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.