Wednesday, February 21, 2018



"that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise having no hope and without God in this world." 
Ephesians 2:12 NKJV

I shiver at the thought! Being without God in this world, but I know many who are without God. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have in this world against the lies of the enemy. His ploy is to keep people from understanding God, and his ways. His is the Father of lies. 

Our enemy is not all knowing, all powerful, or ever-present like our God. The power and authority of Jesus Christ is above all else. There will never be anything that our enemy can do about that. He knows if he can cause us to doubt, have unbelief, we can be caught away from the truth.

I use the word "caught" on purpose because the Bible says that the enemy tries to catch us like a bird in a snare, Psalm 124:7. This word picture is effective for me to realize how much I don't want to be snared. I guessing that is not your idea of a good time either?

We can pray protection over our loved ones at all times, and stand on the walls as soldiers do to see beyond what is happening on the ground. Looking down the road can bring protection, wisdom and strength to those who need it, like you and I.

If we prepare for battle, and the battle doesn't come, we are strengthened. We need to be aware as lies pop up at the worst times. When we aren't ready to fight back. The enemy doesn't play fair, and he is cunning and slick.

Put on your armor, Soldier! Go to Ephesians 6:11-18, and do it often. Whatever lie is thrown at you, reply as Jesus did. It is written---. Say what the Bible says. Nothing can be stronger than this. God's word is yes and amen in all of creation. Amen means so be it. It is as you say. God's kingdom is coming in each of us. The kingdom of God is within you as a believer in the finished work of calvary. Luke 17:20-21. Victory in Jesus name!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018



 

"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-"  Ephesians 2:11  NKJV

You may be wondering why I didn't write yesterday. It was a holiday. That's not the reason. My husband was home, and my schedule was not my ordinary one for Mondays. I guess you could say that it was because of the holiday!

What matters is I am here now. Let's focus on our Friend and leader the Apostle Paul. I do believe that if he lived in our day, or we in his, that we would be friends. He would be the type of friend to ask all of our questions. How come good people suffer? Why do young people die of terrible diseases? You know the questions you would ask.

Would he have the answers? Probably not. Why? Some things are hard for our finite minds to understand. Does this mean that we shouldn't ask hard questions? No. Our God is not moved by any questions, as long as said questions do not lead to unbelief.

Let's look at our verse. Circumcision? Why is this in question? The Jewish law said that any male who is not circumcised is outside the household of Faith. It was an outward sign of {hopefully} an inward commitment. We know this doesn't work, because many have an outward sign, with no heart.


Paul doesn't tell them, being Gentiles, to be circumcised. He understands that this was an outward sign, made by hands. Our heart attitude far surpasses what our flesh shows on the outside. 

The pride of the Jews was the fact that an outward sign was on their bodies. Paul tells those who first have faith in Christ that you would have to follow the whole law in order for this to be a valid sign. This would be futile. Why start in faith, and end in the law? Christ has delivered us from the sting of the law, the bondage of following rules, for no reason.

Jesus perfected our faith, and took away a legalistic perspective. It would never save us. He knew the law better than any man. He knew it was futile, except to bring us to the only one who could bring liberty. He knew the work had to be done, and he did it!

The cross is our liberty. Before the resurrection, the cross was only a sign of cruel, heartless death. Today it stands for new life, and freedom. Only our mighty, powerful God could ever take a sign of despair, and make it good. It's who he is! Wonderful!

Friday, February 16, 2018



Do you like my wallpaper of the day? Bright and cheerful. This is me on the inside, on the outside not as much. This is because I am limited to the inside of my house. Running and jumping have their limits indoors. Speaking of which, have you been enjoying the Olympics?

 I love to watch the skaters and snowboarders as each one leaps, runs, spins and all that good stuff. I want to do such things too, but my body isn't there. Some day, I will do all of these things and more, when I am not limited to this body.

Running is something I can enjoy at the moment, but I'm limited to house only. Walking is more what I do, but I must get some fast strides in there. This is a prerequisite for me to heaven.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  Ephesians 2:10  NKJV

Every person you talk to can have their own definition of what is a "good work." To some it would be "good" to have stricter gun control. To others we need to have better mental health care. I am referring to the horrific school shooting in Florida this week. 

Many groups are using this situation for their own political gain, which is divisive. What about our youth? Who is going to cry out to God on their behalf? This all is a reflection on the breakdown of the home. Mothers and Fathers are needed in order to build a strong moral society.

Our culture makes fun of manhood, as if it is a dirty thing. Strong men, and fathers are necessary to anchor our youth. After all, our young get their reference of Godliness from their own relationship with their father. Manhood is a necessary blessing in a society when it is in God's balance.

I'm not trying to make men seem infallible, not at all. We have gone so far in the opposite direction from a "good" representation of our heavenly Father's character. We cannot downplay this necessity in our culture anymore.

God forbid that we try to go on as usual, as if this is now an acceptable part of our lives. This world hasn't got the answers. God has always been, and will always be the answer to all of our society's wows. I know we are in the end times, but we as the people of God are not to slid into despondency but to action, whatever that means for each of us. 

Can you influence youth? Go out and do it. Can you pray? Every one can. Do what you know to do, and you will know what to do.This is a favorite saying of my Pastor. Do what's right, and God will show you the rest. None of us can do all of the work, but everyone can do their part. Praise God, He does the "good" work!

Thursday, February 15, 2018



For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I have been reading a book by Jen Hatmaker. As a christian writer she is uniquely different. I like her fresh perspective, but the sarcasm caught me off guard. Don't let that stop you from reading any of her books, because she will catch you by surprise, and say some deep truths to make you think.

The book is called,"Of mess and Moxie- wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life."In chapter 20 she says that people should never put others above Jesus."What is not to love about a guy who pulled children onto his lap and saved a failing party and touched the untouchables and told off the religious elite? I have to agree with her. 

Jen shares how her community worked very hard to get rid of celebrity status, and coined the phrase, fangirl. "Fangirl Jesus, and fangirl your friends," she writes. "Go gaga over all your people, and over value them, and over love them." Her point is that we can spend so much energy ya-yaing over those whom we don't even know, or will ever meet in our life-time.

Put your energy into loving Jesus, loving those he has given you whether that means family, friends, or neighbors. Be the love that you want to receive. Loving Jesus is easy as we see from our verse.

Don't let your boast be of anyone other than Him. It is by grace that anyone is alive, making a difference or able to do anything that matters. God is good. We don't need to add any superlatives to this, like very, or really. He stands alone in who he is. The goodness of God is in a class all by itself. 

He defines what is good, pure and right. Our vain strivings at goodness can't compete with the one and only, Holy lamb of God. Accept the grace of God as it is, a gift. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018




"And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.    {Ephesians 2:6}

I had to chuckle a little bit as I wrote this verse. The part that says, "and made us sit together,"sounds like a kid telling the Mom how terrible she is for making them sit together. All the kids in the family sat in church, but not next to each other always. Especially not Rudy next to Matt, because this could start a ruckus.{As adults this rule stands true at the dinner table most nights.}

Matt was a bit squirmy, and didn't think it a bad thing to bother Rudy during the service. Oh no, he never thought about where he was, or what his father would do if he made trouble. Sunday morning were meant to bless, and uplift all the congregants. Ha!First there was the struggle to get everyone ready, in the car, and to the church on time. 

My husband had his own time for getting to church. I wanted to stay on the same schedule as the rest of the world. This can cause friction in a marriage, so I let it go. I didn't want to cause friction.Until the next Sunday rolled around and we went through this scenario again. Did you know that God has a sense of humor, and that he doesn't give up?

The root of my angst was not getting to church on time. It was, deeper than that. I was concerned about being seen by others. "What will so and so think if we walk into church late again? One way to break this happened when it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop. My wonderful husband took us into the balcony, where there wasn't any room. Then he paraded all six of us down the side stairs for all to see.

At this point I wanted to run out of there. Rudy proceeded to string us through a pew that was pretty full already. Those who were there weren't happy about the six of us joining them. Especially when I inadvertently stepped on their toes. If looks could kill! One of those who wanted us out of there and fast was an old student of mine. I smiled as sweetly as possible, and sat down.

Mothers are responsible for keeping the peace. It is right there in the Bible. Not quite, but it is an unwritten rule. I was a total failure if my peeps got out of line, which happened frequently. Did they want to destroy their Mom? No I think most children act like children, and some adults for that matter.

Oh how I have overcome! My peeps come in late to church. Rudy has learned to respect my desire to be on time. We don't stress over what everyone will wear. Jeans are fine. I am so happy to have them, as adults in church with me.  My pride shines down to the first floor every time. {We are always in the balcony now.}

I learned to forget about people pleasing. Rarely it will try to rear its ugly head, and I tell it to forget about it. Life is too short to be concerned about what others think of you. Life is to be lived, enjoyed, and loved. Let the love of God flow out of you, and every other thing will pale in comparison.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018






"Let love be without hypocrisy, Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; "       { Romans 12:9-11}

As you might have guessed by now, I am deviating from my regular routine of Ephesians. The United States is looking at tomorrow, February 14 as a day to celebrate love. The definition of love has wained from what God intended, as we all know. 

Sexual love is a wonderful gift given by God for us to enjoy as married people. How far have we come from this definition? I'm not talking about the church, although we need it too. What does the average man on the street know about Godly love, as God intended for everyone?

Most people will tell you that God loves, but are not sure what that means in their lives, or if God truly exists. "Agape",  love in the greek, describes the attitude of God toward his son.  It also means {according to Vines Expository Dictionary}  how christians are to love one another, as we see in our verses for today.

Vine's says that "love can only be known from the actions it prompts."
 This sentence causes me much thought and contemplation on my own actions, or inaction as this may fit me better at the moment. I do love my fellow christians, and I try to make it known as much as possible. It's easy to love those who love me in return, but what about those christians that disagree with me? I try to stay away from them, whoever that may be{ just hypothetical at the moment.}

What if I sought after those who I know disagree with me, and show them God's love? Why would I do that? Just as a discipline in love. Oh there's that bad word. Discipline! Let's not be silly, Ann. Alright, my point here is that I would glorify God by pouring out love. {it must be sincere though.}Nothing would dishonor the Lord more than insincere, syrupy fakeness.

I hope that I have overcome fakeness in my life. It really does God a disservice if I allow this to be in me. My constant prayer is for christians, {hmm, me} to be a clear picture of love as God intended. I can't change anyone else's thoughts, but I am responsible for mine. Dwelling on the love of God serves Him and everyone around me for good. No one wants an angry Mama in the house. Stay on course Ma, Stay on course!






Monday, February 12, 2018

 

  February 12, 2018   * Sorry for the mistake in today's post. It was Martin Luther who is known for starting the protestant reformation. Oops!