Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Isrealites did evil in the Lord's sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. Judges 6:1

When I read this verse the other day it shocked me! It shocks me when I read any verse that says the Israelites did evil in God's sight. I expect more of them, because of the Godly witness that went before them. 

This is what Gideon, our man of the hour said to the Angel of the Lord: " Sir, Gideon replied, If the Lord is with us, why has all of this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? " Judges 6:13

Basically he tells the Lord, Hey, I know all the stories from the Bible, but where is God when I need him? Isn't this what people who aren't saved tell us when we mention God? The back side is about lack of relationship with God, and The Angel of the Lord was about to do something about that.

Those who know God,see his wonders, and he reveals himself to them. I'm not blaming Gideon for not knowing God. He has been through a tough time. I don't know how old he is, but let's just say he's in his twenties. Where are the elders who have kept the faith?

The witnesses were drowned out by sin and rebellion against God. The same thing is true of our day. We are the godly witness but we will not be drowned out! We must stand strong for those under us. It is easy for me to ralationalize and make excuses for someone else's behavior.

God has not changed his mind regarding marriage between a man and a woman. He hasn't decided that cohabitation is alright. Violence, drug addiction, and drinking haven't suddenly become part of his plan for our lives. Why? Because he loves us!

God is good, and just and right and if he didn't straighten us up we would fall flat on our faces. We are made to worship Him, with pure hearts. In the end the only thing that will matter is what have we done with Jesus.

Life with Jesus is more amazing than anything else in this world. He fulfills our needs, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Life isn't a bowl of cherries, but it makes sense! In the end, all things will be revealed and we will know why the pieces to the puzzle of our lives had to fit like they did.

This gives me peace and lots of comfort because I know I can trust Him with my life, even when I don't understand. We are all prone to ask questions like Gideon. Can we trust God to make a way according to His word? I think I can. How about you?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire.
Daniel 7:9

Some of you know I've been reading the book of Daniel. It begins with an historical account of some amazing miracles. It also follows Daniel's life as a young man who was captured from Israel, and brought to Babylon. 

The Babylonian ways are foreign to Daniel and his friends, however they do not become a part of the lifestyle of these people. They stay clean and pure in God's eyes by following what they know to be right and just according to God's law.

What intrigues me about this is how it parallels our day. We  live in   a "foreign land" from what we knew when we were young. God hasn't changed, and His word hasn't either.  Our culture has changed, and it has brought more brokeness and heartache. Just as God was with Daniel in his need, so God is with us in ours. 

After Daniel's lion experience, the book tries to explain the visions given to Daniel from God. This is where it gets confusing.  I want to delve into this, but for our purposes today I want to point out a few things. I love how the 7th chapter in our verse  calls God the Ancient One.

It seems to define him properly, as do so many other definitions. With this name, we can sense the enormitity of who God is, and His place over the entire universe, and other universes as well. In verse 14 of this chapter it says "His rule is eternal- it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed."

This is refering to Jesus, Our mighty Warrior, whose authority and power will keep us from every ungodly thing. As in Daniel's day, God is faithful to keep those who seek after him. Can we grab hold of God and seek him to save us, and keep us?

This is a good wake-up call to me so I will look and watch. Occasionaly you might see a sign on trees in our area. They say, "Watch and Pray." I need to do this and not be lenient. Will you look at yourself for signs of wrong thinking or ideas? 

 If we are diligent in searching our own souls, we won't have others questioning our motives or wondering if we are wholly sold out to God. It will be evident. Blessings and love.

Friday, July 12, 2019

And the King assigned for them a daily portion of his own rich and dainty food and of the wine which he drank. They were to be so educated and so nourished for three years, and at the end of that time they might stand before the King. Daniel 1:5

Daniel and his friends had no idea what life in Babylon would bring. It wasn't their choice to live in a foreign nation. They were basically slaves with benefits. I'm sure life was better for them than other slaves, but everything was different.

 The food, was new, so were the clothes, language, customs and gods. Daniel wasn't going to give in to the lifestyle that he knew wouldn't be the best. None of the Kings food would work for the four hebrew men. It wasn't going to noursih them as the King had hoped.

When the day came to meet the King of Babylon, no one could believe that these four were healthier, brighter, and stronger than the others. What was their secret? They were nourished by fresh fruits and vegetables. No secret, just good common sense.

It was the way of the hebrews, the way these young men were taught, and they never forgot the truth. As the years went by they were challenged many times. You and I are challenged with lies of this world much like Daniel and company.

The ways of our modern world might seem good, until we hold them up to the light of the gospel. Our modern world will try to lure us into their way of thinking by telling us if it feels good, do it. This is far from the truth that sets us free.

Let us encourage one another toward good works, and speech, thought, and deed. We won't stand before the King of Babylon, but we will give account to the one who made all things. This is a daunting thought, however, it is the truth.

How many years we spend on this earth, only God knows. Let us make them count for the kingdom of God. Ask the Lord to show you things you can do to make a difference. It may seem small, but "Little is much when God is in it." We won't know until we get to heaven the influence our lives have truly made.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit in me. Psalm 51:10 NLT

Isn't this a beautiful scene? Can you imagine having  a waterfall like this in your backyard? I can't! I'm happy to go to the beach 10 minutes down the road. This is what summer on Long Island is all about.

I don't want to miss another day outside, but my allergies don't allow me to enjoy everyday.
Today was one of those times my energy was sapped by allergens.

I stayed inside while my husband enjoyed the patio. Thankfully I can praise God for his beautiful creation from indoors. What are you thankful for ?

You may have noticed I haven't written in a few weeks. I have been busy making strawberry jam. It's a fund raiser for the Maternity Home here on Long Island, and I have enjoyed making it. Some might see it as work, but I don't.

It makes a nice gift to take to a barbecue or party. When the blueberries start to ripen,my friend Brenda and I will make blueberry jam. When it's cold and snowy we can take out our jam and have a taste of summer.

Most of our jam will be sold for the house. It's a small gesture, but it's what I can do for now. In September, I will be leading a 40 Days for Life campaign in Smithtown outside Planned Parenthood. I would appreciate if you could pray for us.

If you would like some jam please let me know. I'm asking for a donation of $10 a jar. So far I have sold 27 jars but I have plenty more. Like I said, you can save it and open some summer on a snowy day!

Friday, June 21, 2019

He is like a  tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Psalm 1:3 NIV

You have probably seen these flowers by the side of the road. Most people don't pay much attention to them, because they grow wild wherever they can take root. These were the kind of flowers my mother loved. It was simple to please her, and she didn't say she liked them because we were children.

As we became adults her preference was still for the wildflowers. I don't care much for them. I wasn't raised in the country like my mother. Her fondest memories were of visiting her Aunt on her farm and her Grandmother at her cabin by Seneca Lake. She grew up in the small town of Elmira in western New York, which borders on Pennsylvania.

When she finished college and came to NYC, the cab drivers would ask her where she was from, and she would reply "Elmira". The next question they would ask was" What your number?" They weren't asking for her phone but her prison number since a Penituntary was located there. This wasn't a good start for this shy, quiet country girl!

I wonder if wild flowers, like trees, root in a place where they will  recieve the life giving water to grow? I think it is safe to assume they do. Mom received the nuturing necessary to grow from her small family and friends far from the hustle and speed of Long Island.

She always spoke about going home to Elmira, but never did. As she grew older no one she knew lived there anymore. The place she remembered as home was no longer the same. What her longed for was in heaven. A safe refuge, and a place to feel accepted,  and loved would come before anyone was ready.

One day while my sister visited, our Mom hit her head as she fell. She insisted she was fine, but I called for an ambulance anyway. At 83 years old, we weren't going to take any chances. While she was in emergency she lapsed into a coma from a brain bleed, and died three days later.

Tragic, sad and life changing for us since my Mom lived with us at the time but I was so happy for her! She was in the place where she always wanted to be. No more striving to please others or trying to get that stupid walker to take her where she wanted.

I miss her so much, but I'm comforted by the truth that she is at peace, and loved by her heavenly Father much more than we can ever love her. Not a worry or care, and no more medicine! I will see her again, and it won't seem to her to be a long wait. She will turn around and I will look into her face, and she will say, "Oh You came with me! What a nice surprise." There is no time there, she won't know its been years. Oh, the goodness of God!

Friday, June 14, 2019

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" Matthew 8:27 NIV

Why are Jesus' disciples in awe of Jesus at this moment? He told the winds and waves to stop and they obeyed. I suppose they are getting to know him. He has healed the sick by this time, so maybe they thought He was some kind of healer?

Whatever they thought, it wasn't big enough to encompass  commanding the wind and the waves. I guess there were others  who healed, but no one who could command the basic elements of nature. No; this man Jesus was not like the others.

Why had the disciples chosen to follow Him in the first place? There was something compeling about Him, and each of them wouldn't say no to His offer to follow. Why did they continue to follow after the months gave way to years?

The hunger within them grew for more of God, and when Jeus was about to be the most popular, He died. Lots of lessons learned, but without Him they fell apart. What sense can be made of death?

Every other life would have been over, but not Jesus. This was the best part EVER! This is when commanding the wind and waves becomes commonplace. Rising from the dead was not expected, when though Jesus told them it would happen. 

He tries to communicate a lot of things to me but I don't usually get His message the first time or second time either. It took an incredible miracle to express the love of God, and bring Him back to life. When all else seems to be gone, God creates a miracle! The giver of life had to die, in order to make us new!

The one who made the stupendous mountains and swirling oceans had to empty Himself completely in death to release us of the power of sin. He laid down everything for you. He gave His last breath for me too.

Yet we don't listen closely to His heart beat all the time. The best we can do is listen closely more often.We can lay down our all for Him. WE can die to our own plans. Sometimes He will resurrect them. To God Be the Glory!

Friday, June 7, 2019

When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
And you know the way to where I am going." No, we don't know, Lord, Thomas said. We have no
idea where you are going so how can we know the way? "  John 14:3-5 NLT

"Silly Thomas! Why does he ask such questions?" I can imagine the other disciples thinking such 

things." When is he going to learn?" If the disciples of Jesus were truthful about the matter they had

 no idea what Jesus was saying either.

Why do I think this? We see in the book of Acts that the disciples dispursed after Jesus died. They 

seemingly had no direction and didn't know what would happen. I don't think we should look at 

Thomas as the doubtful one, but as the truthful one. 

Thomas was looking at the nature of things.His spiritual understanding may have needed an upgrade, 

but at least he didn't pretend he knew what was going on. I think it was rather smart of him to ask 

questions. When I was in school the teachers would say, "there aren't any dumb questions." Asking 

questions is how we learn.

I have to admit, I am afraid to ask a question most of the time. I don't want to seem uninformed, or

dumb. Do we really judge each other like this as adults? I think we do sometimes, or at least I have.

In the verses that follow, we hear Jesus explaining what he meant to Thomas, and the others.

Jesus told him, "I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen Him!" John 14: 6-7

If Thomas hadn't been honest, we may never have heard these truths that Jesus spoke to him. Jesus 

beautifully describes who He is, and who the Father is. Jesus plainly tells Thomas and the others that 

God himself is standing before them.  This isn't something  that's easy to comprehend, because the 

reality of it can pass over our finite minds. 

Jesus knew what was on the hearts of the disciples as he calls them out on thoughts more than once. 

This way of speaking honestly and openly was probably something new to them. Men, generally 

have less to say about emotions. These were rugged men, fishermen who worked outside in all kinds 

weather, no matter what was happening in their family life. If they didn't work, no one ate. 

I don't blame them for not understanding everything Jesus said. It has taken most of us years to 

grasp the simple truths of the Gospel. Seeking after Jesus, running towards Him is what makes the 

difference. Blessings and love.