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.
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
I find my relationship with God to be similar to this, however I try not to have long periods where I don’t talk or see Him. He never misses a beat, but if I wait too long in between my prayer, I get out of step with Him. This is what the Lord says: The heaven is my throne room and the earth is my footstool. ( Isaiah 66:1) If someone has moved in our relationship it’s me.
Lately my allergies have made me drowsy, and I sleep more. I will wake up late, and try to cram a lot of prayer into a short period of time. This never works well, and my day will feel a bit out of wack. I have learned to place the prayer time into the day since it won’t do to miss it entirely. If you want to be mad, upset and cranky, leave out prayer and there you have it!
My constant prayer has come right from my heart. I wake up asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance on this one. It is entirely over my head. We need a Maternity Home in Suffolk County where I live. There is nothing for women over the age of 21, which happens to be more than half of the women coming to Pregnancy Centers in our area. My friends are also as adamant about this issue.
Prayer is what will make the difference. No one who ever did anything for God did it in their own strength.God doesn't Get the glory when we use what he has given us to work out problems. He receives all glory honor and praise when He takes over and does what we can’t.
When we look to God with all our hearts souls and strength, He will show up in power and the authority of heaven! Maybe you have circumstances right now that are less than perfect. WE all have times like this. We wouldn't be human if we were free from trials all the time.
The Body of Christ, is made up of believers who are in the local church to lean on when we have a need. We were not made to live alone, by ourselves and carry every burden ourselves. This is also why God made the family. When these gifts work according to God's design we can receive comfort from others. Call someone today and let them know what is on your heart! Pray with them, and if necessary do it once a week. We have busy schedules, but praying with someone over the phone can be an easy alternative to meeting somewhere.
Blessings and love.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. Be clean! Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Mark 1: 41-42
Have you enjoyed the nice weather yet? Depending on where you live, it may have only had a few days so far, but there’s more ahead. Every year I tell myself I won’t miss the beach weather, but then I do. This life is to be enjoyed, so I’ve got to get out there! No excuses for not going in 2019!
In our verse today the man with leprosy came to Jesus, begging him on his knees for healing. He asked Jesus if he would be willing to heal him. The opportunity to be made whole was right before him. It would be foolish not to ask Jesus to heal. Asking the one who created us to heal is like asking the sun to shine.
Jesus is the giver of life and wholeness, so why did this man feel unworthy of healing? Some versions of the Bible say in this verse that Jesus was indignant rather than compassionate. Jesus was feeling annoyance at what was perceived as unfair treatment, according to the dictionary.
Jesus wasn’t annoyed with the man or his question, but at the bondage of the enemy. The enemy of our souls will go to great lengths to discourage our faith. He wants us to be filled with unbelief and anger against God. Have you ever felt this way because of your circumstances?
All of us have walked through discouragement at one time or another. If we keep our eyes looking up at our Heavenly Father we will be reassured that he is working in our situation.He isn’ t the one to hold back blessings. He wants to pour out good things on his children.
I don’t know about you, but I can get in God’s way. I try to figure out how he might change my situation, and then get discouraged when He doesn’t do what I expected. I have found he’s capable of making my circumstance just right without my help.
As we often do, this man runs home and does the opposite of what Jesus told him. He tells everyone about his healing. This puts Jesus in a difficult place because now he must stay out of the cities and villages or be trampled by the crowds.
This man probably didn't’ know why Jesus told him to be quiet, and the excitement was too much for him. We can identify with this average man as we are likely to do similar things. Those who are slow to speak often please God the most.