy of God

What Is Grace and Mercy

The Grace and Mercy of God.  What a topic.  To think of what Grace actually is blows my mind.  This is a long post but stick with it til the end.  It has a great ending!  Here’s the actual Definition of both Grace and Mercy:

Grace. The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

I also found a blog (“Better Than I Deserve”) that describes it as this: (this is what I have always heard)

“Maybe you’ve heard this definition of grace before. Grace is what we get which we do not deserve.”

ephesians-2_8-grace-2

 “Perhaps you have heard this definition of mercy before and I think its spot on. Mercy is where we don’t get what we truly do deserve.”

I think that is pretty incredible.  Grace.  The Grace of God is far beyond my comprehension.  Really.  He gives us His Grace instead of His judgment.  However, there is a catch.  Ah Ha, you say…. Yes, there is always a catch.  God will only impart His Grace to us … IF … we believe on His Son Jesus Christ and believe that His Son’s death on the cross was for the remission of our sins.  Yes, Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins.  Then He rose again on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.  He did all of that so we could be with Him forever.  So, Grace… Grace is what He gives us instead of the judgment that we deserve.

God Is God And We Are Not

You see, if God didn’t give us His Grace, we would have to pay the penalty for our sins and we could never be “good enough” to measure up to God’s Holiness. You say… “But I am a good person.  I don’t cheat, steal, lie or kill.  So, I am good enough.  I don’t sin.”   Well, God doesn’t look at it that way.  He is the creator of everything.  He set the standard of “sin” and “holiness” and we DO NOT measure up to His standard.  We may think we don’t sin but we do.  There are many things that happen or that we do or dwell on thoughts during the day that God may consider “not holy”.  Remember… God is God and we are not!  He set the standard.  Not man!

He knew we could never measure up to His standard because He created us.  You see, to be able to be forgiven for your sins, you have to offer a spotless sacrifice.  The Bible has a lot of examples of what sacrifice is acceptable for what sin.  In the beginning, people would sacrifice a bull, goat, lamb or even a dove or pigeon, without defect – spotless.  There were many ways and reasons people would bring these animals to be sacrificed.  However, all were required to be without defect.  This link will explain why humans must or had to bring sacrifices to God.  The title of the article is Why did God require animal sacrifices in the Old Testament?

The website that I got the answers from is GotQuestions.org.  It has great information about sin offerings and all the various aspects of each type.  Click the link and read more about that topic here.

The Spotless Sacrifice

We, as humans, needed a spotless, perfect sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins – or to have our sins forgiven.  Jesus came to earth to be that spotless sacrifice.  Jesus agreed to be the spotless lamb, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  He left Heaven and became a tiny baby.  Lived among the common man and lived perfectly, never sinning.  Then He died on that cross, I mentioned earlier, for us.

Picture3The Grace He bestowed towards us at the Cross of Calvary is so beyond my comprehension.  I guess I don’t have to be able to comprehend it to accept it.  Good thing.  I do accept God’s gracious gift of Jesus Christ for my sins.  If I accept that grace through Jesus Christ then I need to live like it.  I want to live like it.  I want to live every second knowing that because of God’s Grace I will see His face and live in His wonderful presence forever in Heaven.

I found a quote when I was perusing my files that stopped me in my tracks.  I had to read and re-read it and ask myself.  “Self, do you really want to be established in God’s Grace?  Do you want it to manifest itself in your character?  Do you want it to be your habit and regular life?”  Here is the quote:

“To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another.”

The Taste of Grace

To me that says this.  We taste the Grace of God when we first accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  We feel almost like we are walking on a cloud.  It is a high that is indescribable.  If you truly take Jesus as your Lord and Savior you will experience a feeling that is unlike any other you have ever or will ever experience.  You may go for a while and live off of this first excitement of a new life.  However, I have learned that human nature (me – I am) is like this… we begin to slip back into “the way we were” before me met Jesus – to a point.   As we walk through our daily life we realize one day that we really aren’t living as Christ.  We have just tasted the Grace of God but are not really “living” the Grace of God.  That is … like the quote says … “to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life…”

To Be Established

So, what does it really mean to be established in God’s Grace and manifest God’s Grace in character, habit and regular life?  Well, let me see if I can explain it the way God showed me.

Picture2If you read my blog at all you will see that I don’t usually sound “preachy” or pushy.  I use every day things that relate to my walk with God and relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  So, this one is not any different.  As I am sitting here in my chair and look up at the reflection in the glass of a picture on the wall of my beautiful Shumard Oak tree in the back yard, I hear that ever so familiar voice. “How is your oak tree established?”  I begin to immediately think back about this time seven years ago – when we moved in to our home in May of 2009.

The Shumard Oak Tree

We moved in to our home on May 2, 2009.  After a few little things that had to be done in the back yard, I was making my rounds and I found a little scrawny oak tree up next to the house in a flower bed.  It was about a foot from the house and about a foot tall.  I knew that I had to either dig it up and get rid of it or transplant it.  If it had stayed that close to the house it would never be the oak tree that it was meant to be.  It also would have messed up the house and the foundation of the house with its root system.  So, before I uprooted this little tree I had to find the “perfect” spot for it.  We have quite a large back yard and it is a hot one in the summer time because there was no tree to shade most of the yard in the hot afternoons.  There is the neighbor’s tree on the East side – that didn’t help the afternoon sun at all though.  There was a wide open spot between the house and dad’s shed that was in the direct sun and would be perfect for a shade tree.

Transplanting the Oak

Although this little tree was barely big enough to cast a shadow, I knew that someday it would be a nice, proud Oak tree with abundant shade.  So, I took my sharp shooter (shovel) and dug a hole and then went to the little tree and carefully dug around

Shumard Oak 1it being careful not to damage any of the roots it may have produced in its small state.  I remembered there is a tap root, I thought, that I really had to be careful not to snap.  A Tap Root is the main root that goes down from the middle of the tree and stabilizes it and the root system branches off of that.  So, I carefully dug and dug and loosened and dug and loosened.  Finally I had it loose and only broke the very tip of the Tap Root off.

I prayed that it would not affect the little tree.  I took it to the new location that I had prepared with some good dirt – which I call Cow Poop Dirt – that is a very good, rich in nutrition dirt for a newly planted tree or anything else for that matter.  This stuff will make hair grow on a bowling ball!  It is good stuff.

Anyway, I planted it and waited.  That Fall it was still alive and seemed to be thriving in its new location.  There were about 5 leaves on the tree and they turned a beautiful red, orange and yellow.  I was so excited because if it is that pretty as a youngster how much more beautiful is it going to be as it grows and gets bigger?

Blessings

OAK TREE 3Well, God has certainly blessed me with the growth of that little, scrawny tree.  It is now about 25’ – 30’ tall (in 7 years) and throws a beautiful shade.  Zuckie (my dachshund) and I sit in the grass in the shade of the Oak tree, on a warm evening and are very comfortable.  One because of the shade and two because of the lovely, thick St. Augustine grass that is beneath our feet.   The tree shade and the grass seem to work in harmony to produce a beautiful place to relax.  Needless to say, the Oak tree LOVES the location I chose.

Let’s Think

OK, let’s just think a minute about how this parallels with my walk with God.  Or anyone’s walk with God for that matter.  Let’s also revisit that quote above.

“To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another.”

The little, scrawny tree, growing up next to the house was tasting life – the Grace of God.  But it was not ever going to be able to be established in good soil and a good location to be able to grow and thrive at its present location.  It would be stunted because it was too close to the house.  It would never be able to spread its limbs and soak up the warm sunshine and produce a beautiful shade for us to enjoy.  It would be cramped and uncomfortable.  Its limbs, if they ever grew, would be rubbing the brick on the house and never have the freedom to sway in the breeze.  If the tree ever grew tall enough, it would run right into the eave of the house and be stunted.  It may grow around the eave but then it would be crooked and possibly break because of the crookedness of the limbs.  Not to mention the root system.  It would run into the house foundation and cause all sorts of problems for the house and the tree itself.

A Broad Space

OAK TREE 4So, let’s face it.  It was a horrible place for the little tree.  Then I came along and took that little, scrawny tree from its place where it had begun its life.  I moved it to a place with a broad space where it could grow and stretch its limbs and grow its roots deep and wide without being encumbered by anything.  It could grow tall and taller and taller and display its beautiful colors in the Fall and the beautiful fresh green leaves in the Spring.  It can now throw a shade that is quite nice.  The shape of the tree is perfect too.  Broad at the base of the limbs and gradually narrows to the peak of the tallest leaf that reaches for the sky.  It is one of my pride and joys in my yard.  I love to look at the stately Oak.  It is only 7 years old now but in years to come it will grow taller and fuller and its roots will go deeper and wider, making it more and more established in the soil beneath its leaves and limbs.

Me and God’s Grace

So you may have forgotten that I was talking about the Grace and Mercy of God.  Well, I believe the Grace and Mercy of God is displayed – in a way – in my Oak tree.  Let’s revisit those definitions:

“…Grace is what we get which we do not deserve.”

“… Mercy is where we don’t get what we truly do deserve.”

Let me compare my Oak tree to myself and my walk with God.  I was in a place that was not a good place for me to be in.  I was too close to things that would keep me from growing (spiritually) – spreading my branches.  I was in a place that would stunt my growth (spiritually) and cause me to grow very crooked and unable to thrive – as God had intended for me (as He does for every one of His children).  My root system was growing into hard places and being redirected to a path that was not good for stability and to be firmly established in Him.  Everything was simply a mess beneath the surface.  If left to my own devices, I would have kept going down a path that was not what God had intended and it was not how it should have been.

God’s Grace

God in His infinite Grace and Mercy, picked me up and moved me to a place He chose so I could become established in Him.  Sending my roots down deep into the nutrient rich soil of His Mercy.  Allowing me to learn to spread my branches and display the beautiful colors of His love in my life.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Please DO NOT THINK THAT I AM SAYING that I have “arrived”!  As Paul says in Romans 6, “By no means.”   Please understand that I know this is all a process.  I have been moved, yes, but the establishing and sending my roots down and spreading my branches… that is a day by day and sometime minute by minute process.  But I am growing.  I have been growing more in the last three or four years than I think I have in my lifetime.  I want to grow so others can see Jesus in me without having to go on a search and find mission.  Honoring_Jesus_link_buttonI want Jesus to be honored and glorified in my daily life.  I can tell you that sometimes… more times than not, He is not.  I try, but I am human and He knows it.  That is where the wonderful Grace and Mercy comes in again.

Thank You Lord

Thank You Lord, for the Grace and Mercy that You have bestowed upon me in my lifetime.  Thank You for giving me what I don’t deserve and not giving me what I do deserve.  I don’t understand it but I accept it.

You know you can experience this Grace and Mercy too!  Jesus wants to give you the opportunity to grow and spread your branches and be established in Him.    Here is a link to a website that will explain how that can happen and what it means to become a Christ follower.

He loves you so much.  After all, He calls you His beloved.
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If you would like to comment on this post, please scroll all the way until you see “Comment”.  Otherwise you can contact me on the form immediately following this text.  Thank you for reading my post and I pray that you were blessed.

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CleanTalk

WARNING!
This post is a little different.
  HAVE YOU BEEN PLAGUED WITH
SPAM ATTACKS ON YOUR WEBSITE?
You know… I have said it before and I will say it again!
People or companies that are responsible for
SPAM ATTACKS, HACKING,
or the like, annoy me!
I have one thing…
well, maybe more…to say to these creeps!
GO GET A REAL JOB and quit making others lives miserable! 

CleanTalk can help!

As you have already figured out…
This post is about the company I use for spam attacks.
And More!

CleanTalk!

CleanTalk is a very helpful and necessary tool if you have a website.  The app they use is easy and very reasonably priced.  $8.00 a year is exciting.  That is total protection for your website all year long for only $8.00!!

clean-talk

Just because my website is a bit different than some out there on the internet, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get spammed many times a day!  Mostly, it is companies or people wanting to post “stuff” about their product or I have even had someone use the Prayer Request feature on my website to promote a fortune teller or the like.  I can block the IP address and/or the email address.  CleanTalk makes my life much Simpler and “Cleaner” when it comes to spam or hackers.

But Wait…. There’s more!

CleanTalk

Not only does CleanTalk protect against spam attacks and hackers it also protects against spam registrations and contact email as well.

I mainly wanted to make you aware of this great tool – CleanTalk – so you can use it to protect your website – if you have one or if you are planning on having one in the future.  The folks are quick to respond to any of my emails with questions or concerns.  Also, if I do a review, they award me with months free.  I like free!  Not that $8.00 is a lot of money, but every $$ counts and is important.

I am happy to recommend CleanTalk for any of your Anti-Spam needs!  They are AWESOME!

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THE WRAP-UP STORY OF MAGGIE MAY

In my last post, I was telling you that I would write a wrap-up story of Maggie May and so here it is.  I didn’t think it would take me this long though.

When I mentioned writing a wrap-up story about Maggie, I said something about the name of it would be “Maggie May – The Final Rest Of The Story” but I want to change that because it sounds as if she has left this earth.  So… I have renamed this The Wrap-Up Story for Miss Maggie so it sounds a bit better.

It has been a few weeks since I wrote about the little senior dachshund that I helped re-home to the panhandle of Texas (click this link to read the last post “MAGGIE MAY – THE REST OF THE STORY”).

Maggie is a beautiful 10 year old, senior, mini dachshund.  She is a little doll and I had the honor of picking her up and having her accompany me to Abilene to meet Cheryl with Dusty Puddles Dachshund Rescue.  Cheryl agreed to take Maggie into the rescue group so she could go to a foster home and then on to her forever home.  This is the freedom video… or the journey to Abilene video…

Trip to Abilene

Cheryl was going to be transporting her to Lubbock and then a foster was going to be taking her to Hereford, Texas for a little while until a forever home was found.

This video is at Maggie’s foster home.  She fit right in there and even was unwinding by playing fetch.

Maggie’s foster fun time

Well, it didn’t take long to find that forever home.  Cheryl told me about an elderly couple that always adopts senior dachshunds and have them until they pass.  This couple travels all over and always takes their babies with them wherever they go.  So they were supposed to have a meet and greet and then take it from there.

Needless to say … Maggie made a huge hit with the folks that wanted to adopt her.

Cheryl provided a text that the new mommy sent her….

“I just got this back from the Adopter.  “… Well she shared my fish and fries, ate all of my hush puppies, explored the backyard twice, guards the front door and barks to welcome whoever arrives, and is asleep in her bed right now. The doggie door is new and she’s not sure about anything that wants to push back.  Likes to look out and sniff the winds if you hold it open though. She has explored the house from top to bottom and stays near me so far. My daughter has gone after Marsha so we will see how sleepy meets energy. Maggie is a sweet gentle soul. She is going to be loved and spoiled so rotten.

And another…

From Adopter:  “Finding out our little Maggie has food issues. Need to give her room and a safe zone to her liking or may bite. Leash does not want or like. Will come when called if off leash but has donkey streak and all four planted on leash. Has a smile when sleeping now. Makes her wants known. And uses the doggie door on her own if she can’t talk you into opening the big door for her

Sweet most of the time but like most of her kind has a one track mind that will not derail under any circumstances.”

So as you can see… Maggie is living the high life now.  She is a typical Mini Dachshund with that “donkey streak” and she is now enjoying life with her new sister, Jackie (a standard black and tan senior) and her new mommy and daddy.  She travels and is living high on life!  AND NO BARK COLLAR AND NO KENNEL!

Here are a couple of pics of the new mommy and Maggie and her new sister Jackie.  Maggie is being held by her new mommy, Karen.  Jackie is on the right.  She is a standard size dachshund.  Picture1

I am honored that I had the opportunity to help re-home this little angel.

I am dedicated to doing all I can do to help the ones without a voice – shelter babies and the ones that just need a new home.  It may be only “sharing” on Facebook or networking a baby … but until I hit the jackpot or lottery – I will continue to do as I have done for 4 years.  Share, Share, Share and Pray, Pray, Pray and Cry, Cry, Cry and Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice… I just wish the rejoicing was more often than the crying.  But… all in God’s time.

Thank you for reading the story about Miss Maggie May.  She stole my heart that day that she and Zuckie and I went to Abilene.  I would loved to have had that little senior girl.  She is in a much better place now though. She will be so happy with those folks.   It will be time one day for me to get another, but right now, my Mr. Zuckie is relishing in the place of NUMERO UNO!  Here’s Zuckie in all his glory!  His eyes will melt any heart beyond repair!

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HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED

This is Easter and He Is Risen!  He Is Risen Indeed!

What a wonderful time for Christians to remember why we have eternal life with God and Christ.  If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then today, Easter Sunday, is a most special day.  It is the day that Jesus rose from the grave and defeated death forever! HeIsRisen

What exactly does that mean?  Well, if you believe and follow Jesus then when you die or if Jesus comes back before you die then you will go to Heaven with Him and live with Him in Eternity forever.  Some folks say… “Won’t that be mighty boring to live in Heaven and just live forever?”  Well, my answer is a resounding NO!  Why?  Because we were created, in the first place, to worship Him!  Yes, we were created by God to be His companions and to worship and serve Him. So living in Heaven for eternity will be wonderful.  Now, I don’t believe we will sit around and play harps on a cloud and just have nothing to do.  I am not sure what it will be but I know I will like it.

I was watching TV this afternoon and heard one of those street interviewers asking people if they knew what Easter was.  There were some answers that were doozies.  One of the saddest ones is a lady said that it was when Jesus was born.  WHAT!????!!!  When Jesus was born?  Really?  Oh My Goodness!  I wonder what she thinks Christmas is… when Santa was born?  This world is a sad place.  So many people have NO CLUE aindexbout who Jesus is and then for sure what He has done for them!  If they only knew.  Yes, He Is Risen!  He Is Risen Indeed!

As I was looking for pictures for this post, I ran across this one that is most interesting to me.  I have never seen a picture of what it must have been like when Jesus rose from the dead.  I know the face linen or napkin was supposedly laid separately from the other cloths that Jesus was wrapped in.  It is told that the face napkin was folded nice and neat at the head of the stone where he had been laying.  I have read that, in Jewish tradition, when you leave the table and plan to come back, you were supposed to fold your napkin and lay it at your place on the table when you get up.  The folded napkin signified that you would be back and the servants would not take the plate away.  However, to be honest, here is a website I really like for questions.  GotQuestions.org and it talks about the supposed myth surrounding that tale.  Click here to read what GodQuestions.org has to say about this tale.

Anyway around it… this picture below is quite interesting to me and could have been this way.

The rest of the linen that He was wrapped in supposedly lay on the stone but I don’t think it is told how it was  … so this picture could very well be how Jesus burst forth from the grave!  I mean, after all… He had been to Hell and back – literally – and NOW HE IS RISEN!  Thank God, He Is Risen Indeed!

I think this pictureJESUS IS RISEN is a pretty good depiction of how He felt, for sure.

No one really knows and this is just my opinion, but it could have been.  Thank you God for what you did by giving Your only Son to die for our sins and then raised Him from the dead to live with You in Eternity!  I believe He is awaiting the time when You say, “Son, go get My children.”  Those words will be so wonderful to Him and His appearing in the sky will be so wonderful for us Christians.  Thank you, God!14695875a0fdd27dc2c4fb01eb3c6e47

You know God loves you so much!  He has given His only Son to die for yours and my sins.  Now Jesus is in Heaven awaiting you to accept Him as your Savior so you can live in Eternity with Him.  There is a way to live with God and Jesus in Eternity and this website (click the link) will help you understand what it means to be a Jesus Christ follower.  Remember, God loves you so much!  After all, He calls you His beloved.

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Song and Video – Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

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