Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year

Every new year I make a laundry list of goals. This year will be no different. All will genuinely centered around worshipping My Redeemer. I am working on decreasing and on Jesus increasing. I want to continually say no to the world and to say yes to the Lord.

I want to love my husband more, and to serve others more.

What do I want less? Less junk food.

God be in my head
God be in my heart
And in my understanding.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

CHRISTMAS 2008

Christmas officially started with the lighting of the Christ candle on Christmas eve. This is a solemn occasion, full of awe and wonder for the church. Unless something unexpected happens…
Many years ago when I was singing in a Presbyterian choir, it was time to light the Christ candle on the Advent wreath. Usually the Advent wreath is placed on the altar center front. However, in this church it was suspended over the lectern. After all five candles were lit, a well-meaning volunteer maintenance helper noticed that the wreath was hanging slightly crooked. He decided to do a tiny adjustment. No one noticed him working on the ropes in the darkened balcony.
The choir was seated, behind the lectern, facing forward. Suddenly one of the candles on the outer rim lit the close-by rope. We had a blazing fire. As choir members, we had to act calmly for the entire congregation to reflect. Someone came to the front with an extinguisher and put out the fire. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember how the service ended. Probably we ended with quietly singing Silent Night, with lit candles, and no talking, as usual.
Peace on earth, Good will toward men. In this world of uncertainties, this is the message we Christians must reflect to the world. They are watching and will be led to the hope of peace and of directed light from above.
Christmas represents new hope for the world. Many of you have deep hurts that surface during this holiday season. May you see and reflect the light, the true light, Jesus the Promised One.
Blessings to you and to those who see the Light through your candle.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

John the Baptist said

Does it matter if a woman believes she is pregnant or not? No, either she is or she isn’t. She cannot believe a baby into existence nor ignore its existence if inside her womb growing. That’s the way the Laws that God put into place concerning cause and consequence. Even if we are sorry for our sins, the consequence exists. If we turn to God sooner rather than later, the consequence can be lesser.

Integrity is an intricate part of walking on the Way called Holiness. We cannot be dishonest and walk with the Lord, because the Father of Lies is Satan. We cannot have fellowship with both.

Honesty starts in the messages that we tell ourselves. I could tell myself that I am pregnant, but I am not. I need to grasp the truth. If I continue to permit myself to believe in the pregnancy, I will have signs that will promote the lie, such as a larger abdomen, swelling breasts, and morning sickness. However, when I am forced to see the truth, I may have a nervous breakdown or a physical illness. The worst consequence is that I have practiced deceit to myself. How can I continue towards honesty?

Anytime we have permitted self deceit, we will either make excuses, justifying our actions and thoughts, or we will be broken hearted and change our ways. Giving reasons, justifying actions, feeling like the exception, blaming others, should be red flags. IF WE DO NOT REPENT, WE CANNOT BE FORGIVEN. If we continue in the sin, we are not repentant.

Repentance is central to the Christian walk. Seeking holiness, or a genuine walk with God through Jesus Christ, means striving for wholeness, purity, truth. If we avoid the truth, it is like walking without our feet touching the ground. We have no self control and our reality is suspect. Repentance requires a change of attitude, and a decision to do things differently. A broken heart accompanies repentance. Repentance always hurts initially, but leads to peace. True acceptance of forgiveness leads to praising the Lord.

At the end of time at the Great Throne where all shall be judged Jesus says:
It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murders, sexually immoral,, sorcerers (drug addicts and devil worshipers), idolaters, and ALL LIARS shall have their part in the lake which buns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Revelation 21:6-8

Search my heart, O Lord
And see if there be any wicked way in my.
Cleanse me with hyssop
And I shall be whiter than snow.

John the Baptist said to repent and to make straight the highway for our Lord. This was not just for the life of Jesus on earth, but this message is for us today.

Jesus said:
Peace I leave with you, not as the world leave I unto you.
Blessings to all who have read to the end.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Advent

Advent

Those of us aware of the liturgical church calendar think of Advent as starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas with the lighting of the first candle on the Advent wreath, and ending with the lighting of the Christ candle on Christmas Eve. We think of Advent as the great anticipation for the Holy Babe to be born in the manger. Hopefully we also think of the Christ of Easter who would die for our sins and conquer death so we may have eternal life.

More than not, we think of the anticipation of Christmas Day, not for the anticipation of salvation and eternal life, but for the gifts, both given and received, for the time with friends and family, and for the food. This is the way most live Advent.

Let us not get stuck in anticipating something that has already occurred. Jesus was born, died and arose from the dead 2,000 years ago. ADVENT IS MORE ABOUT ANTICIPATING THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS.

Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

strange entry

This is going to be a strange entry, but I must believe that only a portion of what I have spent time and effort to write and to post is meant to be kept.

I always write a Word document, save, and paste it to the blog. This time, for the first time that I can remember since the 1980’s, I somehow accidentally erased scripture and thoughts on the vision of the powerful Christ in Revelation chapter 1, followed by Daniel’s vision of the Ancient of Days and One like unto the Son of Man in Daniel 7. The following is all that is left of 3 pages:

When John saw the glorified Christ, he was so frightened that he fell down as if dead.

This was not at the first nor at the last of the document. When writing about the powerful, frightening, and judgmental Christ, and it somehow goes away, I will not rewrite it. I will believe that whatever message God wants you to have is herein.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Revelation of John - Let's begin

Revelation of John

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Dreams are valuable both from a spiritual and a psychological point of view. They are the part of the sleep cycle that happens right before awakening, and thus can be recalled with vividness, at least for a short time.

Visions are usually considered spiritual revelations and are often thought to be dreams in an awakened state. The difference is valuable, but can bring about similar insights. I have had many dreams that have helped me understand my present situation, and many that has given me a spiritual step up. Have you had such experiences that you would like to share?

John, the youngest of the original disciples of Jesus, was a prisoner on the island of Patmos when he was given a vision, perhaps many visions, of the end times and of heaven. It seems that many have a renewed interest in interpreting the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John.

John had known about all of the other disciples dying for their Lord, and of many others who were severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus as Lord and Messiah. It was at this time of isolation and uncertainty that he was given this revelation for the people of God at that time, throughout the hard times over the centuries, and for us today. Are we the last generation before Jesus returns? Perhaps yes, and perhaps no. No matter, the warnings and the strong words of comfort pushes us forward to the high calling.

John addresses the seven churches of his time. Before he gets too deep into visions and other worldliness, he offers blessings and hope to all, whether or not they are on the correct path. His earthly sight, as well as his visions, are on JESUS. Let us focus on Jesus:

Revelation 1:4-8
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed[a] us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings[b] and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”[c] says the Lord,[d] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

First, John bestows blessings, which we all have a right to give to one another. Grace, which is undeserved gifts, and peace, which is difficult in persecution and uncertainty.

Skip down to verse 5 and see the assurance that Jesus loves so much that He cleansed from the worst offenses by paying with a criminal’s humiliating death on the cross. Christian Friend, never permit yourself to sanitize the cost of salvation. Death and red Blood pouring out are the requirements for sin.

People who are redeemed through the blood sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb of God are made into priests and kings inside God’s very real kingdom. John, and many of these folks were poor and made wretched for the sake of the Gospel. They needed to see how God sees them. So do we.

With that in mind, look at these initial descriptions of Our Lord. He is still:

He who is and who was and who is to come
Faithful witness
The firstborn from the dead
Ruler over the kings of the earth
Loves us
Cleansed us from our sins with His own blood
Made us kings and priests
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end
The Almighty

If we focus on these true words concerning The Almighty, we can put one foot in front of the other even on the most difficult times. We can praise Him and have hope in His Kingdom, of which we belong.

Verse 7 assures us that BEHOLD He is coming. All will see Him, even those who pierced Him.

Keep on keeping on and look expectantly, for soon He will come and take you home. Take the gifts of grace and peace to help you trod the road ahead.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We have forgotten something very basic.

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

Luke 10:29-37

Jesus said that there was a Certain man. It could be Anyone. It might even be you. He was Going about his business. We don’t know if he were good, bad or indifferent. He was a stranger to all the others in this story.

Thieves, bad people who were taking advantage of him, stripped and beat him. They took anything of value off of him, and left him for dead.

Good people in the community, a minister and a respected government official, went on the other side of the street so they could ignore his beaten and dying body. After all they were not responsible, not relatives, not from the same neighborhood, not from the same class of people. Or were they? This connection is not given. Perhaps they were just too busy doing “good works” or making a living.

This interference was just too much trouble. However, they knew they should respond differently because they crossed the street in order to avoid seeing gory details of the beaten and dying.

The Samaritan was a hated group of people by the Jews who would be listening to Jesus tell this story. Samaritans were of the rebellious ten tribes who had left Rehaboam, David’s grandson, when he followed bad council on how to treat them. They never returned to the fold, worshipped many forms of Baal, and intermarried with pagans. They are, even today, called the 10 lost tribes because they no longer are known by their roots in Abraham.

All of this background simply to say that there was natural animosity between the beaten dying individual and the rescuer. The Samaritan was not the next door neighbor, not kin, not of the same class, not one who worshipped God the same. And yet Jesus deeply cared about the Samaritans (John 4:4-42, Luke 11:11-19).

This hated, despicable Samaritan rescued and restored the victim. He cleaned up his wound, put bandages on him, and drove him in his car to the nearest hospital and told the registrar that the stranger had no insurance and that he, the Samaritan, would pay the initial fee, and would pay the rest in a few days when the injured was well enough to go home.

Did you say that your Bible has a different translation? Well, if Jesus were telling this parable today, this would be the way He might tell it.

A man of learning asked Jesus a very important question, but did not really want to hear the answer. He understood that the law was complete in loving the Lord God with heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and in loving his neighbor as himself. But he wanted a very narrow view and responsibility towards others.

Who is the neighbor? We are responsible to all with whom we come in contact. It is not possible for us to pay the bills and to care for everyone, but we should not discriminate because of differences in culture, belief, nor status. We can give loving care to most, and healing prayers for all.

I know people who are sick, dying, poor, divorcing, going to jail, lost, evil, hateful. I KNOW THESE PEOPLE. They don’t live on my street, but they are my neighbors. I must be prayerful how to serve them inside God’s Kingdom today. I don’t have the means nor the tools to solve all of their problems, nor my own. If I am faithful, I become part of the solution, and they will feel Christ’s love through me and will be encouraged.

There are times when I must not stop and help. If I am required or might be tempted to be sinful in helping someone else, I must realize that I am not called to aide this person.

For instance, a relationship between a married person and someone of the opposite sex can lead to an inappropriate friendship that could threaten the sacredness of marriage or even adultery.

Going to places where safety is at risk should only be done with prayer and knowledge that it is God’s will for the potential of harm.

Partaking in sinful activity, such as smoking pot, or talking about sinful topics does not bring a person to the Kingdom of God.

One must stay inside God’s Kingdom and realize that being the Good Samaritan is ALWAYS inconvenient and basically uncomfortable.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:46-48:
If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the unsaved do the same?
And if you greet only your own brethren, you do nothing more than the unsaved.
But be complete, whole, and perfect in your love.

Now I will say that some of you whom I love are neither loving nor accepting people in your lives. You feel justified. And yet you are hurting, causing strife, and missing out on unity that is greatly needed and ultimately give great happiness.

Some of you want to be away from troubled people because seeing the difficulties will be painful, inconvenient and take away precious time. If you feel defensive about this, please be prayerful. Take the road less traveled that leads to eternal life. And if you feel this is directed towards you as you read this, remember that I love you very much.


Extra notes on Samaria: Samaria was the capital of Israel in the region given to Ephraim starting in the reign of Rehoboam in the Old Testament. Before this it was joined to Judea, and they were called Israel after the Patriarch, Jacob, who later was known as Israel.

John 4: Jesus said He had a need to go through Samaria. While the disciples were going to find food, Jesus had His encounter with the woman at the well. After this, the whole village came to Jesus, believing, not because of the witness of the woman at the well, but because of their own experience with Jesus.

Mathew 10:5: When the disciples were sent out, they were instructed to not go to the gentiles nor to the Samaritans, only to the House of Israel.

Luke 17:11-19: Jesus was going through Samaria and healed 10 lepers. One and only one came back to thank Jesus. He was a Samaritan.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I hear You, God

I am so blessed by the presence of the Lord tonight. It is rainy, cold, and I am home alone for the moment. I started reading Max Lucado's Experiencing the Heart of Jesus and heard again even louder the message that the Lord has been sending me all day. My happiness is centered in my faith.
I am remembering another September 25th exactly 30 years ago. I was living in San Diego, CA, and in the uncomfortable ending of my pregnancy. It was very hot and smoggy. I had the constant threat of toxemia, having high blood pressure with my pregnancy. We slept on the fold-out-couch because the air conditioner was in the window in the dining room - living room. The bedroom was just too hot.
There was a plane crash slightly north of us that day, and my Uncle Howard died in Toronto, OH.
A year later I was still living on Triana Street with my family, which now included a second wonderful son.
I had forgotten the actual date of Uncle Howard's death, but God remembered and knew that Aunt Laura needed a special message of love.
Early in the day God told me to call her. I told Him I was busy with my children and that I would call her tomorrow. He kept asking me in a gentle way over and over again to call her. You have to realize that this meant research. There was no internet and I had only written a letter along time ago. I didn't have the address, but thought they had been in Toranto, OH.
After a while, it became an obsession to call Aunt Laura. I had to find the area code in the telephone book in order to call directory assistance. Sometime while the sun was still burning brightly, I talked to Aunt Laura. I told her that I knew it was around this time of year that Uncle Howard had passed and that I wanted her to know I was thinking of her.
She very quietly said that it was a year ago today. I'm sure my call meant something to her, but God's prodding meant more to me. Aunt Laura passed away many years ago too, but I still remember the joy of that day when God made me uncomfortable so I could send a little love and kindness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eve of 9/11

I’m remembering my experience the eve of 9/11/2001. As I write my story, I want you to think of yours and of others who suffered and many who continue to suffer physical and emotional pain. So many loved ones vanished suddenly and without warning.

I am one of the blest people who can sleep through the night without a need to get up for a bathroom trip. However, I awakened from a deep sleep with a desire to cross the hall to the powder room in the wee hours of 9/11. I never got out of my bed, because standing in the doorway was the presence of a large, fierce being, most likely a death angel. He was large with white hair and a large nose. I think he had a spiritual weapon in his hand. I knew then, and I know now, that I did not dare to cross in front of him, for he would have taken away my life. This is a fact.

Where did he go and what was he doing in my doorway just a few hours before tragedy? I did not know the pending tragedy and I was not sure what his role was. I did know that he was one of God’s powerful beings. Even now I am in awe that he was there.

Even though I have pieced together parts of my life to explain his presence, I would like to leave out any personal explanations. I want you to say a word of prayer and ask the Lord to show you an interpretation. I really would like to understand this happening.

It took me weeks to comprehend the connection to my night visitor to the happenings of the next day. When it dawned on me, I was humbled and amazed. I have not talked to many about this because the emphasis of 9/11 belongs to those who suffered loss.

We as a nation have suffered great loss of our people and even many freedoms. We must be a people of prayer for guidance for our nation.

Happy 59th anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Adam and Eve leave Eden

When I was 10 years old, Chester Kemper, the young senior past of our Nazarene mission church preached often that we should read our Bible daily. Thus I looked diligently through a catalogue and chose a Bible with references for my parents to purchase for me. Since that time I have purchased many Bibles, but that first one in the old King James version is still my favorite, because I learned to listen for the voice of God as I read daily through its pages.
Today I picked up this old Bible and found a favorite passage that I had not yet underlined.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
Many say that God created the earth in 6 twenty-four hour cycles. Many say that Man evolved through a long process of life changes. Even though I believe in one of the Big Bang theories, and that man and woman was a separate experience from the animal kingdom, I don’t think you must believe this to have a right relationship with God. In all the confusion, the most important information is that God created the heavens and the earth and God breathed into man and gave him a soul. This breathing into man made him different from all the rest of God’s creation in this universe.
Man is a special creation with the gift of God’s breath and eternal life, whether with Him or elsewhere, commonly called Hell.
Even though God made man to till the earth in the garden of Eden, it was more than that reason that He created mankind. He made man with the idea of relationship and love, that evasive, relevant, most important word.
Can there be such a thing as love if there is no choice to walk away from that relationship? There cannot be love if there lacks choice to not love. Choice by its very nature means potential disaster, failure, and ruination of the original plan. By giving mankind choice, God is even greater and more powerful than if we just had one possible path of existence.
We do not have unlimited choice. There are natural laws to the universe, and there are laws to behavior. We can choose to not have a relationship with God, but the consequence is separation from Him. Who in his right mind would want this? And yet by our very behavior, we over and over again walk away from the One who loves us the most.
God gave Adam and Eve one rule to not eat of the Tree of Good and Evil. They disobeyed and sin entered the human race. Sin is ugly and heinous in the sight of God. It was so terrible that God Himself slew an animal to cover the newly discovered nakedness of Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:21
Eating the fruit of a tree doesn’t seem that terrible. However the consequences of that one act was the killing of an innocent animal and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. No longer did Adam and Eve talk face to face with God in the cool of the evening.
Sin separates us from the true relationship with God for which we were intended. If you say that we were not born in sin, then why is it that we do not see God with our physical eyes and hear Him with our physical ears? We are born separate from Him. Unless something happens we are separate from God, hopelessly alone.
Before the Perfect Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, an innocent, perfect animal was slain to cover the sin of man. Sin is so awful that blood is the only thing that can cover it in the sight of God.
Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin. Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 17:11.
Now Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice, was offered for our sins. As we accept His atonement, we have a right relationship with Him and our sins are forgiven as we confess them. We can walk with Him in a spiritual way. In our souls we can hear Him calling to us. We have hope of eternal life with Him.
Ask God to forgive your sins through the gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Walk with Him in prayer, by reading your Bible, and by your daily habits, both self and towards others. You will have difficulty in hearing Him because we can no longer hear Him with our mortal ears, but with our spiritual ones. We still want to do things our own way and not submit to the humble path that we must follow in order to follow God. Let us talk to one another in our struggles and offer encouragement to one another, because, after all, we really do need each other.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Listen for yourself about Obama and McCain

Last night both Obama and McCain were interviewed by Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. Many pointed questions were asked Obama and McCain separately and without hearing one another. As I began listening through the answers, I prayed for guidance to listen carefully without any preconceived decisions or bias.

Before you listen to my thoughts or to any other commentary, please LISTEN FOR YOURSELF to the answers given. I believe you will know for which candidate you should vote. Please follow the link to watch the interviews. There will be a brief laps between segments to load the data. Please allow 15 second commercial at the start of each interview. Video with Barak Obama and John McCain being interviewed by Rick Warren.


I was impressed with one candidate who did not fudge around with his answers, nor did he say the answers were difficult. There was a wealth of experience from which he could draw reflections and fantastic responses. The other, because there is very little background, did the fudging and actually gave cutsie answers, like, when answering to whom would you go for advise concerning guiding the USA, he said his grandmother. Shish!

Do you know the issues? Do you know what the Bible says, really says about abortion and same sex marriages? You'd better find out and adhere to what has worked over the course of history. God's Word is truth. If we want to safeguard our nation, we had better vote accordingly.

God bless America! This is the land of the free. It is wonderful, and a great privilege to express my opinion.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bunnies On The Run

video

Because Larry and Curly need regular exercise to keep their tummies working properly, Jim and I move them to the carpet where they can do binkies, jumping straight up and down, and chase one another.

This video is the third take. It is difficult to catch any animal doing whatever is wanted on film. This little clip shows some adorable movement, chasing, binkies, and playing with the ball. No wonder we think they are so cute.

Like any pet, there are important things to remember. First, bunnies can get bugs in their fir if permitted to romp outside. Ours are indoor bunnies only. Any cage with a wire floor can hurt tender bunny feet. We have linoleum down and a relatively large enclosure for our bunnies. Carrots are not good for rabbits. Timothy hay is the number one safe food. Timothy pellets are a good secondary food. Occasional crasins and lettuce are nice treats. If food rules are not observed stasis can develop which is so serious that a bunny can die within a few hours.

Good news, bunnies are litter trained and rarely if ever have accidents.
Now go back and see again how cute my bunnies are.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

HEALING IS POSSIBLE

I know that I said the next entry would be about love and sin, but I need to write about healing right now.
Balm in Gilead

There is a Balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul
Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

This morning I could hear the voice of the Lord so strongly that it almost was audible. I had awakened in a state of panic because of my job situation. I needed that voice that directed me to sit and to listen for a brief moment to Randy Gilbert from Faith Landmark on the 7 AM program.

His message was about healing, which I so desperately needed to hear.
Jesus died to heal us from our sins, but He also demonstrated through His ministry that He wanted to heal us from disease, abuse, and failure.

With His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 and I Peter 2:24
These references refer to being healed from our sins.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18 referring to Isaiah 61:1-4

When Jesus read this passage in the Temple He was telling the people that He was and is the promised Messiah. He came to heal, not only your sins, but whatever ails you. Read all of Isaiah 61:1-4 for assurance.

The problem is that we do no seek, nor accept healing when it is offered. How often have you heard the Holy Spirit ask you, “What do you need, My Child?” And we fail to listen, fail to believe, fail to respond.

There was a father who brought his deaf and mentally ill son to Jesus. Jesus told him that all things are possible to him who believes. Then Jesus asked the man if he believed. The man cried from the depth of his spirit, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” Jesus was able to heal that son on such a desire. Mark 9:17-27. I have many, many times prayed this prayer and have each time been rescued and healed. Praise the Great Physician!

So the seed of healing is faith, even the size of a mustard seed. Often we don’t even have that. So the remedy is to search the scriptures to acquire the faith that is needed.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17

Now listen to this! I told the Lord this morning that I had no intention of just opening my Bible and believing from whatever. No, my intention was to read a book or a familiar passage. The Bible opened by itself to Jeremiah 8 when I sat down to read. Yes, really it did, and here is the proof: Inside that passage were thoughts on healing and why Israel was not being healed, and the only passage that has the phrase Balm in Gilead. Keep in mind that I had just listened to a message on healing, and last night, my beloved son, Victor, talked about the Balm in Gilead.

What are the chances of all those things happening? Sometimes faith isn’t so difficult. If it is for you, start reading your Bible and ask for the blessing. Admit out loud your lack of faith and ask our loving Father to give it to you.

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her, take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go everyone into his own country: for her judgment reaches unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. Jeremiah 51:8-9

We often think we can’t be healed. But it is because we do not believe, because we want to continue to wallow in our sins. Even Babylon, the evil city, could have been healed. But Babylon would not change.

Do you want healing?
This is such a dangerous topic because people die from disease everyday. Healing, true healing, is having a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
There is a healing balm in Gilead. He will heal you and make the path straight in front of you. You will always be challenged by your faith, or lack thereof.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My God is Sovereign Part 2

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". Genesis 1:1

This statement acknowledges a pre-universe era. I hesitate to use the term "time" because I'm not sure there was "time". We humans have time bred into us. We have difficulty comprehending existence without chronology.

The universe had a beginning, and before that God IS.
Without this simple statement, God probably is very limited in power.

New Age has become very popular and even some ignorant Christians think they can mix it with Christianity. Not so. Let me add that New Age is not new. It is at the root of old pagan philosophy called pantheism.

New Age or pantheism states that God, or the gods, were created along with the universe. They are in and part of everything. This means God is in the flowers, in the stars, and part of every human being. Thus we can worship anything and ourselves. We can make up our own rules as long as we are sincere about our beliefs. This sounds so nice on the surface, doesn't it? Yet this system ultimately fails us.
There are laws that govern the universe and no matter what we want to believe, these laws rule our existence. A woman can believe with all her heart that she is pregnant. But this is not what makes her pregnant. She is either carrying a fetus or she is not.

To every action there is a reaction. Have you ever seen steel marbles suspended on strings that when one marble on the end is released into the next marble that the marble on the far end will spring out and then comes back to collide with its neighbor, and the action continues on indefinitely unless an intervening force stops it?

So it is with our behaviour. There is always a reaction either with positive or negative reactions. We don't live in a vacuum. Our behaviour bumps and collides into one another's paths. Even when we are convinced we are isolated we are only fooling ourselves.

Some of the most basic laws that society would agree with are the Ten Commandments:
Don't kill
Don't steal
Don't desire your neighbor's wife nor his things.
Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the earth. (This is an interesting one that many ignore. If you mature, you will long to know more about your parents and grandparents. you will find understanding about yourself.)
Keep the Sabbath day holy. (Practical for good health.)

There is an order to the universe and there is One in charge who is the Author and Founder. He is sovereign. This means that we are not going willy-nilly through this existence called life. Someone - God has designed me and my surroundings. He is outside of time. He sees before my beginning and He sees way beyond my end.
Even though I appreciate the gifts of freedom of thought and ability to change the path in front of me, I am glad, so very glad, that ultimately I am not in charge. Good things and bad things can happen that are out of my control.

I am not the designer. I am the designed. And yet, here is the surprising thing: God is so big and so grand that He permits His creation to be creative. We can change much of our destiny and yet still be inside God's plan.

God is sovereign. He created this universe, this world, this people, this soul.
He has a plan. I am not the center of that plan, but I am part of it.

Love is my next topic for discussion. And after that: failure and sin.

Monday, June 30, 2008

My God is Sovereign

I am a philosopher and a theologian. And I have come to the conclusion that this is the fabric of mankind. Even those who do not believe in a god have a name - atheist. Those who believe there is a god who does not care about humanity are called agnostics.

We all must formulate a way to interpret our existence. Whether we like it or not we all live according to our own philosophy. What works for you? Will it work for eternity if there is one? Will it stand up if you are wrong?
LOGIC 101
God exists and He decides who goes to heaven or hell.
If I believe correctly then I will go to heaven. If I snub God, or believe incorrectly, I could go to hell.
God does not exist and there is no heaven nor hell.
It does not matter what I believe because there is no eternal consequence.
If I believed in God I may be happier even if I am wrong.
I do not know any atheists nor agnostics who have the happiness that I have even in the face of bad situations.

We have the freedom to decide what to believe and what god to worship. Many choose themselves in some form to be the object of worship. Even though our freedom is genuine, the consequence of our belief is just as real. We cannot change the outcome. Since there are rules that govern outcomes and rules that scientifically hold the universe together, it seems reasonable to believe in a god who has power.

Before talking about Love, I want to talk more about God's Sovereignty.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Storms

After an unusually hot and humid June here in Virginia, last night the weather changed with the roar of thunder, the flashing of lightning, and music of rain. I took a blanket and Wyatt, the dog, out on the porch where I stayed until the storm passed on into the silent night.

Storms make me rest in the Lord. I listen to the sound of rain rustling through the trees and tapping against the roof and windows. I watch the color of the green leaves restored from darkness with the flash of lightning. I feel the earth tremble with the power of thunder. All of this aligns me with the truth that this is just a little show and God is infinitely more powerful.

I have problems. Don't you? Even though they are oppressive, God is all powerful and will see us through. That doesn't mean that the trees won't fall on our house, nor that we won't be struck by lightning. We are part of this world.

Jesus said that we would have serious trouble in this life. And that we should be happy anyway. "Happiness is not always possible, but we should direct our focus in that direction.

May you find the peace that passes understanding today. May you listen and hear the music of the heavens in the storms of life.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grieving

Eleven days ago someone dear and precious in our family suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Tom was still young enough to have a prestigious position and was active in his community. He was blessed with a loving family and a large number of close friends.
I was not one of his closest friends, and yet I considered myself one of the many people who admired him and felt privileged to call him a friend. He was also the father of my daughter-in-law.

My personal sense of loss continues to be central in my thoughts. However, my deepest hurt is for both my son and daughter-in-law and her family. I have done three things that are typical for me when I don’t have answers available that solve the problem or that provide a cure.

First I started to pray. I took that deep, awful feeling straight to the throne of grace. I have listened and I will continue to listen. My grief is tiny in comparison to others, so I have prayed for the Lord’s presence and peace in their lives. I have prayed for the correct words to say. There aren’t any words that are free from possible offense. Even words of peace can hurt, because these are not the days of peace.

I’ve thought to say that I am praying for healing. But it is too soon. Healing does not look like a possibility nor is it yet desired. Hurting and numbness are the only true emotions right now. And thus I am praying that as I write that I love Tom’s family, that they will have something of value from that truth.

The second thing I did was to ask for others experiences and words of advice. A few of you have responded, and I gratefully thank you. I called up a dear friend whose daughter passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago. Just hearing the stories of grief has helped me see that people do learn to live on the other side of tragedy. I felt comforted.

Finally, I went to Morton Library at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary and took out a half dozen books on grieving. I have already devoured 3 of them.
My favorite is Living Through Mourning by Harriet Sarnoff Schiff. I like this book because it tells the many emotions that are normal and part of the process, and then it explains the emotions through stories. I can relate to the stories even if they have nothing to do with this situation.

Recently in Sunday school, we studied about the storm and shipwreck that Paul went through in Acts 27. He entered a commercial vessel as a prisoner on his way to trial in Rome. As he entered that ship, he had no way of knowing that there was a terrible storm coming that would put the ship in darkness for 14 days, and would be so violent that eating would be impossible. In the end, no one died, but the ship was damaged beyond repair. The storm ended and there were more challenges for Paul to face.

So it is for Tom’s family. They began that day just like any other day when the storm commenced. Their lives are now on that dark sea being tossed around aimlessly without any sight of solid ground. Someday, unknown at this time, they will see a dim light like the moon shining across the surface of the sea. Then in the distance there will be a spot of a rocky shore. And the challenge of this existence will continue on.

I have no answers other than love. We really do need each other in such times.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Seth and Angie

Happy Seventh Anniversary to my oldest son, Seth, and his lovely wife, Angie.
Seth and Angie are Gwendolyn and Graelyn's parents.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Introduction

My husband loves to spend time meeting new friends through his blog. I decided that I should also start posting some of my thoughts. This could be never ending since I have so many interests.

It is odd that the first posting I have is sad in nature. Someone precious recently died unexpectedly. What are your thoughts and experiences that may help me listen and understand those who are closer to the situation?

If you do not have an account, you can use the email function by clicking on "View My Complete Profile" to the right. Under my picture on the page that comes up, you will see, "email". Click on it.

Great Grandfather Humes

Great Grandfather Humes
Great Grandfather, Charles Humes, started the family interest in trucks. He is in the center of the picture and Great Grandmother, Eva Humes, is to the left of him.