Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content in whatever state I am. Philippians 4:11

This is my son Matthew at age four. I didn't send him to Pre-school because he wanted to be with me. We had a lot of fun together that year. He did go to Sunday School and violin lessons, and I was happy with this. Now that he is twenty four we still spend time together, and I feel so blessed. He will be home for a few months before he starts school again.

There is much to be said about the bonds between mother and child. My children have good memories, but not all of us can say the same. I'm not being negative about my parents because they did the best they could. They loved us as much as they were able, and I'm grateful for this. The scars are still familiar though.

I wonder how many of us can say the same? What about all the young women in our communities stuck in the cycle of pleasing others. They have bought ino the lie that they will never measure up to so and so or be as pretty as the guys want them to be. There is no peace or acceptance of who they are.

I want to tell you what God has been doing in my life recently. In late January, early February New York was thrown off their horse by the Abortion bill called S240. In passed unexpectedly behind everyone's back. I have to say my eyes were blinded to the seriousness of the situation until this passed. Abortion is now legal at any stage of pregnancy up to the baby's due date.

My earnest prayer has been"God have mercy." My desire to do something led me to empty by piggy bank {don't laugh} into a bank account. I had saved coins  from around the house for two years. I had collected the money for cans from the supermarket. My violet colored pig was about to burst, and I coud hardly carry her to the bank.

All I have done is tell this simple story to others. In two days I have had three women say to me,"I will do the same and give you the money." One woman from my church said, " I will turn in my old coins at the exchange and give you what I am given."  God put in into my heart to go to the bank. There is a saying, "Little is much when God is in it."

What is the money for? A home for Unwed Mothers. I feel if we are standing out in front of Planned Parenthood, we need to be able to tell these precious women we have a place for you and your baby. We are part of a prayer vigil for 40 days through an organization called "Forty Days For Life. We don't shout, or carry unappropriate signs. We pray. We talk when we are asked questions. Our presence has saved lives.

Last Friday a mother dropped off her sixteen year old daughter to have her second abortion. The Mom was distraught, and said to one of us,"I know this is wrong, and I didn't want to do this!" The girl who was on the other side of the building came running down the driveway saying, "Wait Mom, I want to talk to these people too!" This ladies were given directions to a free clinic for a sonogram. They wanted this child.Not every story has a happy ending. 

I am having a meeting with the Crisis Pregnancy Center leaders in our area to brainstorm about what we feel God would have here, now. Would you pray for us? Some of you are in states where this hasn't happened yet. May it never happen. All I know right now is God has said to me, Focus on me, and move forward. The Mama Bears march on.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you had renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. Philippians 4:10 NIV

My pictures lately may not be as inspiring as in the past. The site I was using didn't want me to use their pics without giving the name of the photographer. This is all well and good, but I couldn't figure out how to add this information to the pic. After many attempts, I decided to use my own pictures for a change. 

Paul is a great worshipper of the Lord. He often gives praise to the only one who deserves it. I like this about him, and I like it about me too. Worship reaches into us and releases the deepest, darkest, parts of our souls. It captures our imaginations, and allows us to see beyond the four walls around us.

I can be in turmoil over the crazies of living in a house with three adult children, a wonderful husband, and two huge dogs. {Let me say here, the hubby is never the concern.} When I play worship music whatever I was caught up in becomes a thing of the past. 

Have you ever run into a great, fluffy, warm bed with your head right into the comforter? I have, and, it feels as if clouds have engulfed you. It seems as if nothing is happening around you.
All you want to do is stay in that safe, soft, welcoming place.
There is firmness and stability, but your skin is soothed by the silkiness of the material.

Hugging a loved one especially as a child can feel wonderful too. Worship is better than anything we can try to compare to it. I thought I would write about something totally different, but this is for you, I know it. Maybe none of this is reaching you right now.

You have had a hard day, week or life. None of this seems real or attainable at all. God is a good Father and He wants you to know His goodness. This doesn't mean you will live a perfect life, without trials and hardship.

 This is where the trials start, because God loves you with a great passion. When we open to Him, He can mold us to be useable for His eternal Kingdom and purposes. It becomes your best life ever! 

We become the truest version of ourselves when we surrender to the Almighty. He can move through us to do the work of His Kingdom. How could anything be better than this?

Monday, March 11, 2019

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 NIV

What a pleasure it is to be writing to you. I have been sick for three months so you may have noticed I haven't been writing much. I just found out I have parasites in my gastro- intestinal system. I was treated initially for a urinary tract infection with no positive result; then for yeast, which I probably had, but still not well.

 Finally my doctor who is a wellness practioner, tested me for parasites after everything else was not working completely. In three days on this supplement, I feel like myself again! Thank God! I'm still fighting for complete healing but I'm confident this is the right direction.

It's hard when everything you try seems to be ok, but not the right treatment. I prayed for direction every day, and I believe the Lord sent me to the right people. Everything feels off when you are not digesting your food.  I eat clean, but sometimes this can backfire too. These little pesties can be found so many places!

Enough of that, Let's talk about Our dear friend Paul. You know he would be like us if he were here. I'm sure people flocked to him where ever he went as he spoke about Jesus. He didn't have much free time, but I'm sure he made prayer a priority every day.

Our verse today reminds us of the Godly character Paul established as he walked with God. He wasn't born with it, on the contrary, his natural man was the same as ours. He had to spend time in the presence of the Holy one, on his knees, asking, seeking and knocking. 

The fruit of our labor in prayer brings bountiful blessings with eternal value. We receive peace in this life and the one to come. What is especially important is emphasing the peace for right now. People are searching everywhere for some sort of peace.

The farther we are from God, the less peace we have. Divided families reap a bountiful harvest of pain, fear and anxiety. My father didn't mean for this to happen to us, but he didn't know the way to peace with God. I loved him, and saw the depth of his pain and emptiness.

Maybe this is why I hunger for my Father in heaven. He is my "abba" daddy God. His love comes in mountainous waves of compassion and uncompromise. He will not let me go. No, He will keep me by His side no matter what. 

This peace, which He gives, cannot ever be matched. Nothing satisfies like the one who made us to be satisfied by Him alone. Other things might fill a part of our cavernous souls for a while, but Jesus will stay as long as we want. Why would I want anything else?

Monday, March 4, 2019

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

If I had to choose one verse as my absolute favorite, this one would be on the list. I know this is a non commital way of saying I really appreciate it, but honestly how hard it is to choose just one!

When I meditate on these particular verses in Philippians from 4: 4-9, I can stand strong and my feet are on solid rock. It brings stability I otherwise wouldn't have. Thank God we have His word!

Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book-"Switch on your Brain" verifies  neroulogically how our brains actually change when we use the Bible as our meditation. We can block out the worthless, dead and harmful words spoken to us by replacing them with the truth. What about parts of the Bible we don't understand?

I could leave out a few, like geneologies, but they serve an important purpose. I can't apply lists of people from thousands of years ago to my life in any way, to make sense of the mess around me.  These verses don't speak peace to my soul or comfort for my  day.

The lists we see as endless, faceless people prove Jesus is from the  lineage of David, the King.  The Messiah is said to be from David's family, and this was crucial in the day when Jesus lived on earth. The Jews knew many things about the coming Savior, but few of them wanted to believe he would be a suffering servant.

We can understand this, we all want someone who can come in strenght and power and deliver us from bondage, whether it be to slavery or something else. Those who missed the Messiah were hoping to be released from earthly bondage, and Jesus offered better. Those who missed Him were not looking for eternal blessings.

Have I missed some of God's best while looking for my own way of solving issues? Have I missed the Savior by thinking I knew what I wanted would be best? I can surely say, yes. I have learned to look for my selfishness, and turn to something good, right and true. God's light shining through me is what I want, and is best all around.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

I've been meaning to tell you about my weekend, but I needed time to sort things out in my brain. I went to Albany with some friends for The Day of Mourning. New York has passed recently the most hein0us abortion bill in our country's history.

The one who organized this Prayer Meeting isn't from New York. Her name is Elizabeth Johnston, and she is know on the internet as "The Activist Mommy." She lives in North Carolina, but she felt God's tug on her heart, to come to Albany.

We didn't know she wasn't from New York. I assumed she was a New Yorker, but when I found out she wasn't I felt ashamed to be a Christian in New York. Why hadn't we thought of this ourselves I wondered? "Are we complacent Lord," I asked. He assured me that we aren't but that Elizabeth was a gift to us to move forward!

This entire meeting was put together in three weeks. When we asked those who are part of Elizabeth's group how this could be, they said,"It's a miracle." How were they able to rent out a conference room in a State building in New York? I can't even imagine!

Not only is it a State building, it was the room directly under the place that our Governor signed the bill into law. God is doing amazing things, as this is what He is known for. God God is greater than any arrogant, hostile Governor, or legislator! We have the God of all creation on our side.

We mean no harm to anyone because that's not the way God operates. He works in the silent places of the heart, to bring people to the truth. We pray for Governor Cuomo every time our Prayer Meeting meets. He is desperately lost, but no one is too far away from God. He has turned around the vilest sinner to see the light of His glory and grace.

I read today that D.C. was shocked to learn that the Law on Capitol Hill to give babies born alive after an abortion life as voted down. How can this be? It baffles my mind, and many others too. Hopefully the outcry will be overwhelming because the devil overplays his hand. 

What did we do for four hours in the Conference Room? We prayed for mercy on New York, and for strength for Pastors to stand up with courage against this heinous crime. My Pastor mentioned abortion for the first time in a service two weeks ago and he is planning on talking about it this Sunday too. Do what you can sisters, to save babies lives!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

And the peace of God which transends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NIV

This beautiful chapter we are studying now, has some of the most profound truths. These verses are well known and memorized because of the power and authority God has given us through His written voice.  I am glad Jesus is guarding my mind and heart.

In His tender care I rest and learn how to love. Who else should teach us about love but the one who loves us the most? We can't understand this great love and peace, but we know it is mighty. It is more real than anything we can see with our eyes, or hear with our ears.

His love and peace never waiver. We can walk away from these blessings, but He remains steadfast and true no matter what. His arms remain open and waiting for our return. He welcomes us as a long lost daughter. The parable of the prodigal son beautifully describes how God sees us, and wants us back in His arms.

There is safety there. When we feel safe, we can rest, and hear what our Father is saying to us. He blankets us by His Spirit, with a love that's warmer than your best comforter coming out of the dryer. Think of the smell of your comforter. It's fresh and clean, and you feel as if you can do anything!

The Holy Spirit is much greater than a blanket, but it is known as our "comforter." Sometimes a word picture can paint for us a feeling. Peace in God is the most amazing experience. It isn't based on our circumstances, or how much we have. It reflects heaven and all the unmerited favor He has poured out on us.

The fence in the picture today represents our hearts. Will we allow everything in, or will we allow God to protect us by closing the gate to lies, troubles or disease? Standing for God in a culture where anything goes is a bold move, but it's the place of safety.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe. Proverbs18:10 NKJV

I could quote scripture all night and not run out of verses on the security we have in Jesus. Are you in God's place of safety? If you're not sure, call upon the Lord in the name of Jesus. Ask Him to cleanse you of sin and of all unrighteousness. He will gladly come in to your life and heart!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5 NIV

Flowers are one of the greatest gifts God has given to this earth. This is not a surprise to you if you follow my blog, because I have always made it known. What is it about flowers that make some women all mushy on the inside?

It's snowing out but my mind is on flowers. They seem to speak of better things to come. They are a bit of light in the darkness. They exsist to give us pleasure. How great is our God, to think of us and care about our feelings.

 Many people don't know that God cares about them in a very deep and personal way. Some might even say He doesn't care for anyone or anything, but they would be wrong. To experience Jesus' love and grace speaks to us of another place, much greater than our own.

At times I sit at this computer and close my eyes. I do this so I can meditate on His love. There is nothing greater, and nothing like it. How could you compare God's love to anything else? The comparison would never do it justice.

Let's take a crack at it. God's love is greater than riding your favorite roller coaster over and over with your favorite candy in hand. That is pretty lame. What about swimming in the caribbean with your best friends, and dolphins in the distance? Maybe a little better. How about enjoying your family, and praying together, and for each other?

This idea is good, but kind of designed for me. You may like it too. It hasn't happened in a while, but I'm trusting God. Rejoicing in the Lord is what I started out to share today.  God's love is something incredible to rejoice about!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Yes, and I ask you loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3 NIV

Paul is honoring women for their work and dedication to the gospel. We don't hear much about women in the Bible but I believe those who followed Jesus honored and respected women just as Jesus did.

Our society doesn't respect women, as we are bombarded with t.v. commericals that exploit girls. Perfumes, clothing, make-up all have to be just right in order to be excepted and valued. None of these things add value to a person, or endure for very long.

The new abortion bill in N.Y. devalues life but also women. No longer is murdering a unborn child through abuse of the mother a crime. If the child dies through abuse, no criminal charges will be brought against the abuser. Before this bill it was considered murder.

How could this be good for women, but yet this is what the opposition proposes. People who never thought about abortion before are appauled by the audacity of the N.Y. Senate for allowing a child to be killed upto the day of birth! 

Changing a law doesn't make right what has always been wrong. The consequences of destroying life is not something any of these lawmakers could fathom. Evil, demonic actions don't evaporate into the air. We are praying for those who stand behind this bill, and we earnestly want them to be saved from hell.

 Paul reminds these dear people of what's valuable. Their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Their hope goes beyond this menial existence, to a far greater reality. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying,"If you think you are walking through hell, keep going!" Words well said.

Would you pray for me and my group as we go to Albany this weekend?  We will be mourning the death of so many that have been lost or will be because of this new abortion legislation. It is an outdoor rally, so please pray for warmth, would you? Thanks, I will let you know what happens. 

The important part of this verse is how Paul reminds these dear people of what's valuable. Their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Their hope goes beyond this menial existence, to a far greater reality.

Friday, February 15, 2019

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Philippians 4:2 NIV

Have you ever been told by a church leader to get along with your arch nemasis? There are women that just seem to rub us the wrong way. They're too quiet or too loud, or bossy or whatever we may find annoying.

Maybe a comment here or there about your child? Women can get really protective if their child is percieved to be under attack, especially new Moms. Our sensitivities can be on high alert since we have never raised a child before, and everyone seems to have an opinion about how to do it. A comment or a dig can seem harmless to us, but wound someone else.

These two women sat under Paul's ministry so they aren't just anyone. It had to be a pretty serious rift if Paul has to address it in his letter. It doesn't matter what it was about. Our enemy knows how to divide and conquer. He doesn't have any new tricks, just the same ones he's always used.

Unity is particularily important for these two since they are witnesses to the Gospel. Our church has been praying for unity along with repentance and revival. These three seem to go hand in hand. How can we have one without the other? This is a work in progress as we pray for our Island and tri-state region.

What about our dear women in Philippi? I am quite sure after Paul's adminition there was reconcilitation. Who can argue with Paul or with the idea of laying down differences for the sake of the Lord and His message? Most certainly I would have been quite upset to have this mentioned in a letter to my church!

I would rather be beat up than to suffer such embarassment. I'm  sensitive about being wrong, or publically renounced. Who wouldn't be? Sometimes our words can sting someone, and we never meant it, but it becomes a big problem.  It snowballs into hurt feelings, feeling betrayed, or other things.

Lysa Terkeurst in her book titled "Uninvited" wanted to get a message to women. She felt women needed to know that each one of us go through times of feeling abandoned, rejected or alone. If you are in ministry this happens all too often.

Working with others in ministry can be confusing. We may have certain expectations of how others should talk, believe and worship, among other things. Can we love them anyway? Can we pray for them if need be? I know we can. Blessing and love to you for a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you who I love and long for, my joy and crown,{ the Amplified Bible says wreath of victory here} stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Philippians 4:1 NIV

Long Island escaped the snow yesterday! We had a few inches but I wouldn't call it snow. The trees are clear and the streets. I love when the snow covers everything so it looks as if it is new.

The great Apostle Paul probably never had to deal with snow. I imagine most of where he went was warm, but I wouldn't put it past him. He was intense about salvation and reaching as many people as possible. In this verse, we read Paul reminding his friends to stand firm, unwavering in their pursuit of Christ.

Paul tells them how to stand firm in the chapter we just finished, chapter 3. Verse one of chapter three he reminds his friends it is needful that he repeat himself about how to stand, because there are others trying to tear down their faith and foundation. There were some like Paul before his conversion who would kill Christians for their faith.

He calls them dogs. This is an insult because dogs were not regarded as good for anything since they were not domesticated. Paul writes about being reminded. I am glad for reminders all the time, as I seem to need them more often.

 We can learn something new even from scripture we memorize.
The Holy Spirit illuminates certain things we have never noticed. Have you ever read a verse a hundred times but failed to see a key component? It happens, I presume because we need to see it in a different light at the time it is shown to us. 

Maybe you need to see God's love like you never have before,  and so a verse like, 1John 1:5 can come alive! "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." What if you never realized  the "at all" part, and all of a sudden you see it! There is nothing dark,bad, evil or wrong in God. It could change your whole understanding of who He is to you.

God is always on our side because He is a good, good, Father.

One of the reasons I came to Jesus was because of my need for stability. I didn't know anyone who had it, but I wanted it badly. Standing firm is a way to become immovable, unchangeable, and centered on Christ. Believe God, know His promises are true. Read the Bible, and worship.

 I love how Paul lavishes his love for his church as if he or she were family. These people probably were the only" family" to him since he had turned to Christ. We don't know, but here is a man who is not afraid to express his emotions! Thank God for it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform your lowly body so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:21 NIV

This is Rudy and I at Christmas. We are getting on in years, I'm told, but I don't believe it. The rest of the world may think people over 50 are over the hill. We say the best is yet to come!

We are living in a day when anything can happen, and I mean this in a good way. We have been praying for revival for years now and God can burst on the scene by His Spirit at any time. He is doing just that in places all over the world, so why not here?

Praying for God to move over a particular region can take  a hundred years, or not, depending on what is in God's plan. I read this morning about a church who decided to take their church to Planned Parenthood. Every week the worship team, the altar workers, and the Pastor show up and have church.

This might sound unorthodox, but we live in different times, so if this works, Thank God for it. As Paul states in this verse, everything is under God's control, however he will not overstep our free will. If we choose to go another way, he will not hold us back.

Who wants to do their own thing, when God is the only one to give eternal life, with a completely restored body! We won't be limited by time and space, so jumping, running, swimming are no problem.We will dance and sing and not get tired! We won't be sick or hindered by the limitations of these earthly bodies.

 This revelation encourages hope inside! If you read the end of the book, it says we win. It can be easy to forget. We battle against spiritual wickedness, but the battle has been fought and Jesus has overcome for us all. 

Fear of getting older vanishes, because God is still the same. He still lives within me, and guides me. With Him by our side we can endure whatever comes our way, one day at a time!

Monday, February 11, 2019

But we are citizens of the state {commonwealth, homeland} which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await {the coming of} the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah,{as} Savior, Philippians 3:20 AMP

This is a picture of Kara, a young lady in Bible school at Word of Life in upstate New York. Last summer she did a missions trip to Guatemala, and here is one of the children she met. Kara grew up on Long Island, so being in Guatemala is a drastic change for her.

She isn't moved by the poverty around her, because she can get these little ones to smile and play. I'm sure it seemed unusual at the same time. I love this verse today because it reminds me of where I am from.

My citizenship is not just of the USA, but greater than this. My name is written in the Lamb's book of Life and so I belong to Heaven. Many things are changing around us all the time, but taking hold of verses like these ground us. We need to remember we are not of this world's systems.

Lying, cheating, stealing ,undermining someone else, these are not God's ways but we see this all around. These are not attributes of Christians, and these things should shock us. Not to mention sexual sins, that some don't ever consider what God says about it.

We live in a sexualized society, but we don't have to be led by it. We need to pray for God to send a mighy move of His Spirit to cause the lost to be aware of their need. The truths from the Spirit of God have been glossed over as another idea comes into vogue.

This world says do whatever you want, you can be a Christian and still do yoga.  Yoga was designed to worship foreign gods.You can smoke marijuana, and have another beer while you're at it. God wants a people who worship and rely on Him. I'm not saying it wrong to have alochol once in a while,but once in a while can lead to every day pretty easily. My son Matthew found this out the hard way.

Are you expecting God to show up? Do you know it is on His mind? The Bible is filled with references of Jesus' second coming, and we are living in the days when this can happen. 

We are told, " But concerning that day and hour {of Jesus' return} no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." Matthew 24:36  We can see the signs of the times the Bible says, and the increase of violence is one of them.

Paul, our dear friend from the first century, was awaiting the day of Christ's coming, patiently and earnestly. How much more should we be seeking God with pure hearts for His return. Pray for those who don't know Him as Savior and Lord. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Philippians 3:19 NIV

Although we have had a mild winter so far we still can't go to the beach and sit for a while. In less, of course you are somewhere tropical right now, to which I have to say, God bless you. Send some warmth up north please.

Our verse today is really an extention of yesterday's verse. Paul lements in verse 18 about many being enemies of Christ. We see the same pattern in America today. Little or no regard for life. Thousands of children from Central America being smuggled into our nation illilegally for sex trafficking.

We prayed in our prayer meeting this week that these people who traffick children would be exposed and this injustice come to a grinding holt! The demand is so great the traffickers can't keep up with it. This is where prayer for our men becomes important.

Nobody starts with a child. It usually starts with pornography. Did you know that Starbucks has free wi-fi and it allows pornagraphic material to be available to anyone? The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is holding Starbucks accountable. Let's pray this business would stop allowing porn in their cafes.

Inappropriate material on the internet has huge repruccusions.  When I was young it came in magazine form, but children are the most vulnerable with internet access almost everywhere. What is the answer to these gigantic problems?

It always comes down to one name: Jesus. Pray for a mighty earth shaking revival to move across America so the lost will come to Christ, and these horrible addictions would stop. It takes the power of God to change people's hearts. My Dad used to say,"You can't legislate morality" and I didn't understand what he was saying.

Just recently I was thinking about this, and I realized he was right. People need a change of heart, a change in focus to see beyond themselves. Please pray for the lost to have a revelation of their need for a Savior.

I am thankful for you, my readers, and I hope you enjoy
reading these blogs as much as I do writing them. Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

For as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:18 NIV

Paul is just like us. He is an emotional, dedicated, on fire follower of Jesus, and his heart breaks for the things God's heart breaks over. Some of you know about the recent abortion bill in New York that allows a child to be aborted up to their due date. I don't know, but isn't that called murder?

This breaks God's heart. He is the giver of life, and doesn't allow us to treat any life with disrespect. It boggles my mind to think others actually were celebrating this "Victory"? What were they thinking?

They weren't thinking the way a Christian thinks. Their eyes are blinded by the enemy to do his bidding. Selfishness seems to be rampant and sometimes abortion can be a selfish thing. I saw an excerpt recently from a magazine about doing good deeds so you will feel good. Good, do helpful things, but do it with a heart of praise to the one who made you. Real, lasting joy comes from doing these things in Jesus' name. 

The self oriented person will leave a good deed and say to themselves," I can pat myself on the back because I helped someone. The God oriented person will say,"Glory to God, I  did what Jesus would do! I please my Father in heaven."

 One is sowing to self which profits nothing in the kingdom of God, and the other is storing riches in heaven. Jesus said, " When you give to the needy, don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing." Matthew 6:3 NIV.  What Jesus said means: When you give, {and I think giving aid to someone fits here} don't hold on to the thought of what good you have done. It can play on in your mind and you will think better of yourself than others.

Sorry for getting off track. The godly are pursuing a different goal than those who aren't looking to God. This is why Paul cries, and our world today is worse. Paul was surrounded by people who were idol worshipers. Today our idols can be money, power, accumulating things, or even food. God deserves to be first in our hearts.

There is no one like our God; no one could ever come close. As we walk this life on earth let us be aware of how much the enemy wants to trip us. Don't give in to selfish thoughts; live to build the Kingdom of God by doing what He says. I'm praying for you, and please pray for me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. Philippians 3:17 ESV

I'm having techninical trouble with the site I get pictures from, so today you get to see our Daisy, when she was 3 months old. She just turned 7 months, and is about 65 pounds, and who knows where she will be when fully grown? It's a great adventure with our Great Pyrennes. She is so loving and calm so when she's 100 pounds she won't jump on anyone, maybe?

Daisy follows our golden retreiver, Buddy around the house and outside. Sometimes I think Buddy is tying to tell me he's not thrilled by this new addition to the family. He's 8 years old, and enjoys playing with Daisy, except now she is bigger than him.

Buddy is as perfect as a dog can be, we think. Daisy is following his lead on most things, and she has a great example to follow. Everyone needs to follow others in order to learn what's right.Our children follow us and learn to walk, and talk and even those things we don't want them to learn.

I remember as a child having my mouth washed out with soap at pre-school when I repeated something my Father said at home. I did not make that mistake twice. We learn  much by the example.  This is why Paul writes, "imitate me!" His course was set to love the Lord from the very beginning, and so is yours if you are His.

Paul tells us in chapter 4 of Philippians- "If there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things-fix you minds on them." verse 8b AMP. There seem to be many things vying for our attention. In Hebrews we find -" fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith" Hebrews 12:2 NIV

What's interesting about this verse, is the" cloud of witnesses" in verse one before it. This refers to those who have gone before us to heaven. Paul likens our Christian walk to a race to be run with perserverance, and certainly this is true. We put off every sin that weighs us down so we can run well, but not too fast.

We don't want to burn out in the first lap. If we are looking to Jesus, He will be all the reason we need to finish our course well, with honor and dignity. Paul says later in Hebrews 12 "the peaceable fruit of righteousness" will be ours if we continue on God's path.What a wonderful Father we have!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Neverthless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Philippians 3:16 

Being of one accord is important for lots of reasons. If you are in the back end of horse suit, you won't fool anybody if you don't stay in agreement with the front. If you are on a seesaw,  balance is important. Our bodies need balance as well.

Paul is not talking about any of those things. He wants the Philippians to understand as a church, correct doctrine is important for every beliver. There were many in Paul's day who would like to kick a believer off the right path.

Today isn't any different. Belivers are hit with all kinds of false teachings from media, movies, books and other people. 

If we don't know what we stand for, we won't stand at all.

There are many ways to find what the Bible says on many subjects.
Ask your Pastor to recommend a commentary or book that will guide you on your journey. Many churches have classes for new believers teaching what is right in God's eyes.

Time spent reading God's word, the Bible, is time well spent! Nothing will increase your love for God or help you see Him in everything like His written love letters to you. In every book of the Bible we can find our loving heavenly Father speaking the same message. Redemption!

I may be wrong about every book, because I don't know if Leviticus or Numbers spells out redemption but, the main thread that flows easily through most books is red. This refers to the coming of a Savior who would die for the salvation of all those who would trust in Him.

Unity within a church is one thing, but unity among churches is an entirely other debocle. We don't have to agree on everythng, just the basics. Quarrels cause our energy to be wasted when we have much better things to do for the Kingdom of God. 

The enemy's main goal is to keep our eyes off the prize of life in Christ Jesus, and the world likes nothing more than to find Christians who don't get along. Hippocrates are what unbelievers will call us, so it should be of great importance to us to forgive.

Love among God's own is crucial for this world to know we are from the Father. We don't have to be best friends with someone who has harmed us. Wisdom says to stay away from such people, but we can lay down our hurts at the cross, and find strength to be obedient.

Friday, February 1, 2019

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.   Philippians 3:15 NIV

My garbage has been deemed unacceptable by the town. I got notices on my can telling me this. I wonder if someone in to Sanitation has too much time on their hands? I did break the rule unknowingly. I had paper in my can that cannot be recycled.

Such things were never a problem was I was young. The garbage men came and took whatever you put out. Simply. Easy. Now I feel as if I have to practically gift wrap my garbage so it will pass inspection! My Town decided they will no longer take glass containers and we have to drive 12 miles to a drop off center.

I'm sure my neighbors who work full time aren't going to do this. In fact one of them told me she wouldn't. I guess she will get unacceptable on her can too. I decided to do what is asked, but no one likes having services taken away, especially when taxes are so high. Sorting through my garbage isn't my ideal way of spending my time.

Maturity says do what is necessary and move on. Paul is speaking about this to the Philippians. He wants them to know that giving their all is what it takes to follow Jesus.

 I love how our friend Paul is factual in his approach with the Philippians. He wants them to realize as adults, each of them must commit to pressing close to Jesus in order to stay true to Him. He isn't concerned though. He is sure God will show them the way. I love his assurance here, about God making things clear.

And if God did this for the Philippian church, He will do the same for you and I. God is not a respecter of persons and it's comforting to know God will keep us. When we seek God above all other things, He guides us into all truth.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

and so somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,  but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:11-12 NIV

While walking down the cleaning products aisle today, I spied a can of room spray that said, "You will feel as if Spring has come."I thought: All I have to do is buy this can of artificial fragrances and chemicals and my life will be complete?

Somehow I didn't believe that. As we all know, ad slogans are an American concoction. Consumers will believe anything, some would say. But not this "been around the block too many times" consumer. Gullibility is not a New York trait. We are usually hard to convince.

Most restaurant chains will come to New York last because they know we are hard customers. We want things done the right way. Paul feels the same way about His walk with God. He knew Jesus paid for his sins and wrong doings so he wanted all God had for him. He knew like I do, God isn't finished working great character and love in us.

We have to be open to God loving us. When I first came to Jesus, I had no idea how deep His love was for me. The Holy Spirit made Himself real to me, and this awesome adventure continues. Why do I ever doubt that He has everything under control? I guess it comes from the world around me.

Our world today is so contrary to what God wants for us. Hostility, anger and outright hatred for other seems to be the way of many. Even our government officials have taken hold of this. We need to take hold of Jesus. He is the anchor for our souls.

It is not easy to press in for more of God. It's not as if He is trying to hide, on the contrary, He longs for us to push through the worldliness around us to experience more love, peace and joy. Silencing the voices around us that vy for our attention is something Christians have had to do from the beginning.

Again our friend the Apostle, is honest about his life. All pretense and formality is behind him as he gives us a glimpse of the Christian walk. What if he decided not to write from his heart? Maybe we wouldn't know what's normal for a follower of Jesus.

I thank God for truth written from the pen of this great man. I have a whole new respect for him since we started this study of Philippians. He seems to have a blend of steadfastness, and emotion, but there is always room for improvement!

Monday, January 28, 2019

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. Philippians 3:10

What has happened to January? At first I couldn't believe it was here, and now I can't believe it is almost gone. Where does the time go? I guess my life is busy, but it's more than that. It is said that time seems to move quicker as we age.

It doesn't actually change, we do. Although I can't figure out why we feel it is moving faster. Maybe it's because we think of all the things we have already accomplished. It seems as if we have lived our lives.

Nothing could be further from the truth! God has great things planned for all the moments of our lives. Paul says he wants to know Christ, even the trials of His life. The suffering as well as death. Why does this great man of God want to suffer?

Paul wants to grow closer to God, and suffering is the avenue in which God uses to bring himself out in us. I wish He had another way, but we learn best from our trials. Life is full of good and bad, so why not allow Jesus to use it all for good? 

The only way we can learn the power of God and especially resurrection power is to be dead. God can't resurrect himself in us if we don't first lay down our lives. Jesus says," I say to you, except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies it bears much fruit." John 12:24  Our fleshly ways are the opposite of His nature. He is Holy, righteous, and good always.

Fulfillment comes from denying our ways, and taking up His. We can soar in the presence of God only when we release our will and take up His. The battle wages on between my will and His at times. Humility obeys the will of the Father, but pride holds on to self.

Now I have to tell myself, don't fret, certainly God is faithful to work with us as He is our loving heavenly Father. His grace is sufficient, not that grace is an excuse to disobey. Never will God's grace be a cover up for sin. Grace is given as we comply with the goodness of God, and allow Him to work.

I always rejoice in the Lord when He brings me through a hard time, and I can see Him working in me. The process isn't as bad once I understand the outcome. God isn't interested in putting hardship on us, but He is interested in seeing Himself in us. 
Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27b

Friday, January 25, 2019

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. Philippians 3:9 NIV

I read a testimony recently from an actress we may all know. Her name is Candace Cameron Bure. She played the oldest daughter, DJ in the sitcom Full House, and is back with the new series by Netflix. She also has stared in some recent Hallmark channel movies, and is not shy about her faith. 

At a college commencement she shared this: I was in my early twenties when someone told me that my good works pale in comparison to God's mighty goodness, and that I could never do enought to please Him on my own. At this time Candace decided to give her heart to Christ. 

When her first child was born she started reading the Bible and found out who Jesus is for herself. This fits perfectly with our verse today. None of us could ever be righteous and pleasing to God without God's help. Every human being needs to confess the Lord as God and Christ in order to have eternal life.

God knew our weakness couldn't bring us to him, so He sent the only one who could bridge the huge gap between us and Himself. This is why we have hope in a dark world. This is why we can sing praises to God even when things aren't going well. It's also why our future is bright, no matter what age you are.

Knowing Christ Jesus makes all the difference. The expectation of His plans for me far exceed any plan I could have. I'm stuck in what I can see, but He isn't!

" The ocean mirrors our lives in a lot of ways. Each day, we get to decide whether to live in fear of what might be washed away or in anticipation of what our losses makes possible. Our lives are filled with give and takes, but neither the waves nor the setbacks we experience are our enemy."Maria Goff The Magnolia Journal  9.

Maria wrote this after their family cabin in the woods of Canada was burned to the ground. She was discouraged when she went to see that only the foundation was left standing. Soon after that she decided to focus on what could be built in place of the older cabin. 

Although many family memories were made in the first home, the second could continue on as a better place for all the family to gather. It could incorporate new ideas and updates never imaginiable in the old one. Maria decided to think with "anticipation of what our losses make possible."

Our Heavenly Father is good. He's not just good as we think of good, He astoundingly surpasses our definition of what good is. He makes streams in the desert, and turns mountains into valleys. Can we trust a God who is like this?  Can we allow Him to turn our mourning into dancing? I think so.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all rubbish{refuse, dregs}, in order that I may win{gain} Christ, the Anointed One, Philippians 3:8b AMP

Here is a gate with a pathway leading to? This is a dilemma for all of us.  If I decide to take this path,where will it lead me, and will I be able to get off this one if I don't like what's ahead? Some easy answers to this question: Will I ever stop paying taxes? 

Will my body live for ever?  Will I be able to jump off the cliff and not be harmed? Of course you realize that no is the correct answer to these questions, but life isn't this simple. Thank God he has given us His word as a faithful guide.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 Why did the Psalmist write lamp and light? Why couldn't he use only one reference to enlightenment? A lamp guides your steps in a close one by one secession. A light opens up the path before us.

 We need God's word in our everyday life as a step by step process, and in the long term as we move down the path. I have a wonderful testimony to share! After my parents died I sought out a cardiologist to check my heart. I was about 50 years old. Both of them had heart issues, and I thought it should be checked but I wasn't concerned.

The Doctor I chose was a young man, and he was adamant about me being on medication for a leaky valve. I reluctently agreed. Every time I went I told him I didn't believe I needed medication. He told me my valve would only get worse not better. I told him I didn't believe him. 

He thought I was being rebellious, but I assured him I wasn't against him, but knowing God is in control. Today, I  have a healthy heart, no medication, no leaky valve, 10 years later! I got to talk to the doctor about a cardiologist my friend in Florida goes to, who prays for his patients, and has seen miraclous healings.

I say this to explain the path I took, and how God led me to believe Him for my healing. I don't want anyone to stop taking medication, and what I took was a precautionary measure, but my point is I did what I knew to do, and God took care of the rest.

Paul tells us he gained everything even though he lost it all. How does this make sense? He lost only the bad stuff, the things not worth anything by God's Kingdom standards. He is a miracle working God and He is worthy of our total adoration and praise. 

Many can testify to the healing and power of God in their lives. The Bible tells us that the world wouldn't be big enough to hold any book about all His mighty works. He is ever present to help, and work in your life too, and I know He is!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Yes, furthermore I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege- the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth and supreme advantage- of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, and of progressively becoming more deeply intimately acquainted with Him, of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly. Philippians 3:8a AMP

Whew, that is some verse, and this is only half of it. I am writing from the amplified today because I want you to see this verse in all of its glory. It is impossible to put into words with accuracy the greatness and privilege of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. Each day we get little glimpses of truth from His word and creation around us.

His majesty and honor surpass anything we can know here on earth, so I'm glad for the glimpses. I want to hold them in my hand like a ray of sunshine, but not let them go. I'm not made to hold them yet. One day I will be surrounded by His presence forever and then I won't have to seek after God, because I will be with Him forever.

I have peace here on earth, yes, this is His will for us as we wait. My peace comes from knowing He lives within me, by His Holy  Spirit. The best thing in this relationship with God, is growing ever  stronger  as a vessel of His grace.  I don't want to shine; I want Him to shine.

It can be a rocky road at times, as I still want to be in control. In the classic"Hind's Feet on High Places" the main character , Much Afraid finds it very difficult to navigate the rocky terrain. She slips and falls, but she is encouraged to get up again, and not give up.

I feel this story captures who I was as a young christian and so do many of you. We didn't know the shepherd well, but we wanted to believe he was good and kind as he seemed to be. As time moved on, we learned we could trust him, and we leaned on his arm, and the path became easier to walk on.

He never meant for us to walk alone. This is why those who isolate themselves are not happy. We are meant to fellowship, communicate, and rely on others, but especially on the Savior.
Other people can satisfy our needs to a certain extent, but no one can meet us and truly complete us as the Creator of all things can.

No one can understand you better than Jesus! No one knows all the details of you, like Him. He sees every valley and mountain of where life has taken you. He knows why you chose to go one way or another, and loves you regardless of your choice. Who could be greater than this?

Friday, January 18, 2019

as for zeal, persecuting the church; as to righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:6-7 NIV

We had a bit of snow this morning but only an inch or so. Today is the  17th of January and no snow storms. I hope you can say the same where ever you are. I don't dislike snow it's just a hassle if you have to get out of the house. Now that I have all of my children driving it is a different story.

When my youngest was about 8 years old she got caught in a blizzard, while coming home from school on the bus. It seemingly came from no where, but fell quickly and stopped traffic. She was two hours late, but thank God no one was hurt.  Just a random story about January.

Our friend the Apostle had everything to hope in as far as natural circumstances were concerned. The best education, the right family, so what more could he need? God knew Paul needed a clean heart.  He was of no use to Jesus without cleansing and salvation. At times we can think someone is the most wonderful person, maybe because of their sports ability, or their smart enough to be at the top of their class.

Our society values people for their outward appearance. I sat this morning at my kitchen table reading "Shape" magazine. I don't know where it came from but I thought maybe I could learn something important. The hair dressers were giving life advice. Now maybe these women had knowledge I wasn't aware of, but to me it seemed silly to be saying anything about life if you cut hair.

I'm probably wrong, but it just didn't make sense to me. Where did their advice come from, and why was it valid? How could it be substantiated as good? My hairdresser and I talk about history because we both like it. Anyway, Call me an old Bible teacher, but I'm not going to listen to anything about life that's not truth.

I've been around the block a few times and I know what listening to just anybody will do for you. It can cause me to go around in circles, doubting what I knew all along. I don't have time for this, because I'm older but also I have learned to want Jesus more than anything else.

Paul seemed to be a devout Jew on the outside, when in reality he was killing those who were right before God. He needed an attitude adjustment which involved a horse and the Lord. God got his attention in the most unusual way, but Paul had to be stopped right in his horsetracks.

 Blindness gave him time to contemplate what Jesus said to him, and He believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who cleansed his heart, and gave him a new way of thinking. I don't want God to throw me off my horse to get my attention. I'll stay close by His side without any need for an attitude adjustment! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

If anyone thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. Philippians 3:5 NIV

All is quiet this afternoon. The dogs are sleeping on the floor, as the sun fades from the sky. I have been tired today so my regular laundry and cleaning will have to wait until tomorrow. Some days are like this, and it's fine. I'll catch up tomorrow.

This morning I was up and out with our Great Pyrenees pup to the Veterinarian. She is six months old and needed to be spayed. I was ready to go, but she wasn't. She's 61 pounds and only half way through her growing season. I couldn't convince her to go into the garage and I realized she is afraid of cars.

On the way out of the Vets office I couldn't get her to move off the sidewalk. I thought it would be easier going home since she would be sedated. She wasn't interested in moving. I asked the Lord to help, and she advanced into the car! Don't ever think any prayer is too simple for the Lord!

Paul states in our verse that he had confidence in his upbringing, and education. Why do we think any one of us is superior to another? Insecurity, division, and competetion cause us to strive against everyone else, but in the end it does nothing but destroy us.

The enemy is behind this for sure. He wants to dominate our thinking, and he especially wants us to think we are superior to others. If he can convince us to be alone, isolated from others then he can grab our attention and really make us miserable!

From the beginning of time this has been his way of operating. In Genesis, the enemy by way of a snake, spoke to Eve and convinced her that God didn't really say she couldn't eat the fruit from the middle of the garden. He has been on the attack ever since the creation of man, because this is his way of attacking God.

The enemy knows he can't attack God, so he tries to pull us under, making us feel less than, or unworthy of God's attention and love. When we belong to Jesus, by way of the cross, the enemy will lie cheat and steal to get us to turn away from believing in Jesus and following His ways. Don't believe him. 

What God says about you will stand for eternity. His love is ever-lasting, and HE promises to never leave us or forsake us. NEVER! Who do you know that can say this? Even our loved ones can't be with us always. Rest in His truth, and allow Him to take control.

Monday, January 14, 2019

though I myself have reasons for such confidence. Philippians 3:4 NIV

Every bit of religious knowledge and legality Paul had fulfilled, but it didn't satisfy the longing of His soul. It wasn't intended for this. The law in the old testament was meant to be a taskmaster to lead us to Christ. God wanted mankind to see how limited they are without Him.

Have you ever walked around in your house in the dark when it is pitch black out?  We loose our way when we can't see anything in front of us. Have you ever been in a room when the music is cranked up and you can't even hear yourself think? You are at a disadvantage, aren't you?

Why would it be any different when we are made to glorify God with our words, thoughts and actions, but we don't?We can't hear what He wants for us and we can't see why it's good. Our senses can be limited, just as our spirits can be dull when we are clogged with things that don't satisfy.

The Holy Spirit wants to lift us out of those places where we are dull of hearing Him. He wants to fill us to overflowing so we can spill over on the lost. We have to let go so He can fix that which needs an adjustment.

We could think of the Holy Spirit as a fifth sense but this would limit Him and we don't want to do this. We don't disrespect the Almighty in anyway. I mention this though because it gives us a picture of Him being essential like our senses.

Lysa Terkeurst says we can be bored by an unwhelmed soul. We loose the excitement of our first love and the expectancy is thrown by the wayside. We can easily be thrown off track, and be confused about how to get back on. 

Our Savior and God is forgiving, and ever present to help us when we ask. Maybe all you need to do is ask?