On Retainer?

I was watching some show a while back and one of the characters was talking about wanting to sue someone and said “I have a lawyer on retainer and he will take my case.” Where someone pays a certain fee to have an attorney available when needed is not rare but I thought about how many people try to apply that to their lives. Sometimes trying to keep some people around, in case something happens and they need them for something but essentially ignoring the person otherwise. Reminds me of a coworker that complained about a friend of hers who, when she had a boyfriend, she would never contact my coworker, just nothing, and then, if she broke up with her boyfriend then suddenly, she wanted to hang out again. Texting and calling, trying to plan things, then poof, she got back with her boyfriend or got another one and never be heard from again until things got bad for some reason. If someone is a friend, they should always be a friend and not only when it suits one person.

And, as I pondered that issue, I started thinking how so many people that call themselves Christians do that same thing with God. They want Him available when they have a crisis, but otherwise ignore Him and His wishes for them. No thought of the Bible or the teachings of Christ, until disaster happens again.

I must admit, I have been that way myself, knowing God is real, knowing that Christ is His Son who died for my sins, knowing what I should do and should not do, but instead of doing as I should I do as I wish. Not being HORRIBLE, but still sinning somehow and not living as a Christian should and not obeying God. Waiting until I needed Him to pray or talk to Him. Not taking time to praise Him because of His mercies. Just, well keeping Him on retainer for when it suited me.

And, to be frank, it is wrong and was, in a manner of speaking, mocking God, essentially saying, “God, you hang out over there on the sidelines and I will call you when I need you.” As I see it, I ALWAYS need God. Maybe I am not in a position where I am in desperate need. Maybe I have no human needs at all. But I always have a spiritual need.

I was recently reading an article about people doing just like I did, called on God at extreme times and all but forgetting Him until the next hardship arose and then they would cry out to God, ask Jesus for forgiveness. And then, after the crisis passed they went right back to their old ways. Now, God doesn’t have a limit on forgiveness but the author of that article stated the result of repeated behavior like that is hardening of ones heart towards Christ.

The other issue is that Christ spoke about people being lukewarm and His feelings on that.

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:15-16

I ran the risk that He would spew me out. Now, this is from Revelation and talking about the end of time but we don’t know when that will happen. It could be today for all we mortals know. It may be another thousand years. It will happen though and I do not want to either die and face judgement or face judgement after the tribulation and be found to be lukewarm. I won’t relegate God and Christ to the sidelines to be used when it works for me. If I believe in Christ and what He did for me; if I believe in salvation; if I believe in the Bible; then I need to always believe and practice what is taught. I need to listen for His voice and guidance. I need to not keep God on a retainer but rather worship and praise Him daily. I need to live for Him and His glory.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and I thank You for my salvation, bought with the suffering and blood of Jesus, your Son, who died and was resurrected to defeat death and sin. I pray in Jesus Name that I remember that You are not on a retainer for use by me as needed. That I need to remember all You did for me and praise You for those things daily. In times of joy and times of sorrow, in times of richness and times of poverty for You are worthy of praise and my service to you at all times, not only when I have need. I pray that You remind others and myself of that and help us all see and hear the truths You try to show us and to hear Your guidance for our lives. I ask that You draw me and loved ones nearer to You.

Amen

 

thanks for your time today. I hope all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to others as well.

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In an instant!

Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.   James 4:14

 

I learned today that the Pastor’s nephew passed away very unexpectedly yesterday. He was almost 10 years younger than me and I have known the family most of my life and I am filled with sorrow for them as they go through such a shocking loss of a family member. The parents are dealing with something horrible to deal with, the loss of a child. I cannot even begin to imagine, nor do I want to imagine losing a child. Even the thought of the possibility hurts terribly. His wife and children, his sisters and brothers. The rest of the family mourning a loss on Easter Sunday. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and my most heartfelt prayers go to God that they seek comfort in Christ for He is the only one that can truly give the comfort that they need.

While the family mourns the loss of this man on earth, they are also rejoicing because they know he is now living with Christ and I know that helps give them comfort and cause to rejoice for him.

The thought of how suddenly something can happen and we or someone we know will pass away with no chance to prepare. This tragedy shows us that we must always be ready to meet God. In an instant we are of the earth and without warning can be standing awaiting judgement for our lives.

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.  Matthew 24:44

No one knows when his time will come to an end on Earth and not being ready every moment risks losing life eternal with God and Jesus but instead spending eternity in Hell. Instead of rejoicing with our Heavenly Father those not ready will instead be tortured until the end of time.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.  Luke 21:36

Thankfully, this man was saved and served God faithfully and is even now enjoying the rewards God has for Him.

Those who do not know Christ need to seriously reevaluate their lives and go to Him and beg forgiveness of their sins. Confess their sins to Jesus and believe in Him as the Son of God and they can know they are ready for their time to face eternal judgement.

While we can be facing God in an instant and if not serving Him before death, face eternal suffering and pain; we can also, in an instant, know the deliverance from sin and death by reaching out to Christ for salvation.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

If you are not living the life you should, not living in a manner that is pleasing to God or a life that helps you live maximally for Jesus then you need to seek Him and ask Him to show you how to live a life of the type that glorifies Jesus. He will lead your walk if you let Him. He will put you on the path He plans for you if you give God control.

I have, at many times, not lived a life pleasing to Christ. I have lived a life that even while serving Him I still was not able to serve Him as He wishes me to serve God. I am asking Him for His hand in my life and heart that He help me have the heart and mind of Jesus and that He guide my steps to get onto the path so I can be where He wants me to be the best servant possibly be for Him.

 

For this man’s family, my most heartfelt condolences and I remind them of what they know, despite the pain they feel, there is greater cause for rejoicing as he now sits on High with the Lord. But, also that as they mourn, Christ will comfort them.

Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.         Matthew 5:4

 

Heavenly Father, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the sacrifice Jesus made that we may all, one day, experience Your Glory if we are saved. I thank You for my deliverance and salvation through Christ’s death and His defeat of death when He was resurrected.

I pray for comfort for this man’s family, that You wrap Your loving arms around them and calm the hurt they feel in their hearts. Help them rejoice in their loved one’s salvation and that he now is rejoicing in Heaven. Be their Rock and Fortress as they deal with the loss. Fill their hearts with love, joy and peace.

Lord, I pray also that anyone who is not saved come to know you. That any who know You but are not walking in the path You wish for them would see clearly what You plan. For those with no apparent way out of whatever difficult situation they are in, that You unlock and open doors to make it simple for them to follow Your lead. I pray Lord, that You work in me that I know better the heart and mind of Christ and be a light for Him in this dark world that I may reflect His Glory.

In Jesus Name.

Amen.

 

Thank you all for you time today. I hope all are blessed, and are able to be a blessing to others as well.

The rattler!

rattlesnake.jpg

I may have mentioned previously, but I have Native American heritage. There are a lot of tales and legends that are intended to teach about life, how to live and do right; warnings of what to avoid to keep oneself out of danger, whether it be physical or moral danger. One such tale, that I have heard in a variety of ways depending on the tribe from which the version originated, is about the danger of things creeping into our lives that seem harmless but one finds out later that it is far more dangerous thing that it appeared to be originally. It’s about rattlesnakes. The version I’m going to tell is the Navajo version, mostly because I like it.

It was a cold night in the desert and the old Navajo man had a nice fire built in his hogan (their name for their traditional houses) and he heard a noise and looked and saw a sidewinder (a type of rattlesnake found in the southwestern states) and it was trying to get in under the door. He couldn’t quite fit and asked the man to please let him in so he could get warm because the desert is so cold tonight and he couldn’t get to his burrow and he knew he would die if he didn’t keep warm. The old man said, “No, you are a sidewinder and you will bite me and I will die!” The snake told him, ” no, I promise! I will just lie here by the fire and get warm and will stay there and leave in the morning. I won’t rattle my tail and wake you or anything. I just want to be warm.” The old man thought and said “I don’t know if I can trust you. You are a snake and snakes are known to be liars.” The snake repeated what he had said earlier and the man still said no. But the snake persisted. He told the man he would even bring him a rabbit or other wild game the next day in payment. The old man finally agreed and opened the door and let the snake in.

The next morning the snake was waiting by the door to be let out and went on his way. The old man figured he’d never see that snake again. But that night the snake was back and he had brought a rabbit as promised. The old man let him in to get warm and cooked the rabbit. This went on for several days. Then, one morning the snake was waiting by the door to get out and as the old man walked up to open the door the snake struck and bit his leg. The old man could feel the burning from the venom and knew he would die from it. He cried out, “SNAKE! YOU BIT ME, YOU PROMISED YOU WOULDN’T!” To which the sidewinder replied, “yes, but you knew I was a snake and we are liars and cannot be trusted to keep our word. You should have known better than to trust me. You and your people have seen what snakes do and that we break promises all the time as long as we get what we need we keep our word. But the nights have gotten warmer and I no longer need your fire so I had no reason not to bite.” He hissed as he crawled away. Not ever looking back or showing any concern for the old man as he laid dying.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.                             2 Corinthians 11:3

 

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

 

We are warned many times in the Bible not to believe satan, not to accept his lies to us, not to let him into our lives. Yet, we often are deceived by his lies. His promises to do good things for us and reward us and that we will come to no harm despite our knowing better, satan convinces us that he will only do good things for us, but eventually there is a cost to what he does for us. Just like how the snake bore gifts and gave the old Navajo rabbits that he could eat, satan gives us things to trap us and make us think he is doing good for us and then, suddenly the cost of accepting those “gifts” costs us dearly. Spiritually, if we allow satan into our lives in a small way we gradually come to not feel nervous or concerned about him being there and we become accustomed to it so we let our guard down and he will eventually do something to harm us and separate us from Christ and instead lead us to spiritual and eternal death.

Even Christ was tempted by satan. But, He denied the temptations that were placed before Him by the devil.

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Matthew 4:1-11

 

Jesus teaches us that we can, and should resist satan when he tries to tempt or deceive us. That we should resist the devil and that by doing so remain strong and steadfast in the Lord. There are times satan slips in, he appears to do no harm, he seems genuine and sincere so we trust what he says is true, but he lies. He promises no harm, while always thinking of how he can further compromise us; we are fooled into believing that the things we accept are okay because we need them or want them and that results in our being progressively less concerned about the devil in our midst. We think that since he has not harmed us yet, he won’t and then, suddenly we find ourselves, with the poison from being in a compromised situation with the devil, working its way into our spiritual lives and we find that we have sustained a fatal strike. Now, the difference in our spiritual life is that we have only to confess our sins to Christ, sincerely ask forgiveness and He will do so. We just have to do our best not to be deceived by satan again. I wish it weren’t so, but I have at times been deceived by satan. I have allowed him into my life in little ways and he has, despite making me think I was safe and wouldn’t be harmed, ended up having horrible impacts on my spiritual walk. At times, I thought it would be safe to tolerate a little sin, a small snake so to speak, and still been bitten by the effects of even small sins in my life. (yes, technically a sin is a sin, with no such thing as a little sin but we are able to convince ourselves that some things are not as big of a sin as others.) I convinced myself the small victories I received, the gifts, from satan were worth the risk and still I suffered the harm. Satan seeks only to steal, kill and destroy and when he gains even a small foothold in a seemingly harmless way he will be plotting our destruction.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for my salvation, for the deliverance from sin and the ability to resist the devil when he tries to worm his way into my life. I pray in the name of Jesus that You strengthen me in that area even more. Make me able to recognize satan as he offers temptations and I realize that it is not of You and that I need to only lean on You for my strength and ability to resist the devil. Help me be strong in my walk with Christ so that I am the example for others that You want me to be in my life. I ask that You help my loved ones recognize temptations before they become trapped in sin and that they look to You for their deliverance from sin if they find themselves in such situations.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your visit today. I hope that my rambling thoughts make sense and are helpful to someone. I hope all are blessed today and able to be a blessing to someone else too.

You can’t make someone do right for themselves.

Well. First off, as I was spending more time studying the Bible and in prayer I had things I was thinking about, working on understanding about the scripture, how God wants me to implement what I am learning, trying to see and understand what God wants of me and working to get closer to Christ in the process I came to realize somethings about me, one of which is I can process things better when I write; so, I shall write more. I don’t think I will write and post as often, but it is helpful to me and hopefully, as I had said long ago, something will hopefully be beneficial for someone else. And, with that being said…..

After Bible study last night I was speaking with the pastor and he mentioned someone that was sick so I asked if they had gone to the doctor yet and he said no. I commented that it seems they have been dealing with this issue for a while and asked if he had suggested they go to the doctor and he replied, “Yes, several times but even though we and they know they should go, you can’t make someone do the right thing for themselves.” And, I thought that while it was a simple statement and concept it was pretty darned profound.

As I thought about that, I considered times I have been he who would not help myself, whether that be getting help when I needed it, perhaps physical by not going to the doctor when I should have (yes, I am a doctor myself, but sometimes we aren’t good patients,) actual assistance with some sort of work I was doing, counseling when I was dealing with PTSD issues, or many other ways I could have benefited from getting help, one area I was bad about in past was seeking spiritual assistance when I needed it, maybe I didn’t talk to a pastor or fellow Christian that could have helped me some or maybe I didn’t study the Bible or pray about things. Thinking about ways I didn’t do it, I thought about people that sort of get help, but not really. Sometimes people come to the doctor, they need medications, the get the prescriptions and either don’t get them filled, only take it when they feel like it, take it incorrectly or don’t follow other suggestions like losing weight, stopping smoking or drinking or other medical advise. I also thought about a friend of mine who is a psychiatrist and he often would get frustrated with patients that had been listening to him, making fantastic progress and on the verge of a breakthrough when suddenly they relapse. They either quit talking about the true issue or they quit therapy. So close that he knew they were literally minutes away from getting to the point that they could actually start getting better.

I thought further about things, about times that I have seen people on the verge of doing exactly what they needed to do and just quit, give up on trying to make take the steps they need to take in order to reach that point they need to reach, almost there, but they stop short. That would be like an athlete in a marathon who is almost at the finish line and will finish and do well, but for some unknown reason just stop because they just can’t make it a little further. They were almost to break the tape and they give up and let someone else win.

How many, one way or another fall short of what God wants for them? We all fall short, but through Christ we are redeemed. I am not talking about the unsaved, but about Christians. How many fail to listen to God because they let other things interfere with their thoughts, prevent them from hearing or listening to God. Or, if they hear Him, they ignore Him. I will tell you the truth, I have been guilty of all of the above. And when I was, it was because I wouldn’t help myself by listening to Christ.

Of course, one reason to listen is to receive salvation. If we hear Christ’s call us and respond by asking forgiveness and confessing our sins and that He I the Son of God who died and was resurrected to defeat death, we can be saved.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10:14-18

and, not listening keeps us from God.

He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God. John 8:47

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip.  Hebrews 2:1

15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

Hebrews 3:15-16

 

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].  Hebrews 4:2

 

But, what about not listening to God and missing out on the real blessings He has for us. I know I have been very bad about that.

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:5-7

 

He promises blessings to those who listen to Him.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  John 16:13

But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke 11:28

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14

 

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.         1 Thessalonians 2:13

 

And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.  Luke 8:21

 

And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.  Mark 4:24

 

1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2

 

He tells us that He will bless us, make us His children if we listen, that He will lift us high above others because of our faith, that we listen to Him and obey Him. I know that in the past I have been given word from God. Through prayer, studying the scripture and at times He has used others to tell me. I have not always obeyed when I heard things. Because I did not listen or obey, at times I missed out on blessings, other times I heard but did not obey, until like Jonah, He gave me no real choice but to obey and when I did, He blessed me. Making me realize that my resistance to His voice delayed my blessings and thereby diminished them. No, we can’t make people do the right thing for themselves, we cannot make one listen and obey God. What we can do is listen to Him, obey His word and help ourselves. We can pray for those who need prayer, but one that I know who always needs prayer is me. That I know when to help myself by hearing, listening and obeying God.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings You have been gracious enough to give to me, even though I didn’t deserve them. I thank You for my salvation paid for by the blood of Jesus who died for me and was resurrect to defeat death on my behalf. I pray in the Name of Jesus that You work in me and help be better hear You when You speak to me, to know when I am given a message from You and to know to follow Your will for my life that I may receiving further blessings and more importantly learn to walk better with Christ. I pray that any who, like I have in the past, failed to listen, hear and obey You that they not harden their hearts to Your word and lose out on the blessings You have in store for them if they follow Your will. I pray that You draw my children and other loved ones closer to You that we may all rejoice together in Heaven in the future.

Amen.

 

Thank you all who make time to read the lessons God gives me. I hope someone else was blessed as well. Have a marvelous and blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else.

Spring has Sprung

spring

 

 

Here it is, the first day of spring. The weather is a bit chilly and it doesn’t feel so spring like out there. But, He will bring the weather we want and the plants will grow and life will be renewed. While winter is a time for preparation work spring is the time for action. Over the winter I have spent time praying, studying the Bible, looking to God for guidance on things and doing what I can to move forward in my Christian walk.

Spring is a time of change as well and after a lot of consideration I have decided that I need to step back from the blogging and spend more of my time in prayer and studying the Bible, talking to God and seeking Him. That being said. I have to admit that while at times it was work on the blog, it was personally and spiritually rewarding. It caused me to feel as if I had to be more diligent on studying the Bible and praying as well as helping me to take a hard look at myself to see where God was telling me to work hard on improving myself as a Christian. I am not pretending that I am perfect and in fact, I know I am far from that, I have and will stumble. I will at times fail Him. I try not to but I am human and we all have failed. I am learning though and falling/stumbling less often so He is helping me a lot. When I do fail Him, I try to correct things sooner than I would have before, I seek His forgiveness and ask His help to improve more in the future.

Over this last year I have grown a lot spiritually and I look forward to continuing to improve my walk with Christ. I thank everyone that tolerated me as I droned on about this or that topic that God was helping me work through at the time. I truly appreciate those who took time to read my blog, all the likes and followers I have gained in that time. I pray that He used me to in some small way, help someone else find a blessing as they struggle through their lives as well.

 

1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that [there is] no good in them, but for [a man] to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it [is] the gift of God.

14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth [it], that [men] should fear before him.

15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, [that] wickedness [was] there; and the place of righteousness, [that] iniquity [was] there.

17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work.

18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all [is] vanity.

20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

22 Wherefore I perceive that [there is] nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that [is] his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

 

Lord,  I praise Your name and thank You for all You do and have done for me. I thank You for the relationship I now have with Christ and that it has, and is improving, thanks to You. I thank You for helping me grow as I worked on the various posts for this blog. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue the work You began in me and that You help me continue to improve as a Christian and person. Teach me better how to seek You and know You and Your will for me. I ask that my loved ones be drawn closer to You as well and that those that know You come to know you better and those who do not, are brought to salvation through Your forgiveness and mercy. Show us all the true path You have planned for our lives and how to get started on those paths and how to continue in the way You guide us into for Your glory. Thank You for the redemption and forgiveness You gave me by allowing the sacrifice of Your So, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and was resurrected for we sinners. I pray that those who read this blog have been blessed somehow and you work in their lives.

 

Amen

 

Well, at this point I want to thank you all again and barring any unforeseen change to my mind about this, it will be my final post here. Perhaps in the future He will want me to resume and if so, I will do so gladly but for now I am going to focus on a more personal level on my relationship with Christ. I hope that in some small way I was able to provide a blessing to at least one other person and I hope that you all try to be a blessing to at least one other person every day. I pray God bless you all and keep you save and in His grace.

 

The Bible’s did NOT burn.

Hebrews_4-12

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  Mark 13:31

I saw an article on the internet and was amazed that the building burned yet the Bible’s and Crosses didn’t. Honestly, to me that is nothing short of amazing. It also seems to be an obvious sign that His Word cannot be silenced and or destroyed.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/05/bibles-crosses-survive-west-virginia-church-fire/3074465002/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/US/bibles-survive-unharmed-west-virginia-church-fire-fire/story%3fid=61480158

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/west-virginia-fire-freedom-ministries-church-bibles-cross-untouched/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/religion/2019/03/05/churchs-ashes-firefighters-find-unexpected-survivors-bibles-untouched-by-flame/

Multiple sources reported on this event. The fact that so many different agencies reported us amazing. That these news networks that seem so anxious to report negatively about Christians but all report on this is almost a miracle in itself.

 

His Word IS POWERUL! It WILL ENDURE! While this is a physical demonstration of how His word will endure but more than physically enduring, it endures in the hearts of those who serve Him.

 

Lord,  Thank You for the demonstration of Your majesty and for showing us that Your word is powerful and that it will endure. Thank You for the impact Your word and Holy Spirit have had on me in my life. I praise You and tank You for my salvation, for the grace and mercy I received. I pray in the name of Jesus that we all see the true power of Your word and that we all learn to listen to Your spirit when You speak to us. Giving us the strength and power of Your word as we strive to live the life You wish as examples of Your presence in us. And that we all know the forgiveness that was paid for at the cross by the sacrifice of Your Son Christ. Please draw us all closer to You that we may be a light in a dark world.

Amen.

 

I hope all are having a wonderful day and are blessed today. Please try to be a blessing to others as well.

The Storms

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I was driving today and one of the disc jockeys was talking about a conversation that she was having with some friends and one they knew had a lot of less than pleasant things going on in her life. They asked her about it and she gave them updates on things. Then, one of the women said something that is true, storms come before the seasons change. That the storms just have to be weathered and then better things are on the way. It made me think about in Iraq, how you could see a HUGE cloud of dust in the fall. We asked the locals that we were working with what was going on and they said that in 3 days, maybe 4 days, the dust storm would be there and last a couple weeks, but then they got excited and said that when it was gone, the rains would come. Seeing as it is the desert, water is important and the wells and cisterns would be filled.

They were excited to see the sand storm coming, not because they enjoyed it, as it was miserable. One could see only 20 feet or so and the wind was pretty intense, with the dust and sand blowing it stung! My experience was that the dust found its way into even the tiniest crack and everything was coated with dust. I had to start covering my cot and everything I did not want dust covered with plastic and some still got through. But, as miserable as the dust storm was, it was followed by the rains. The rain there was more of a drizzle, but it was nonstop for 2 months, then it got cold, for there at least but the wells and cisterns were filled, the crops could be irrigated when planting season came and they were all happy.

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Matthew 8:23-27

 

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall.

Isaiah 25:4

So, the advise that storms mean changes for the better are coming, one must be prepared to weather the storms and see them through. But, the glorious thing is that we need not weather the storms alone. I have had stormy times in my life. Sometimes I tried to get through them on my own and it was not good. A year or so ago I had some of the most horrendous storms I could have ever imagined and I was feeling a lot of despair, hopelessness and lost. However, in those storms I reached for the shelter of God and sought Jesus to help me through the storm and He did exactly as He promises, He carried me through those times, He gave me comfort and more than that, He gave me forgiveness of my sins. What an amazing God we serve.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    1 John 1:9

He rescued me in my storm; He calmed the seas; He forgave me my sins and I was changed. I cannot begin to express the depth of thankfulness I have for all the grace and mercy He shows me. None of which I deserve, but He gives them to me anyway.

 

My Heavenly Father,   I praise You and thank You for not only helping me make it through the storms, but giving me a change in seasons, a change in me thanks to You as I did nothing to earn it or be worthy of what You did for me and I can’t thank You enough for the mercy and grace that allowed me to be forgiven and redeemed. In the name of Jesus I ask that You work in the hearts of loved ones that they may see Your glory and come to know you as their savior as well. I ask that You help us all see that in spite of the storms a new season awaits us and that leaning on You for protection and comfort in those troubling times will not only get us through those times, but make us better for having called out to You in those times.

Amen

 

I appreciate the time that you all take to ready my blog. I hope you all are blessed today and have a chance to bless someone else as well.

 

 

Psalms 37

1 (A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Psalms 37:1-9

 

I was driving to work today and the DJ read a passage from Psalms 37 and it, like all the Psalms, tells how God will take care of those who believe in and serve Him. That He will reward the righteous even though we all deal with people that do us wrong and in a way says that He doesn’t want us to dwell on the wrongdoers and plot revenge. Just like in Romans 12:19 where He tells us, “……Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” He is telling us to not dwell on those kind of thoughts, that we should not try to punish those who do us wrong but to give it to Him and He will take care of that concern as He takes care of all the concerns we give to Christ.

It’s a Psalm telling us to trust Him. To seek God and have faith. To take comfort that He will take care of us and provide for us. He will give us all we need and want as long as we persevere in our faith and devotion to God.

He tells us to have faith, devotion and to commit ourselves to Him and He will reward us and protect us and that we should refrain from doing wrong.

What an amazing God we serve. I only included the first few verses but I encourage all to read Psalms 37. It gives me faith, hope, comfort, peace about what is promised to me if I follow Him and so many reasons to serve and rejoice in my Savior. But also tells me the consequences of failing to follow Him and the protection He will provide against those we are against us.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for Your promises, blessings and admonition to not sin to help me remember the rewards for living as You tell us and the cost of sin. I thank You for the salvation that You gave me through the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. I pray in Jesus name that I not remain steadfast and loyal in my faith and dedication to You and but that I continue to improve my walk with Jesus. Please draw me and my loved ones closer to You so we may all rejoice in Heaven with You. Help us all to follow You and the path You set before us so we not waiver in our journey through life. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of those struggling with life events, whether that be financial, health, work, or any other difficulties that life is presenting them. Help them see You in their circumstances and that they remember to praise You during the bad times they are having as well as the good times that You will bring their way.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your time and visit today. I hope you all have a blessed day and that you each have a chance to be a blessing to another.

Should I continue?

So, I got a notice today that it is about time to renew my subscription for the blog and I am asking myself: “Should I continue with the blog?” I initially started it to have a venue to write my thoughts as writing them out and reading is helpful to me and I hoped it would be helpful to someone else. I didn’t start it to try to make money so I didn’t do any advertisements.

It did help me, still does, but I find myself at a point where I will not have as much time available due to some changes in my life. I didn’t make any money from it, no shock since, as I said, I don’t do advertising and that is where bloggers earn money from their blogs. It isn’t really expensive so it isn’t a huge financial burden to continue it. My concern is the time factor and so I question myself about that. I weigh the benefits and the costs in time and money and I wonder if I should persist with this.

It has always been a good outlet for my thoughts and an opportunity to read the Bible as I write to see what He has to tell me about the issue with which I am dealing at the time. But, I wonder if I would do better to simply study the scripture and spend the time in prayer as opposed to continuing the blog.

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes  3:1-9

I ask myself, has the time that He wants me to blog come to an end? Does He have better ways for me to seek Him? Am I writing things that others find a blessing?

Well, to answer those questions; I don’t know. So, on that issue I will pray, seek His counsel and guidance and let Him lead me on this issue. I have a little over a month, so between now and then, I will give that to the Lord and see what He has to tell me.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalms 32:8

 

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13

 

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.  Isaiah 30:21

 

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

James 1:5-6

 

So, I will seek Him and His guidance and in the next few weeks, I will see how He leads me.

Lord, Praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the help You have given me through this blog. I ask in the name of Jesus that You help me to know Your will and way for me. If I should continue this blog or if You wish me to serve You in another way. I ask that You show me the path You have for me so that I take it. Thank You for the mercies You have shown me and thank You for the forgiveness and redemption from sin that Christ bought for me with His blood and suffering. I pray that loved ones be drawn to You and that You help them all to know where they should continue and where You want them to serve You. In their current paths or do You have different plans for them for their futures. Help us all to know You and Your will for us. Reach out Lord to my children and loved ones that they know You as their personal Savior so we can rejoice in Heaven together.

Amen.

 

Thank you all for your time today. I hope all have a blessed day and can be a blessing to someone else as well.

Challenges

 

 

I have had some challenging times and life being what it is I expect more challenges. In life, there are always challenges. One cannot escape the probability of challenges, we all have and will face any number of challenges and difficulties. Those challenges may be due to financial problems, job changes, marital, loss of family members due to death, health difficulties, difficulties with home repairs, automobile repairs, temptations, problems with completing school work or hard tests to take. There is always some sort of difficulty around the corner waiting for us. Some, so overwhelming that one cannot see how they could get past them, how they will be able to afford the cost, whether financial, emotional or physical. Facing challenges has costs that cannot be avoided. If facing a huge bill that they don’t have the money to pay. They see a pending loss of a loved one that they do not see any way they will be able to cope without that person in their life. I remember watching my parents as they slipped away from me. Praise the Lord, they are with Him now, but I faced those losses with such an emptiness that I could never have imagined being possible. There are some challenges that are smaller, less difficult to face and others so overwhelming that a way to overcome them is beyond the grasp of ones mind.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].                   1 Corinthians 10:13

After facing all manner of challenges in my life, before and after my salvation, but since my salvation I find that even the difficult challenges are easier, the hard times less so. Praying to help me see how He would have me react in those times, to see what path He wants me to take and of course, letting Christ carry my burdens for me.

28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:13

So. As I face new challenges in life, because life is full of challenges some worse than others, sometimes more frequent but I will face more challenges. I have His strength to help me be strong. I have Christ to bear my burdens. I have a Lord that loves and protects me in difficult times.

 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].  1 Peter 5:10

 

I will lean on Him in the challenges; seek His counsel when confused; ask or His comfort when dealing with troubling situations.

 

Lord, Praise You in all Your Glory. I thank You for the comfort You give in troubled times, for the strength to stay the course when I am facing struggles to continue on the course You have laid before me. I know that I will never be at a point that challenges do not come my way but I thank You for being there to help me through those times. I ask in the name of Jesus that others facing challenges, facing big decisions or difficult times, currently or in the future, be given the grace You have shown me and that You speak to their hearts and minds that they know that You are with them and give them guidance and understanding of their individual paths so they know what they need to do. Show them Your will in their lives and give them the peace when You speak to them so that they have the comfort only You can give. Thank You Lord for my salvation through the sacrifice of Your Son Christ.

Amen

Well, its cold in the Midwest and hopefully will warm up soon. I hope all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else.