Thursday, August 31, 2017

If anyone lacks wisdom , let him ask of God who  gives generously without finding  fault and he will give it to you.  James 1:5

Wisdom is not a thing that you find most people talking about theses days. It is not on the list of top 100 words used in the U.S right now. In Solomon's day everyone was amazed by the wisdom that God bestowed on him. The Queen of Sheba was overwhelmed by all that Solomon knew and had aquired. Liz Curtis Higgs has a new book out that talks about this Queen. I haven't read it yet but I am curious about what Liz has to say. Liz is a lovely Christian woman who spoke at the conference I went to. She is best known for her humor, but she has a depth and love for God that I found unique. I can't recommend the book yet, but I am almost certain she has wonderful things for us. Liz will pull you in with her stories, and then say something so significant that you will remember it.

Solomon asked God for wisdom, and God was so happy to give it to him because it was a better request than others. God said he would give Solomon many riches because he didn't ask for anything for himself. Solomon lost his wisdom when things became more important than God, and women filled him with false ideas. Having everything is no replacement for the truth. He was the one man with everything except what mattered most. He couldn't find his way back to God with his money or women. Only God can make himself known to the human heart. Only God is worth giving our everything for.

Wisdom can mean many things to many people, but from a biblical construct it means what is important in relation to God and eternal values that He deems worthy. Jesus spoke from what He heard from His Father. He said " I only do what I see my Father doing." For us that looks like prayer and reading, studying the word of God. Fellowship with other believers is crucial to our wisdom too.

I cannot stress it enough! Read your Bible go to Bible Studies, spend time alone with God. If you give yourself  to these things you will be established on the rock. As I say this to you I say it double for me. Now is the time to get serious and move ahead. As time goes on, it may get harder for us if we don't do it now. The world is darker than it has ever been. Look to the heavens and  see His lovely face. You will never regret any time you give to God. Boldness and strength are wisdom for our day.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." { Romans 8:1}

A lighthouse up against the rocks. The rocks are a barrier in case the light isn't enough to keep boats from danger. The light is great for far away, but what if you are under the light?We should know better than to be under the rays of the light. If you crash into the rocks because you didn't heed the warning light, you can't be thinking clearly.

All of us think at some point in our lives that we can handle life without the warning light. What a poor choice! All of us have been made with a God- shaped vacuum inside our hearts. Our God is not a crutch as some might think, but the Lord God Almighty, who declares "Let there be light," and the sun shone for the very first time. Our Lord and Savior is the one and only who declared the oceans and skies into existence. He holds all the world in just the right place, the right angle from the sun so that it does not burn up the land.

When we step out of God's covering, we can burn up, change direction and fall into destruction, just like the boat that decides it doesn't need the light. Why does our scripture for today tell us that there is no condemnation? We need to hear this! We condemn ourselves all too often. Forget about your neighbor spewing out negative remarks, our own hearts can do a good job of this, at least that was my life for far too long. We are speaking about those who walk in the Spirit, not others who are outside Christ. The enemy will try to shame us into thinking any wrong-doing will cancel us out of God's love and affection.

Our own wicked hearts need to be restored, and made clean, and that is where discipleship comes in. We never grow out of our need to follow close behind our Lord Jesus. Some may want to point out our every wrong, and sham us for it, but not God. He uses His rolling pin to work us over and over again until we are ready for use. He doesn't have to say much, but he uses our circumstances to speak volumes. "Come along now, my child, this is necessary. You must be made whole. Listen to my word, one step, one day at a time." Every day is important in the process of making us whole. One day we realize, that we no longer think negative thoughts about ourselves, and we receive God's love more readily. We don't see the dailiness of restoration, but the Spirit of God is at work, rolling us, mending us working in us!

Monday, August 28, 2017

 When I was a teen, I longed for stability, but I had no idea what strength like that looked like. Then I came to know the Lord. It seemed as if I immediately gained strength, and my grades in school showed it. I was no longer riddled with fear, but it was still a hinderance in my life.
When  someone would mention fear, a myriad of thoughts hit my mind.  sometimes it was just that sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach.

I attended Dowling College, and I didn't know anyone. There were a few students from High School that I said hi to, but not much of anything else. While I was becoming acclimated to the campus, a guy comes up to me and starts talking. We made some light conversation and that was it. He looked for me after that, every day. I could not get rid of him. No matter what I said, he wanted to talk more. Later I found out that being rejected by a girl can cause some guys to a challenge of the pursuit. Oh, great. Now I was not only getting used to college, I had a cling-on, who was very persistent.

He was more that just persistent. He found my phone number in the school records, and called me at home. This was now more than weird. I was afraid, but somehow I found out that the school nurse was a christian, and went to see her. She knew who this guy was and she gave me some very good advice. She said,"Do not cast your pearls before swine." Matthew 7:6  I certainly wanted no part of that! I wanted to be a good godly witness, and bring him to the Lord. He wasn't interested.

I was a young 18 year old who wanted to be nice to everyone. I learned that not everyone should gain my attention, and certainly not everyone should be in my face! Fear led me to leave the college the following year, and God used that in my life anyway. I can't believe how naive I was! Looking back I should have gone to the school authorities and had him arrested for stalking. As a young person, I would never do that to someone. It never crossed my mind. We didn't even know what a stalker was in 1977?  My point is, look back to see how far you have come, never to judge how foolish you were. Fear can take sound thinking from us, and wisdom can be shut out. Don't allow it to trap you into a corner. There is always a way out! God, who is the master planner knows before any situation happens how to lead us to greener pastures.

Friday, August 25, 2017

"Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you"  { 2 Corinthians 13:11}  NIV

We are at the end of the week already! I love this farm scene and especially the sunflowers. When we lived in our first house, we had a lot of sun, and these flowers were growing along the fence. They were huge, and moved with the sun throughout the day. By night, their faces were over the fence, facing the west. It was a pretty sight.

This verse is so important for us today as it was when it was written. "Strive for full restoration." This means that there must have been some rift or separation that the church of Corinth needed to work on. All of us can remember a time when this happened in their family or in the workplace. Full restoration is what is on the heart of the Lord for every one of us. Sometimes this won't happen until heaven, but most of us have work to do in some area with someone.

What is encouraging in this verse is that when we give all that we can to restore relationships, God is pleased, and showers down His love and peace. This is not easy, especially if those in the middle of a problem live under the same roof. I suppose all of us can say amen to that. This is why we need God's counsel at every step. We pray for wisdom, we ask Him to intervene. We watch and wait.

Ask The Lord to send someone that you can share with, and pray with. Don't try to resolve conflict when you are tired or sick. Your thoughts can be hampered by these things. Try not to allow emotions to get out of control. Nothing is too big that God can't handle. Keep this thought in mind, this may seem overwhelming at the moment, but God has a plan, just ask Him! If no answer comes, trust God anyway.  It is what we are called to as believers. He cares about you, and the other guy!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

" I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of the horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

Nothing establishes us spiritually like prayer.We can read the scriptures, memorize and meditate, but prayer is the cement that holds the word in our hearts. I like to start my day with prayer, but I am not good about being the first one up in the morning.This is where the trouble begins. I can get side-tracked and off on many tangents. This morning I went to my room to be alone and my plan was to shampoo the carpets upstairs after I finished.

Can you see how I got off track? I started picking up small tables, clothing and other articles while I was in prayer. This can be a terrible mistake for me. I know that we can pray while we are doing chores, or cleaning, but this was supposed to be just Jesus, and I. I realized my dilemma, and fixed it immediately.Why do I choose the mundane over the eternal? Mostly because the mundane is staring me in the face!

Our verses today tell us to be patient; this is a character trait that can always get better with use. God is not on my schedule, nor does He always care what activity I am up to when He calls me to seek Him. I realize that the cleaning will always be there, but my time in His presence, and my relationship with Him comes first. He is faithful to hear my cry, and I want nothing other than to follow Him, but this means laying down my urgent plans, for the eternal. I am growing in these traits and I'm pretty sure that you are too.

Nothing that I do in a day will be done well if I don't lay down my heart before Him first. The chores will be done, but my attitude can be off. I may not have a song in my heart, which helps me to do those everyday continuous chores. Meditating on the Lord makes the time fly, and I don't focus on the activity at hand. Will the carpet be cleaned today, yes, will I sing, I hope so!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.  {Psalm 78:40-41}

Slowly but surely, I am learning about graphics. Please be patient with me, I know I will be able to make it work. This is a shot from Shelter Island, a seemingly remote place while only being a few minutes from Greenport, Long Island. The pace is slower, the architecture is from the 1920's in some places. A nice place to visit: quiet and picturesque.

This quiet place has nothing to do with the tension of our verses for the day, except that our friends the Israelites may have wished they were there. Their own choices made life miserable for them. How did the Israelites provoke God? They forsook God's way and went on their own. This truth makes me shiver inside. How many times have I thought I could do the same? I hate to admit it, but all too many times.

My husband and I have been negligent when it comes to our youngest child's behavior. I remember feeling that God wanted me to take her phone away because of inappropriate speech, and a haughty attitude. I didn't. Every time I let it go, it only made her attitude worse. She became more defiant, and less concerned for other family members. It finally came to a head, and her phone was taken away for a lot longer than she ever thought. Other family members got involved, and it became a major conflict, when I could have kept it to a mild roar.

The problem is when we do our own thing, we limit God and what He wants to do in the situation. Instead of having a teen who would be respectful and considerate, I had a daughter who for far too long, got away with defiance. It upset me every day. It got blown out of proportion, when I could have resolved it many times in the past. Why hadn't I done the right thing in the first place? It was inconvenient, it would upset her. Wrong motives on my part. Listening to the small things in the first place, gives us freedom in the end. Blessings and love to you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we've left the country where sin is sovereign how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace- a new life in a new land!"    {Romans 1:1-3} MSG

I realize that these verses are a lot for one day, but just hang on, and I'll try to explain. I love the way Paul describes leaving sin as leaving a country. It is from The Message Bible, and so it is paraphrased more so than other versions, but it clarifies what Paul is saying in a way that I can understand. I think you probably can say the same about it. It works well along side the New King James, or the New International Bible.

WE have left the country of sin in baptism. The water is a symbol of the washing of the Holy Spirit. Nothing happens here that is out of the ordinary, because it only happens when faith is in the heart. God looks at the heart. Our motives are what motivates Him to move on our behalf. {Look at King Solomon  yesterday. God blessed him over and beyond what he asked because God knew his heart.} Is your heart filled with thankfulness, even when your life is upside down? Do you trust God when the bills aren't paid, or the car breaks down?

Is God faithful when life gets tough, or does he run out the back door? No, these are the times when we see God more clearly than ever before. These verses give us a clear picture of the books of the Law,  Exodus and Deuteronomy, because the Israelites walked out of the land of bondage representing sin, to the land, of wholeness where sin is atoned for. Out of Egypt, and into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. What they didn't plan on were the giants in the land, that fought them before they could rule.

In Christ, we are in the Land flowing with milk and honey. He has taken our sin, and our place before God, by dying in our place and cleaning us from all unrighteousness. Why then do we contend with sin? We are in the church age, and we still live in a fallen world.  Although sin has no victory over us, it is all around us, and calls us to come back to its country. We are not perfect, and can fall into the ploys of the enemy. WE, are a work in progress, still becoming more like Christ. Sometimes I am left flat footed, and the enemy ambushes me, and I never saw it coming, but this is a new land, one of grace, and He finds me here. I am safe, and forgiven.

Monday, August 21, 2017

                                                                                                               August 21, 2017

Hello my on-line friends! I want to tell you about my friend Solomon today. Most of you have heard of him from 1 Kings 3. This is verse 3:" Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places."I find this strange because Solomon loving the Lord, would mean he would never go to the high places, and not ever offer to God there. Scripture in Deuteronomy is clear when God spoke to Moses that the high place, being a place for pagan gods to be worshipped, was not an acceptable place for Him to be worshipped.

Worship to the one True God, should never be mixed with a place where false, bondage- causing worship would be given! Isn't the One and Only, God of the entire universe, and those beyond be worshipped in the right way? Why would Solomon compromise like this, and what influences were part of his life? If we look at the first verse in this chapter, we learn that Solomon had already married the Egyptian Pharaoh's daughter. Don't you think this choice could be flooding his mind with compromise?

We are not given much information about Pharaoh's daughter, but even if she had converted to worshipping the God of the Israelites, she would have come into this union with additional baggage.
Living in Egypt all of her life until now, had to influenced her life. We know from chapter 11 of 1 Kings that Solomon changes his mind because it is said of him, "But King Solomon loved many foreign women."Oh Solomon, how I wish I could be there to tell you not to go this way! Please don't make the same mistakes other Kings of Israel had made! Isn't it true, if we are honest with ourselves, that we have made life decisions that have changed us and our families?

What can I do? Even if I was able to go back in time, and warn the King, he probably wouldn't listen to me anyway. The best I can do right now in 2017 is watch my own life, for compromise.  I can see little decisions of my past that turned in monsters in my life later on.The body of Christ is in place for this very thing! We need to be able to speak to a believing brother or sister of footholds in their lives. We should not take offense if a loving, caring person tries to correct us. We are to make wise decisions, and if someone who truly cares for us, wants to help, we need to consider what is said. Not everyone in our lives fits into this very special category. Pray about who may fit into your life in this way, and then stomp on the devil's foot, and close the door to him. Blessings and love.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed  and burned incense at the high places. 1 Kings 3:2

How are you this sunny day? I hope you have something special planned for this weekend since our summer weekends are dwindling down. Today we are visiting friends on Shelter Island.This is a once a year trip so we look forward to it every year. Life on Shelter Island seems to take us back 50 years. Many of the homes are 100 years old, but have been restored to their former glory. If you ever get a chance to go there, take it! Drive to Greenport, on the north shore of Long Island, take the ferry and you will be amazed at how quiet life is there!

I have been very occupied this week with my daughter Rachel home until Friday, and writing for a Bible study app that I may be hired to do on a regular basis. My husband asked me to write a letter as well, so I have not forgotten all of you my friends in all of this. I want to share a little about this Bible lesson that I am working on. The verse for today is what I am using,  and is about KingSolomon. The whole time that I am writing about this chapter I want to yell at Sol, "Don't do that any more, you are putting the entire nation in jeopardy.! Don't you know that this is forbidden! What exactly do I mean? Offering sacrifices to God on the high places. Pagan gods are worshiped there. Doesn't  the Lord God Almighty deserve to be  worshiped  in the right way? How can Our King  the leader of all of Israel lead God's people with such actions. He is far from perfect, but then again so am I.

There are a lot of unanswered questions here, so we can't come to any conclusions. All of God's word leads us to the same conclusion. Man is fallen , sinful and left to his own devices he will self destruct. All of his wonderful word leads to our need for a Savior. Solomon probably thought that he was loving God and walking in His ways. Compromise came in and a wife who was Pharoah 's daughter. Not at all what God had planned for him. How does this apply to our lives? It displays a life that opened itself to compromise, which gave the enemy a foothold and led to Solomon's demise.We can glean much from this. I have been sobered as I have studied his life. The man known for wisdom was an unwise King. I have to be honest with you, I don't know if You or I could have made any better choices.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Water on a hot day; there is nothing like it! As we are in the midst of August, I hope you have had a chance to get wet, and enjoy the beach, or pool.When I was young, we went to the beach quite often. When we couldn't go, the lawn sprinkler made for perfect enjoyment. Seeing life through a child's eyes makes for a lot of fun.

A child doesn't see all of the pitfalls or negatives to having fun, which is why adults are always watchful and careful on their behalf.  I remember playing in the dirt with the water. We made rivers and lakes streams and roads. This meant digging deeper into the soil. We have the same need when it comes to God's word. Our initial glance doesn't need to make sense. When we glean all the goodness from the original language and commentaries, we can see a clear picture of what God intends for us.

We are far removed from the culture of the Bible, and we see things through the lens of our knowledge and standards. What if we were able to go back and experience what life was like then?As women, we would be property of our husbands, or male relatives. We wouldn't be allowed to own property. Our only purpose would to be birth children, and care for them, which in and of itself is a good thing, but it doesn't define us.

Whether we like it or not, we can trust God that we've been born for the right time and generation. Every generation has had good and bad aspects, and His purposes will come to pass in the lives of christians who look to Him, and obey His statutes, whether we understand everything or not. I for one, do not understand many things, but I am learning. I can live with this truth. I once thought that I knew many things, but I have learned that the older I get the less I know. How about you?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Lily Pads are not something that I ever see, but at Longwood Gardens they have a display that is unsurpassed. Some of these pads can hold a 40 pound child! This tranquil display is covered with people, but quiet at the same time, almost like the library. No one has said "You need to be quiet!" The surroundings almost dictate a calm, and so quietness is all around!

It seems silly to say that quietness is felt in a particular place, but it is there, or is it in my soul? I think the Bible would say that it is in my soul. A quietness that comes from the spirit of God, as I ponder His greatness, in the tranquil scene. If I got close enough and blocked out everything else, I could think that I was not in a large garden, but somewhere alone with God. Even the picture gives us a similar feeling. All is right with the world! "Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who trusts in Him."{Psalm 34:8} NKJV

No wonder God met people in the garden! It seems to speak His language. Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before He was taken by the people. Adam the first man was placed in a garden, and God met with Him there. It is no coincidence that the first man and the last man, Christ,  found God's presence in a garden. I feel as if nothing is near me in a garden. Building and the hustle of a city life may be only steps away, but I can close all that out, and talk to Jesus there.

I hope you can feel this tranquility too. What if you say to me, "Ann, I don't know what you mean?"
I want to be clear, God is not what He created, but much more than the creation itself. These creations point to the Lord and display His Majesty. They are a tiny picture of the true, real place where Jesus is. The heavenly place that he has prepared for those who love Him, and declare Him Lord over All!

Friday, August 11, 2017

"So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep doing it."  {1 Thessalonians 5:11}  MSG

Think about a time in your life when you felt alone, venerable, or fearful. Did you know that there was hope and strength available for you at any moment?  You probably weren't sure of help at the moment, no matter how many Bible verses you had memorized. We all can get overwhelmed with lies when we are caught at an awkward moment.

I was anxious recently coming home from a visit with my sister in North Carolina. My allergies had my head feeling like a a lead bowling ball and all I wanted to do was curl up somewhere safe and cool and take a nap. None of these options were possible and what I had to do was quite the opposite.  I had to get on a plane and go home to New York. I was scared that my head would burst under the pressure.

I prayed the entire trip, and God met me as He so often has. I arrived with my head feeling cloggy, but in one piece. Our verse for today is so important in regard to encouragement. My husband had been praying and encouraging me as He is in the habit of doing. Hope is an all-consuming truth for a Christian! Prayer is an all-consuming spiritual habit! It removes us from the everyday, mundane life of this world, and brings us higher, above the blindspots in our way. Physical pain can be a road block for me seeing God's truth.

I am on the road of learning to trust God even in physical pain. I love that 1 Thessalonians speaks about everyone included. "Encourage one another and build each other up. {1Thessalonians 5:11} In the NKJV. Keep this verse close to your heart. It is so important! How many times I have forgotten, and spoken angry, hurtful words. Help me Lord, and my dear friends reading, to build each other up. Our time with one another is never promised. Live, and speak as if your time is short. Love one another as if you won't see each other for a long time. May this help us to choose our words carefully Amen.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

" Immediately he went to Jesus and said, 'Greeting Rabbi!' And kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, 'Friend, why have you come?' Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took him." {Matthew 26: 49-50}

Have you ever doubted a friend's motive for being your friend? Have you ever thought something wasn't quite right? A friend just didn't like you back as you liked them? I have. I remember thinking  as a child that I had to buy a friend a gift, otherwise they might not stay my friend. I was insecure in most relationships, because I didn't feel anyone would like me. What did I have to offer them?

To my surprise, I had friends who really did like me, and still like me after all these years! Praise God, for His love for me ,and for all of us who have been unsure of ourselves. I 'm pretty sure this includes all of us. Can you say amen?

Our greeter in this scripture above had purely selfish motives in greeting Jesus. He wasn't proud to be Jesus' friend , he was a robber and Jesus knew everything ungodly and evil thing about Judas. The kiss was one of defiance, and came from a cold blatant heart. There was no love or friendship in it. All of a sudden, Jesus is left with angry people wanting to kill him. A minute earlier the scene wasn't so serious, but Jesus knows that His time has come.

Jesus asks Judas why he has come. Jesus knew exactly what Judas was doing. Jesus exclaims in verse 56, "But all this has taken place in order that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." No malice was found in Jesus. He knew that His Father had all power and authority, and that Judas was only a pawn from the devil's hand. What had to be ,would come to pass, and the rest is History, or as some might call it, His story. Blessings.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom."  {Psalm 48:1} NIV

Can you imagine the greatness of the Lord? It is comparable to trying to think about the end of the sky; it just continues on without any end that we can comprehend. According to Luke1:33, speaking of Jesus- "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." These words were spoken by the Angel Gabriel to Mary when she first found out about Jesus being formed within her. Mary felt the greatness of God, after the Angel told her to not be afraid.

I think one of God's greatest qualities is His ability to identify with humans and know our frailties. In all of His awesomeness, He can still come to our level and tell Mary not to fear. She probably had never seen anything like Gabriel before! Most depictions of Angels in scripture describe them as immense creatures towering over the buildings! Maybe he was the normal size of a man; why would she be afraid? The heavenly glow that surrounded him must have been impressive!

The Most High over all the earth, in all greatness and glory, still bent down to our level to quietly paint a flower, many of them in fact. These simple signs of His gracefulness, and vivid beauty could never come close to the beauty of who He is. A simple indication of His presence, and the reality of who He is! The Creator, who even thinks of the smallest detail to point to Himself!

No one else could paint the sky with wisps of white and blue. How many days has He done this, too many to count, and still not one sky is like the other. Soon we will see Him come in the clouds and every eye shall see Him! {Revelation 1:7} With our abilities to see events as they happen through the use of T.V. and cell phones this is now possible. And we wait, we wait for you. For you are coming soon!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

 We never stop learning, and growing, especially as we seek after God and His ways. When we have a thankful heart towards the Lord we tend to not allow the small everyday things get to be big things.
It all depends on our focus. Where we look determines what we see. Do we see all the good God has given us, or do we see the problems, and situations that are less than perfect?

God uses the small things, the big things and everything in between to mold us if we let Him have His way. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we determine if we will give God control, or not. It can be a split second decision. Sometimes we might not even be aware of it, at all. Our willingness to yield to God is directly linked to our trust of Him.

The more trust we develop in the faithfulness of Jesus, the more we relax in His arms. Relaxation in His arms leads to us hearing from Him, and peace overcomes our worries, fears and anxieties. Faith is developed over time, as we see Him move in our lives, answer prayer and do what only He can do!
If we had a DVD of all that God has done for us, a behind the scenes perspective of his workings, we would be blown away with the revelation.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning ; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him."   {Lamentations 3:22-24}

Thursday, August 3, 2017


"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but do justice, and to love kindness{mercy} and to walk humbly with thy God?  {Micah 6:8} ESV

My very good friend has just become a Mena, which is Italian for Grandmother! What a joy for her, and her family. Her daughter can't stop looking at her brand new baby boy! A baby seems to never come, and once they arrive we are mesmerized by their presence. What a miracle they are, and what a joy to be a mother!

This joy I speak of can be hard to find, after the childhood stage turns into the teenage stage. I once was told that small children, bring small problems. Big children bring big problems. It can become overwhelming to see a perfectly good child enter into "the ways of the teen"!! They enter that never to be seem again zone, and you wonder if they will make it through, and if they do, what they will be like on the "other side." This morphing needs a lot of prayer, and I do mean a lot.

It can be scary for the teen as well. All of of sudden emotions rise that never had before, and the perfectly respectable kid becomes like a zombie, and you think , whose child is this anyway? They are thinking the same thing, or they are feeling unsure of who they were in the first place. Change is a challenge, and in our society it comes with many outside voices screaming their names.

 My generation had tv, and we only watched that for a certain amount of time each day. Todays kids are able to access anything from social media to tv, and much worse. This really scares me. The models who tell our girls how to live and what make-up to wear, and what clothes they need.

Our verse for today expresses God's desire for us, as His people. We don't need to look any further to know His heart and mind. This is what is good: Do that and live! Who cares what so and so on the internet says. Live a just life, by doing what's good for those around you and those who you come in contact with. Kindness, and mercy as it reads in the NKJ version. Look to bless others, go out of your way for a stranger, give to those in need. Walk humbly? All you need to accomplish this is to see Jesus as you read His word. He is the embodiment of humility.We have no better example on the face of this earth!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"When the day of pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting."    {Acts 2:1-2} 

Isn't this a stunning fountain! It reminds me of Italy, with its delicate curves, terraced layers, and petite design. If I were to purchase a fountain this would be it, but it is missing a important component. What is a fountain, without water? Just some cleverly designed cement that looks pretty. The main reason for its being is to show off the beauty of nature.

Fountains, and water mainly always draw me, because my mouth is always dry from antihistamines and decongestants. Oh! how good it can feel to have a cool cup of water when my throat is dry! How about on a hot day? Do you focus on getting water to quench your thirst? Of course!

What about our thirst for the living water? God's word is a river of life to our whole being because it  fills our heart with truth which gives us peace and rest. When our souls are at peace, every other part of us can rest. It reminds me of the old adage, "If Momma ain't happy nobody's happy."

The Holy Spirit is water to our souls. All the wrinkles of our day are smoothed out when we allow the river of God's love to flow. We can start to feel his life -giving power come back to us. It is the cool water that flows from the top of our heads all the way to our toes. All of a sudden those hassles at work fade into the background. Those frustrations of the day don't seem to be our focus, and we see his sweet face smiling down on us.

"Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly dove, Stay right here with us, filling us with your love. And for each blessing, we lift our hearts and say, without a doubt we know that we have been revived, when we shall leave this place." By E. Dewey Smith Jr.