Tag Archives: forgiveness

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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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

How are you initially perceived by others? What do you think their first impressions are of you when you meet someone? You might be surprised at their answer.FIRST IMPRESSIONS joke

I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents that loved to teach us how to meet and greet folks, how to converse and be social on an acceptable level. Some that have met me may have a different opinion, but for the most part I believe I meet and greet folks well. I know how to carry on a conversation with just about any race, creed, age or status in life. No one has ever escaped my conversation skills except those that simply want to talk only about themselves. Now everyone has things they like to share with most folks, well, I say everyone, but that is not quite true. Most folks like to share and there are some that simply don’t like to talk to anyone. Or there are folks that only like to talk to certain folks and so on. Anyway, my point is that some folks DO NOT know how to carry on a “good” conversation… and that word “good” may be relative depending on who you are talking to.GOOD CONVERSATION

I consider a “good” conversation is one that is not one-sided but a sharing of two or more folks of equal amounts of information about themselves or their experiences. Sharing events or happenings in their life or personal stuff – either way… it is good conversation. Conversation is a two way street. Not a one sided bombardment of opinions and words of the person you are carrying on with. Quality conversation escapes many people. I say quality… meaning a nice back and forth about stories, events or other interesting things that might be liked by the person you are having a conversation with. Sometimes the information may not necessarily be information they “want” to hear, but is received without scorn and stored away in their brain as information about you. Likewise, the information you receive may not be information you wanted to know but you store it away as information about that particular person and that’s that.WORDS

Unfortunately, some folks like to use that information against other folks in a hurtful way and that is TOTALLY unacceptable behavior as far as good conversation goes or even good people skills go. No person should ever take something someone has told them and use it against them in a hurtful way. That is just not cool! Unfortunately there are people in this old world that do not subscribe to my way of thinking though and do so anyway.

Aren’t you glad that our God does not do this? If you are a Christian, you certainly know that there are plenty of things in your distant past or not so distant past that could be used against you to either hurt you or upset you in one way or the other. god_is_goodOur God – our Creator – is a gracious and forgiving God though. He says that if you believe on His Son, Jesus, and have accepted Him as your Savior, your sins (and shortcomings) are forgotten and NEVER to be remembered by Him. Isn’t that wonderful? That is so unlike us humans, or at least some of us humans. None of us are exempt from hurting our fellow humans, are we? Some more than others… Nonetheless, we all have the ability and tendency to hurt others.

Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Now that might even be hard for some. I know some folks that don’t even love themselves and so those folks don’t really know how to love their neighbor. Love begins with loving oneself, I believe. Well, actually it begins with loving God and He teaches us how to love ourselves and others. His Son Jesus taught us in a wonderful way when He was on this earth. He walked among us and lovingly taught His followers how to treat one another and their neighbors. Even then, many folks didn’t understand His teachings and mocked Him or ridiculed Him and even threatened Him. He still loved them. He taught us to love even our enemies! YEP, love our enemies!34345_Love_your_enemies_t_sm

Matthew 5:43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

So those folks that really get to you when they do say hurtful things about you or spread hurtful rumors about you, just let it go and love them back. It bugs them and they don’t understand that kind of reaction. So… maybe they will stop doing it one day. Just give it to God and let Him deal with them. I know… that is harder to do than to say but it will make a giant difference in your life and your attitude. God loves you so much! He wants to help in every way He can to make your life better. Reach out to Him today! He is waiting to hear from you. After all He calls you His beloved!

The Video – Love Your Enemies – Kris10 Cartoons

 

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NOTE TO SELF

Note to Self.  Have you ever thought if you could go back in time and write a note to yourself, what would you say?  Well, I was on Facebook the other day and I ran across this post that said this:

NOTE TO SELF

Now the question wasn’t too bad, however, the comments to this post made me think that some of these folks apparently don’t walk the same path I walk or have the same beliefs I have and after reading some of the comments, I felt a little sad. Here are the comments to that question:

“Stop It!!!”, “Live life”, “Dumb a__”, “Don’t settle”, “You suck”, “invest in yahoo, google & a few others”, “Notta thing”, “I honestly did think!! Been married 3 times had great kids! So… nothing I would change!”, “Don’t give”, “go vegan!”, “Don’t be self-conscious”, “Put yourself in others’ shoes”, “Be friendlier and smile more”, “celebrate daily J”, “Love you”, “Stay educated”, “Never love”, “Don’t do”, “Love life”, “think first”, “Chill out!”, “Move forward”, “No way”, “Choose wisely”, “not now”, “do opposite”, “Stop it”, “Run fast”, “Hold on for deer life!!!!”, “No don’t”, “just breathe”, “It’ll pass”.

Some of these folks would write a Note to Self and say some pretty harsh things.  Now obviously some of these are good and positive, some are kind of neutral and others – I say about 12 of them – are of the negative variety. I just found it sad to some degree on some of these comments becauDD266se some of these folks apparently don’t think very highly of themselves. Those do not reflect a happy life or person. Some reflect hurt and disdain for oneself. While others are uplifting (somewhat) and encouraging. The moment I read this post, my first thoughts were: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Then I realized the post said “two words” not 23. LOL.

Now I realize there are a lot of sad and lost people in this world. However, do they know they are sad and lost? It is my guess that some do and some don’t. So this is a prime example that we Christians need to be about the business of telling others about Jesus! Jesus asked His disciples to spread the “Good News”.

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[c] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.Picture1

Do you know what the “Good News” even is? It is the gospel. It is the fact that God wrapped Himself in human skin and entered this earth as a tiny, helpless baby. He walked among us for 33 years, living a sinless life. He was crucified on a cruel Roman cross and died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. Then on the third day He rose again and was seen by around 500 people before He ascended into Heaven. He now sits at the right hand of God the Father and He is just waiting for God the Father to tell Him to come and get us – those of us that believe that Jesus is the Christ – and take us home to live in Heaven with them forever. This may be a lot for some folks to believe in. I get it. I mean, really… why in the world would the creator of the entire world and universe want to come to earth and live among us? He was living in Heaven! The perfect place! Why would He do this? Because God loved us so much – He loves His creation so very much – that He sent His only Son to earth to live among us and die for our sins and rise again after going to hell so we wouldn’t have to.

You see God is a righteous and just God. He is Holy and He cannot look upon anything that is unholy. He requires holiness. Man is not holy! Adam and Eve were perfect in every way … until they sinned. Then God, being the righteous and just God that He is had to expel them from the Garden of Eden – the perfect place to live.

hqdefaultAll through history, God required an unblemished, perfect sacrifice to be offered to Him if man wanted a relationship with Him. So the blood of sacrifices satisfied the Holy God. So, as time went on, and man just kept screwing up more and more and would never get it right… because we are so human… God sent His Only Son to earth to be the Final Sacrifice for our sins. Jesus shed blood at the Cross of Calvary was the final perfect sacrifice that was required by God. So when God looks at His children now – believers in Jesus – He sees perfection and not our sin.

The Bible says God has forgotten our sins and they are as far as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:12

12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.

And

Hebrews 8:12

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds[a] I will remember no more.”

So… this is the “Good News” that we need to tell others about. God sent His Son to die for our sins and His Son – Jesus – rose again on the third day and awaits the day He can come get us to take us home to be with him forever. That is the Good News!!

So, you aren’t comfortable about talking to others about all of this, and yes, you are a believer! I get that too! I was uncomfortable for a long time. Then Jesus did a marvelous thing in my heart. I asked Him to change me and to make me more like Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and to guide me and to help me in my every day decisions and problems and just to talk to when I needed someone to talk to. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Trinity is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Three in One. When Jesus was about to leave this earth, He told His disciples about a Helper that He would ask God to send us to help us in every way.HolySpiritComfort

John 14:15-18

15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

So you see, if we believe in Jesus, we also know the Holy Spirit. He is here to help us through each day. We can call out to Him at any time of the day or night. He is always there with us. So those folks that made some of those statements … maybe they need to hear the Good News that Jesus died for their sins and the Holy Spirit is here to help them every day.

Yes, we could always say something to ourselves if we had it all to do over again, but we don’t have that chance. So, we need to realize God has forgiven us – if we are believers in Jesus and have accepted Him as our personal Savior – and He has forgiven us so we need to forgive ourselves and live a victorious life in Christ.

It’s no fun to walk around with head hung low and always look on the negative! If we know The Savior we should be holding our head up high and praising Him for His love, mercy and grace! Not beating ourselves up for all the mistakes we have made.images

I worked with a young lady one time that told me “Leah, you don’t know what I have done in my past. I don’t think even God could forgive me.” “Could He really love me in spite of who I am?” I resoundingly told her “YES, HE Loves You So Much!” I led her to the Lord that day. I played a wonderful song by Karen Wheaton and it was about the exact thing that she said to me. It made her break down in tears. She was so broken and hurting so. She needed to hear those words of love and encouragement so badly.  That day she was restored and made whole.  Jesus can do that for you and anyone else!

When you know the Savior, you know you are saved and are going to be OK. It’s a relationship though.  You have to walk with Him daily to have that close, wonderful relationship with Him. Call out to Him today.  Your life will never be the same! He loves you so much! He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Whatever It Takes – Karen Wheaton

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

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CAN I HAVE THIS?

As you probably know, if you have read any of my recent posts, I have two dachshunds. One is Zuckie, the standard male and Liesel the miniature female. Now some would say … “Oh, they are just like any other dog”. Well, the three of us that live in this house with these two dogs beg to differ with you. Let me explain. But before I do, you may want to read the last two posts about the two. The first one is “THE GREATEST GIFT EVER RECEIVED” and “THE GREATEST GIFT EVER RECEIVED-PART 2”. If you read those, you will understand a little more about this post. Thanks, now, onto this post.

My elderly parents live with me and they love to eat popcorn from time to time while watching TV. Another thing they love to eat is mixed nuts. So the other day my boy, Zuckie, found a piece of popcorn that my dad had dropped on the floor under my dad’s recliner. indexDad was not in his recliner the day Zuckie found this piece of popcorn, but mom was in hers. Zuckie picked up this piece of popcorn and took it to the foot of mom’s recliner and set it down and looked up at her intently, as if to say “Can I have this?”  He sat there until she looked down at him and asked him what he wanted. Amazingly, he looked down and back up at her with a very intent look. She put the foot of her recliner down and looked on the floor. There was that piece of popcorn he had found under my dad’s recliner. Now why in the world he didn’t go ahead and just inhale it … like he does his food … still astounds my folks and me. She told him he could have it and he very gently picks it up and begins eating it with such a face of glee.

I will reflect back even further, briefly here, and tell you of a time when we (I) offered to foster a friend’s little 6 month old Min Pin (Miniature Pinscher) dog and help her with her social skills – which she had NONE! ThisPicture3 little thing had NO social skills because for the first part of her life she belonged to my friend’s son and his son lived in a dorm with another one or two boys. Now you can well imagine the poor little thing in there with these boys and the teasing and carrying on she must have endured. The son finally said he couldn’t keep her and my friend acquired her with no social skills except to bark and whine and bark some more.

My friend tells me that one of the traits of Min Pin’s is that they gobble anything that hits the floor. He has had them for many years and so I guess he should know. Well, it was definitely true of this little girl, because she would eat anything that was headed to the floor and sometimes she caught it in mid-air. WOW… she was fast. Also, my dogs that I have now head for the kitchen when they hear someone in there. They stand at your feet just waiting for something to drop and believe me, it does sometimes. So you see my surprise that Zuckie didn’t just gobble this piece of popcorn up.

Zuckie Lou
Zuckie Lou

Except that … he knows what he is not supposed to have. I believe that totally and it is even more solidified with tonight’s event. Read on.

We are all sitting there in the living room watching TV. Zuckie finds something again, and goes over to mom’s recliner and lays it on the floor. I see it and tell mom, “Zuckie has brought you something else mom.” Would you believe… no it wasn’t another piece of popcorn but a nut. Yep, dad had dropped a nut from whenever and Zuckie found it tonight.   He again was looking at mom with that look…. “Can I have this?”  Now, I was thrilled because nuts are not good for dogs. Popcorn, not so bad but a nut is. No, one nut probably wouldn’t hurt him, but I was so glad that he made that choice and we all saw it! WOW… I don’t know another dog in my life or any of my friends dogs that would do that! I was so proud of my Zuckie.

Liesel Beth
Liesel Beth

Now on the other hand, if Liesel had found it, I know it would have been down her gullet lickety-split!

OK, so how in the world am I going to compare this? Just keep on a reading and find out.

I know that we as want-vs-need-1Christians want certain things and some of those things are good for us and some are not so good for us. We really know – in our hearts – what is and what isn’t, I believe. However, sometimes we go to God and ask when we really know the answer. Sometimes we may not even go to God and ask, we just take or do “it” whatever “it” is and ask forgiveness later. That is really not something that makes God’s heart happy, I don’t believe. Although, I have done my share of this myself. Believe me! I have lived for Leah more than I care to remember. However, once I began to realize my problem, I truly asked the Lord to forgive me and restore me unto Himself. You know, He is a faithful and loving God and wishes all His children would come to Him with questions, problems and to ask forgiveness. He is ready and waiting for us to do that. 1Jn1.9He loves us so much and never wants us to be distant from Him. He wants the relationship between Himself and His children to be close and comfortable, yet He does expect us to pay Him the respect and honor that He deserves. After all, He is God! He is the Creator of everything! He deserves our utmost respect and honor and praises! All the time.

1 John 1:8-9

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Unfortunately, though, there are consequences that go along with many – if not all – of those “not so wise” choices that we have made in the past withoureconciliationt consulting God. But our God is a big God and He can forgive a bunch of stuff, if we come to Him with a truly repentant heart and ask Him for forgiveness. The fellowship with God becomes so sweet and tender when that occurs.

Now my Zuckie got to eat the piece of popcorn, but he did not get to eat the nut. He did, however, get a special treat for being such a good, honest boy. Mom rewarded him well for it. He is always amazing us here at home. He is one special boy. He is NOT just another dog! He looks after my mom and dad when I am not home and brings them great comfort. 8That in itself is a world of comfort to me. They are always telling me about the antics of my two dachshunds during the day. It keeps them entertained if nothing else, but there is A LOT more to it than that!

I believe that will be the last of the two dachshunds stories … at least until one or the other does something else worthy of a post. I appreciate your patience while I share with you a little of the life here at the Adams’ home. It is always something going on here to keep us entertained.

Another thing that is always going on here is the love for one another and the love for our God. He has preserved us through many questionable times and we praise Him for it. He is a good God and has been so faithful and gracious to this family. I am so grateful for His love for us and all He has brought us through. As you read a few days ago in my post “A NEW BEGINNING” I will be starting a new chapter in my life on Monday the 9th of February. I am looking forward to it with great excitement! I am certain God will show me more ways to share with you in the coming days/weeks/months and years. I am looking forward to see where God takes me in this new chapter. You will be hearing from me about things, I am certain.

Remember God loves you so much and is waiting to hear from you. After all, He calls you His beloved and a Father always loves to hear from His children. Call out to Him today. He’s waiting.

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PRAYER – BITTERNESS, MANNA AND QUAIL

Yesterday’s post was about turning the bitter in our lives to sweet by throwing the Cross of Christ – the Tree of Life – into our lives. Here is the link in case you missed it “PRAYER – FROM BITTER TO SWEET”. There are other ways to get the “bitter” out but they are not lasting. We can pretend it doesn’t exist and go on about our merry way of life. Then one day it will raise its ugly head eventually and destroy you or something or someone near and dear to you, just by allowing bitterness to be present in your heart and not dealt with. Jesus teaches this…

Matthew 6:14-15

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”flat,550x550,075,f.u2

I know, first-hand, that it is sometimes not easy to forgive. I have been hurt and disrespected by some folks and yes, it is hard to “let it go.” However, my God tells me to be a whole person, free of guilt and condemnation and right with God, I must trust that God is the judge and not me. God is God and I am not! Jesus was the prime example of someone who “let it go.” He was insulted and disrespected and shamed by many… more than we will ever be! Yet, He found it in His heart to forgive and let it go. He is our example and I try very hard to live like that. I am not perfect though, by any means and the moment I see bitterness, resentment and anger try to enter into my life, I just pray that God will strengthen my spirit and not allow it to take a foothold. If you allow it in one inch, it will take over and before you know it… it is eating you up and your spirit is just not right with God.

The Israelites had so much of this happening all the time. They would go from being on the mountain top experiences with God to griping and complaining about one thing then another. They were a “stiff-necked” people for sure – as God said. They seemed to hold on to the bitterness from the last event. They would gripe and complain and then Moses would hear from God and help the situation out. Then they would be right as rain… then the next time something happened, they drug all the old bPsJGGyKFigeuDoXyRTr7h3NoLfpZQW56xDGIu6MeOQwQn1yaTv6NFW3Wee5kIuyMitterness, anger and resentment back up and piled more on … and just wanted to go back to Egypt and bask in the “wonderful life” they had there sitting by all the “pots of meat” and had their fill of bread. Oh dear God! Please! What forgetful people they were. Yet, we are like that sometimes too! We relish the “days of old” when …________ you fill in the blank.

The next scripture about prayer is when God hears the complaining of Israel and provides them Manna from Heaven and quail. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 16:1-6

And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shaCollectng_manna_22-64ll go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” ….

….11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 So it was that quails came up at evemiracle-of-the-quailning and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Now this Manna and quail was God’s provision for Israel. However, there were conditions attached to gathering the Manna. This was the first time in the Bible that the Sabbath was instituted. God instructed Moses to tell the people to gather their Manna in the morning and only enough for that day. If they gathered too much, the excess would spoil.

This is symbolic of daily walking with Jesus. Meeting Him in the morning and getting enough of Jesus to make it through the day. Then again, the next morning, going to Jesus again for nourishment and sustenance for the day. Now, I know some of you reading this may be “night time folks”. You find your “daily time with Jesus” whenever. Whatever works for you. The main thing is that Jesus supplies all our needs daily. Not just on Sunday for the week. Relationship is a daily, sometimes a minute by minute thing.psalm-37_814

Now the instructions were that on the sixth day, they would need to gather twice as much so they could bake the bread for the following day – the Sabbath. Why? Because the Sabbath was to be a strict day of rest. So, of course, there were those that tried to gather more and it spoiled. Also, God instructed them not to even go out to gather on the seventh day – the Sabbath… yet, there were some that did and this angered God. God speaks to Moses…

Exodus 16:27-30

27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

As you can see, Israel was a bunch of humans that had human tendencies to be human… Yep, they were ordinary people that had not realized how much God loved them, yet.   The God of their fathers and the God that rescued them from Egypt is a God that loved them so very much. However, God did get angry with them because of their stubbornness and “stiff necked” ways. God will reveal to you where you might have some stubborn tendencies or other “not so attractive” tendencies, if you ask Him. He will show you if you are truly repentant and sorry for how you have acted.quotes-marianne-williamson-8-600x411

Do you find yourself looking back on the “old life” you once lived and secretly wish you could go back? Do you long for the “easy” life… or the familiar life when you did the things you used to do before you met Christ? Do you long for the “meat pots” and bread of Egypt? God knows your heart, as He did Israel’s. He loved them and you anyway. God will restore your spirit for Him if you ask. He provided miraculously for Israel and He can do that for you too! He loves you so much! He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Painting Pictures of Egypt – Sara Groves

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PRAYER – PASSOVER, ISRAEL AND YOU

In the last post in the Prayer series “PRAYER – DEATH OF THE FIRTSBORN AND PASSOVER” I talked about the Death Angel claiming the lives of every first born son in Egypt because Pharaoh had refused to release the Israelites as God commanded through Aaron and Moses. The death of the first born will be for everyone not covered by the blood of the lamb on the door posts (Passover instituted) … Genesis 11:5 …from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals.”1280px-foster_bible_pictures_0062-1_the_angel_of_death_and_the_first_passover

The Passover was instituted that night when the Death Angel passed through the city. God gave Moses and Aaron instructions to tell the Israelites so their first born would be saved. The Passover became a most important thing for the Israelites in years to come.

The first thing that is mentioned by God is a change to their calendar as they knew it. Israel’s religious calendar remains this way to this day. Their religious calendar starts with the month of Nisan (March-April) and goes through to the month of Adar (February-March). You may be wondering why God did this. From what I could glean from my reading is because God knew that everything begins with “Passover”. As you know, the Passover was a picture of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our sins. This was the beginning of a New Covenant of Grace. This was a new beginning for the Israelites. Their new covenant of grace. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 12:1-2

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

So God started a new calendar for them to observe and remember the Passover from generation to generation.  We, as Christians, are to recognize that Jesus is our beginning. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, He gives us a new life! The redemption from the shed blood of Jesus and the New Covenant can be ours too!

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The next thing God wanted to do with this Passover event was to make it very personal. He commanded that every household take a lamb or goat from the flock.

Genesis 12:3-4

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the houPassover-lamb_472_315_80sehold is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.

I found a website that explains this very well. This is from JesusPlusNothing.com. Here is their quote on this:

The next point see is that God made the whole thing very personal. He could have just had one lamb killed for the entire nation if He had so wished. But He didn’t! He wanted every household in Israel to identify itself with the lamb. They each had to take a lamb, they each had to inspect the lamb, and they each had to kill the lamb. Talk about getting your hands dirty! It reminds us of course of how personal the cross is. Just as each Israelite household had to kill their lamb, so our own personal sin was responsible for Jesus going to the cross. It also reminds however of His great love for each of us individually! Yes it is true that ‘God so loved the world that He gave his only Son…’ – He died for the entire world. But it is more personal than that. He did it for you, and he did it for me. Paul knew the personal aspect of this when he wrote ‘the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ You can’t get more personal than that!”

The scripture that Paul wrote that he is referencing there at the end is this:

Galatians 2:20

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

And yet another observation from that same website:

“Now it was said earlier that they were to take the lamb on the 10th of the month and keep it until the fourteenth of that same month, where it was to be slain at twilight. The Bible Knowledge commentary says that ‘twilight’ is between the suns decline and sunset (3-5pm). Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey - by William Hole 600 pxWhile I can’t go into it fully, others have shown that Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matt 21:1-11) was in fact the 10th of Nisan – the very day when the spotless lamb was to be chosen! In fulfilment of the Old Testament type, for the next 4 days Jesus presented Himself to the people in Jerusalem, showing Himself to be the spotless lamb without defect. On the fourteenth of that month, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon (twilight, Matt 27:46) while all throughout Israel different households were starting to kill their lambs, Jesus died on a cross. And they didn’t even understand!”

The next part of the instructions that God gives has to do with how to cook the lamb. It is not to be boiled or eaten raw but roasted over the fire and whatever they did not eat must be burned. Here the fire is a representation of God’s judgment. Jesus, the Spotless Lamb of God, was judged fully for all of our sins while he hung on the cross. The bitter herbs were to be a reminder of the bitterness that the Israelites had with their life down in Egypt. It is also good for us, when thinking of the cross, to remember the bitterness and bondage that God has rescued us from. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 12:7-10

And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.Exodus-Passover

Leaven speaks of sin, in the Bible. Eating with unleavened bread should remind us that, it is only through the power of the Cross and God’s power that we are called to live righteous lives.

The next verse was instructing the Israelites to get ready! Be ready to get going on a new journey. The life ahead will be filled with ups and downs so be prepared for the journey. Just like when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. He doesn’t promise us a rose garden, but He does promise us that He will be with us through every trial and tribulation that we face, just as He was with the Israelites in the wilderness for so many years and thereafter.

Exodus 12:11passover_472_348_80

11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

Verses 12 and 13 speak about what is about to happen. This must have been a frightening, yet exhilarating time for Israel. They knew, by what God had said, that they could only be saved by the blood that had been put on the door of their home. ONLY if the blood was present would the first born be saved. As a Christian, we see this blood from the spotless lamb as Jesus’ shed blood for our sins. As I have said in other posts, without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. No amount of other things that the Israelites could do would have the power that the presence of the blood did. Just as in our lives, if Jesus is not our personal Savior, we are not safe. If there is no presence of the shed blood in our lives, we are lost to Hell.   See these scriptures:

Colossians 1:2020 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Ephesians 2:13-141But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Romans 3:24-25, 5:1,924 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Finally, the remembrance of these things…

Exodus 12:14

14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.last_supper

They must tell their children and their children’s children and so on all throughout all generations. That is how it is to be remembered. If they hadn’t told them, it would have been forgotten and disregarded as something of little importance. They had enough trouble remembering all the marvelous works of God’s miracles as it was. God had to institute a new thing for them to do every year! EVERY year to remember when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt.

Has God rescued you and brought you through a bondage of sorts? All of us have stories and pasts. We all have things that we have done or been involved in that we wish were not in our pastRedeemed-Jesus-Passover-Lamb. If you are a child of The King, you know Him personally and He doesn’t see “those things” any longer. He sees the precious blood of Jesus that covers your life and your sins. He only sees you through the eyes of Jesus.

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

The Song – Mercy Saw Me -Geron Davis

The Video – Mercy Saw Me –JMCIM Music Ministry

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PRAYER – JOSEPH AND HIS FAMILY

In my last post about Joseph, I ended with Joseph saving Egypt by storing up grain during the seven years of “plenty” so that in the seven years of famine there would be enough for everyone. joseph_egyptJoseph was a heck of a Project Manager and he got the job done. This is the link to the last post about Joseph saving Egypt – PRAYER – JOSEPH SAVES EGYPT. This is part of a series I have been doing on Prayer. There really wasn’t a lot of recorded “prayer” time (conversation with God) in the story of Joseph, but as I said in my previous posts, there had to be a lot of communication between Joseph and God for Joseph to have the knowledge that he had and the wisdom to know how to use that God given knowledge. So, it may not look like the typical “prayer” time as in my previous posts about Jacob and Isaac and Abraham, however, the story of Joseph is vital to the Israelites story. After all, God promise04-relaxd the land to Abraham’s offspring and that includes Isaac, Jacob … and Joseph is Jacob’s favored son. If Joseph had not gone to Egypt, the land and the inhabitants would have surely perished. God had this plan laid out years before Joseph got thrown into that pit by his brothers. This is the post that got us started on the story about Joseph – PRAYER – JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS. This is the next one in the series – PRAYER – JOSEPH INTO EGYPT. The next one is PRAYER – JOSEPH A TYPE OF CHIRST, and the next one – PRAYER – JOSEPH, THE BUTLER AND THE BAKER, and finally PRAYER – JOSEPH AND THE KING’S DREAM. Then the last one after the King’s dream is mentioned above – PRAYER – JOSEPH SAVES EGYPT. I hope that helps get you up to date, if you have not been readinjoseph pitg the series on Prayer and Joseph.

Now, after Joseph puts his plan into place to save Egypt during the seven years of famine, in the second year, Joseph’s brothers make their way to Egypt – on the request of their father, Jacob, to buy grain since the famine has begun to affect them in Canaan. Now, Joseph’s brothers really don’t know what happened to Joseph because he was gone from the pit when they went back to get him to sell him to the passing band of Ishmaelites. So they considered him dead, and as far as the family was concerned, he was dead. So when the brobrothers_01thers went into Egypt to buy grain, they came face-to-face with Joseph and did not recognize him. You can read the story here Genesis 42. After all, it had been 22 years since they had seen him. He was just 17 years old – just a kid – last they knew. He has grown into a fine young man at this point. He is roughly 40 years old, married with 2 boys and the second most powerful man in Egypt. josephaccusedhisbrothersasspiesPharaoh has put Joseph in charge of everything. So, the brothers come to buy grain and do not recognize their own brother Joseph.

I will not elaborate on it much more here, because there is no real prayer time in all of the story… well, none that is mentioned, and this is a series on “Prayer”. Yes, there had to be some praying going on with Joseph, because he did recognize his brothers. He kept the secret for as long as he could, but finally broke down and wept and told them who he was. It is a very touching and moving story of love and forgiveness. josephJoseph’s story is probably one of my most favorite stories. I challenge you to read the few chapters dedicated to Joseph and his brothers. Then when they finally are all reunited with Joseph – his father Jacob and the whole family, flocks, herds and all! It is glorious! I can just see in my mind’s eye, the entourage when they leave Canaan and enter Goshen (just outside of Egypt).

This is quite a story (Genesis 42 – 50). One that is a wonderful example of the love of a father, and the forgiveness of one who was deceived and treated very badjoseph-with-brothers-in-egyptly, yet – as a line in a great song goes… “hatred loses and forgiveness wins”. You really should read the entire story. It is thought provoking and moving all the way through to the end where Jacob dies at age 147. He lived in Goshen with his family, near Joseph, for 17 years, full of life. Jacob had asked his sons to bury him with his father … and so they did.

Genesis 50:12-13

13 for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah”Foster_Bible_Pictures_0057-1_Joseph_and_His_Brothers_Carry_Jacob_Back_into_the_Land_of_Canaan_To_Be_Buried_in_the_Cave_where_Abraham_and_Sarah_Were_Buried

After they buried Jacob in the cave, Joseph’s brothers became a little worried that Joseph would turn on them and retaliate. Read the scripture.

Genesis 50:15-18

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.

The next thing that is said by Joseph is one statement that you probably have heard more than one. I love the saying and it can be used in our life and times as well.

Genesis 50:19-21

19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[b] should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
…..
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” god-meant-it-for-good
I really love that phrase. I have actually used it once or twice myself. It is so typical of God to use what we perceive as bad and turn it around to be good. Things in life can be this way a lot! So many lessons out there to be learned and things of God to learn. Trusting in God is something that a Christian must learn how to do if they want freedom from worry and concern. It is probably one of the hardest things we, as Christians, have to learn though. God cares for the sparrows, how much more does He care for us?

If you have not done so lately, call out to God and ask Him to help you with whatever it is that is worrying you. Finances, relationships, job, family, any number of things. God is waiting to hear from you. He loves you so much! He calls you His beloved.Hearts_Trust-in-the-Lord

This will end the story of Jacob and Joseph and their families. Next is the Israelites in Egypt. There are a lot of stories to be told there. Remember, God is waiting to hear from you. He loves you so much! He calls you His beloved.

The Song – Every Praise – Hezekiah Walker

The Video – Every Praise – Hezekiah Walker

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VICTORY OVER THE ENEMY

In this day and age, we are bombarded with many attacks from the enemy!  We, as Christians, MUST claim victory over the enemy – Satan!

I have experienced, first hand, the enemy and his unhappiness at my activity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  He is not happy when we try to help those folks around us to see that God is NOT DEAD! And that He loves each individual on the planet.  God does not wish that any should perish but have everlasting life! 2_peter_3.9_nkjv_wallpaper

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[b] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Dear friends, when you share God’s wonderful Word with others and try to explain to them that God is a good God and He loves them, some will NOT understand or WANT to understand.  You have done your part, you must leave the results to God.  That is the hardest thing I think I have ever done.  I see these folks and want to share eternity with them.  I want them to know the Saving Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ and His love for them.  I want them to experience the love and acceptance and  forgiveness that I have experienced.  However, not everyone is willing or able.  They have closed their minds and hearts and there is nothing that you can do to change that.  God has to do His work.  Some will come around eventually and some will not.  Unfortunately the lord of this world – Satan – has blinded the eyes and hearts of those folks.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 03656f84907a5730e9c838b8037e5cd2In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

So, with that said, all we can do is pray and seek God ourselves. Pray for safety from the evil one and pray for those that are mislead and unbelieving. That is where the Armor of God has to be put into place.

Ephesians 6:10-18

The Whole Armor of Godorigin_Uguns-36

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Be strong in the faith, pray, tell others and leave the rest to God. When you have been silenced by the unbelievers, just pray for them.  Never give up!  God is Alive!

The Video – I Still Believe – Russ Taff  (lyrics are below)

The Song – I Still Believe – Russ Taff

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I STILL BELIEVE (Lyrics)

I’ve been out in a cave for forty days
With only a spark to light my way
I want to give out I want to give in
This is our crime and this is our sin
But I still believe, I still believe
Through the pain and through the grief
Through the lies and through the storms
Through the cries and through the wars
Oh, I still believe
Oh, I still believe
Wow, love, love, love

Flat on my back out at sea
I’m a hoping these waves don’t cover me
I’m turned and tossed upon the waves
When the darkness comes I feel the grave
But I still believe, I still believe
Through the cold and through the heat
Through the rain and through the tears
Through the crowds and through the cheers
Oh, I still believe
You can’t take that away from me
No! I believe
Wow, love, love, love

I’ll march this road and I’ll climb this hill
Upon my knees if I have to
I’ll take my place upon this stage
I’ll wait till the end of time for You
I do believe, I believe
You can’t take that away from me
Oh, I still believe

For people like us in places like this
We need all the hope that we can get
I believe, I believe
Through the shame and the grief
Through the heartache, through the tears
Through the waiting and all the years
I still believe, I must believe
Oh, I still believe
Oh, love, love, love
I still believe!>

LET’S HAVE A PARTY

Have you ever had a party and no one came?  Or ever had to decline an invitation to a very special party?  If you have ever done either of these, you know it is sometimes a delicate thing.  We (my mom, dad and myself) had a “game day” planned one time.  A very special girlfriend of mine was going to be visiting and staying with us for a week.  We (mom, dad and I) were so excited to see this friend of ours and it was going to be her first visit to Texas.  Her birthday had been prior to the date of her coming and we were going to have a surprise birthday party for her.  She had told me she had never had a birthday cake so we had to have one for sure, along with many other goodies.  I created a wonderful invitation and sent it out to many folks. Picture3

When I finally got all the RSVPs back… which it took a few times of reminding people I needed them… almost everyone had a reason they couldn’t come to the fun-filled game day party.  We did have about 4 other people show up, along with mom, dad and myself.  Now that was about 10-12 people shy of how many I had invited.  Nonetheless we had a blast.  People were invited to bring their own game and teach us how to play it.  My sweet neighbor- at the time – Jesse French – a 90 year old British lady, brought her own game.  She did love a party!  She was always eager to learn how to play any game and show us how to play one of hers. She was a delight. The guest of honor even brought her own game – all the way from Massachusetts.  It was a most interesting game and we all had fun playing it.  Then the cake and other goodies – they were delicious!  Even with the few of us, we had such a wonderful time of fun and fellowship.

PARABLE OF THE BANQUETNow … let’s compare something.  Luke 14:15-24 talks about a banquet being ready and no one came that was invited in the first round.  So the master invited the less likely folks to attend and they came gladly.

16 “Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses.The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”

This is a comparison of the Jews and the rest of the world that have been invited to accept God’s goodness of salvation for our souls.  We too have been given that same invitation to a most wonderful feast or party that God is going to be giving one day.  We have a choice.  Will we be too busy to accept His invitation or have we already given our RSVP to ensure our seat at that feast of feasts?  The RSVP that I am speaking about is salvationpresence, of course. Have you accepted Jesus as your Personal Savior? Do you have Jesus in your heart to walk with you daily? To be in His presence is fullness of joy! I feel that presence with me all day and one day I will see Him face to face! Do you have the fullness of joy that Psalm 16:11 speaks about?

11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Jesus says in Revelation 3:20 20 :Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.For those that have not accepted His invitation to the “party” He is waiting for you to respond to His knock. When you open that door to your heart, He will come in and change your life. fc94_d404He can make the crazy calm. He can soothe the aching soul that longs for peace and contentment. He can be your best friend and companion to walk with you throughout each day. He can fill you with His fullness of Joy! I will be at the feast that He has prepared for us all one day and I hope and pray that you will be there too! He is waiting. Respond to Him today and ensure your place at that table of the feast one day so you can behold Him Face To Face!

The Video – Face To Face – Sandi Patty

The Song – Face To Face – Sandi Patty

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IS YOUR INTEGRITY INTACT?

Is your integrity intact?  Have you ever looked up the word “integrity” in the dictionary?  I can’t remember that I ever had either.  Some time back I did and here is a link to some5pcs-lot-Wall-Decal-font-b-Quote-b-font-Sticker-Vinyl-Art-Lettering-Saying-Large-Wisdom interesting information… This link has the usual definition for the word but then it goes on to tell you other information that I still haven’t figured out.  So let’s just stick with the definitions for now.  The 1st definition is the one most of us think of when we hear or use the word “integrity”.   However, I like the 2nd definition.  I have expanded it a bit to include the synonyms and antonyms.

in·teg·ri·ty
inˈtegritē/1
noun: integrity
1. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. 
“he is known to be a man of integrity”
synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness,
antonyms: dishonesty

2. The state of being whole and undivided.

“upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
synonyms: unity, unification, coherence, cohesion, togetherness, solidarity
“the integrity of the federation”
antonyms: division
*
the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction.
“the structural integrity of the novel”
synonyms: soundness, strength, sturdiness, solidity, durability, stability, stoutness, toughness
“the structural integrity of the aircraft”
antonyms: fragility
*
internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.
“integrity checking”

Now there is a lot more that goes with each of these definitions but
you can explore that on your own if you wish.  I would like to look at the 2nd one a little closer.  Let’s apply this to us as Christians.  We, of course, need to have the quality of being honest and have strong moral principles; we also need to have the state of being whole and unified.  If we are weak in our Christian walk with the Lord we will falter in areas that will break down our “integrity”, our internal consistency.  00-Strong in faithThe lord of the air, better known as “prince of the power of the air” – Ephesians 2:2 , knows our weaknesses and will take every opportunity to use them against us. We must shore up our internal consistency with daily talks with God and reading or listening to His Word. These are just two ways we can shore up our internal consistency and make us unified in our beliefs. If you would like to read more of a very good article on “How is Satan god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)?”, click here. This is from the website www.gotquestions.org.

Someone recently asked me what the main thing was that got me to have a closer relationship with God. Without hesitating it was these in this order:Choice_graphic

  1. I made a choice – I wanted to know God more. I wanted to know about Who He was and Who He is. I chose to make the time to get closer to God by reading His love story to us – The Bible.
  2. In making that choice, I opened my heart and mind to learn – I learned Who the God of the Old Testament was by reading and/or listening to the Bible. I learned that He is a just and righteous God, slow to anger and loves totally. I learned so much more and I couldn’t begin to tell you all of the things I learned while reading and listening to the Word. I downloaded the Bible App (You Version) on my phone and it makes it very easy. I listen to the English Standard Version and it comes to life for me. I choose to listen to the Bible on my way to work and on my way home and any other time I can. I have grown to love God’s Word and look forward to every moment that I can spend hearing the Word.
  3. I chose to clean up my life and the way I was living. I know you have heard it said we are His temple here on earth.  I sometimes cringe at that because I, like a lot of people, put things into this body, or do things that affect this body that maybe I should think twice about.  I know that He knows we are human and we slip daily, He loves us anyway.  Thank Goodness… That is why we need Jesus so much.  God sees us Christians through Jesus’ eyes.  If we know Jesus and have come to know Him as our personal Savior God only sees a king (or queen).
  4. I am still learning every day – because I have made a choice to read or listen to God’s Word every day!original

Those are the steps I took and the choices I made a few years ago to have a closer relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I am so glad I did. I have never been happier and never felt so fulfilled. God speaks to my heart and it brings tears to my eyes because He knows my name! He knows my thoughts and He loves me dearly! I am His beloved.

If you would like a relationship with the Creator of it all, the One who has known you before you were born, (Psalm 139) the God of the Universe yet tender enough to care about what upsets you and wonderful enough to celebrate your little victories, call out to Him today. He knows your heart. He knows your struggles. He can help you get to know Him more. He will guide you if you let Him. He is a gentleman and will not go where He is not welcomed and invited.

This is a link to the simple plan of Salvation. The ONLY way to God is through Jesus Christ. In John 14 Jesus, Himself said, 6 “Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me. Now that you have known me,” he said to them, “you will know[c] my Father also, and from now on you do know him andslide-12 you have seen him.”If you need help, contact a Christian friend or contact your local church. Someone will be happy to help you, I am certain. God loves you and wants a relationship with you. He is waiting to hear from you. After all, you are His beloved!

The song – He Sees Me Through the Blood – Scott Cameron

Scott sings with my brother in the Singing Men of North Central Texas