Signs of the times?

danger sign

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Matthew 24:2-8

 

A friend and I were talking about the second coming of Christ. How some of the various signs that we were told to watch for seem to be occurring and that indicates the time is getting close. My grandfather said many years ago that the time was getting close; he talked about all the signs he was seeing that indicated Christ would return soon. Now, I can see that some of the signs that are in the Bible have occurred. Yet, there are a lot of other signs that have not yet occurred.

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

 

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.                                                                         Luke 21:25-28

 

SO, when will He come? When will the Rapture happen? Well, THAT is something that we just cannot determine. In fact, He tells us that He will come when we don’t expect Him.

But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  Matthew 24:6

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.  Revelation 3:3

What is undeniable is that regardless of exactly WHEN, that time is coming and is getting closer by the day. Will it be within a year? Two? Twenty? A hundred? A thousand? Well, as He warns us, we cannot determine when, but we must prepare as it will come. God’s concept of time as to what is soon is vastly different than ours, to God, an immortal, eternal being, time means nothing. A second, hour, day, year, millennia all are the same to Him. But, come He will and He will keep His promises to us.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.                                    2 Peter 3:8-10

 

Oh, the times will be difficult, but for those who believe in Him and are following Him we will be spared much of that which is to come. I am not a Biblical Scholar so I didn’t and won’t try to “over interpret” all the signs that we will see before His coming. I will address the Rapture and other aspects of what He tells us will occur when Christ returns in the near future.

 

Lord, Praise Your Name, I thank You for the blessings You give me, for the assuredness that Christ will return. I pray in Jesus name that we be ready that no one need suffer through the tribulation after Your return and that You draw us closer to You. Make us ready for the day that Christ returns and calls us up. Help us to be diligent and faithful until that time. Thank You for the mercy, forgiveness and redemption that Jesus earned for me with His suffering and death on the cross.

Amen.

 

Thanks for the visit today. Another winter storm in our area today, for the rest of you that are also dealing with the snow and cold, I pray He keeps you all safe and blesses you today and everyday. AND, of course that you have a chance to bless others.

Oh, and to those readers in warmer climates, I am jealous and so ready for the warmer weather.

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Is not obeying as bad as sinning?

 

 

Sometimes, I get questions that I sorta think I know the answer to but wonder exactly how right my opinion is on the subject. Some of the questions that pop into my head don’t have a good answer. Such as, why is it a fine one pays for getting a speeding ticket? It aint fine, it is awful, why not call the payment an awful? Besides silly thoughts and questions I do sometimes have profound thoughts and questions, much to the surprise of a lot of people. But, thinking on times God has put a burden on me to do something; talk to someone about Christ; do something for someone, help them somehow, or other things He has made me feel lead to do. Sometimes I do them but other times, despite knowing that He was speaking to my heart and knowing that I should do something because He wants me to do it, I don’t and later I feel guilty and convicted for not doing so. At times, not listening to Him results in me getting into, or staying in, an unpleasant situation. Sometimes I get myself into spots, I may not have sinned, but something in me told me it was not what I should do (yeah, it was God telling me) and I didn’t listen to His still small voice, so I blunder on my own and even though He doesn’t stop me, He does not reward me either and allows me to deal with the consequences of not obeying.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.    James 4:17

AND….that is the question of the day. Is not obeying as bad as sinning? Is knowing what He wants and not doing so as bad as committing a sin. Well, intuitively I want to say, yes, not obeying is sinning. I can be doing nothing wrong, I may not be disobeying God’s will, I may not be doing contrary to Christ’s teachings, but then again if I am not obeying God then, well, sadly I am sinning. Like when I was a child and my parents told me to do something, clean my room perhaps, and I played dumb later when it wasn’t done and even though I didn’t misbehave, not obeying them was disobeying and that is misbehaving. The same applies to with what God tells us. If we pretend not to hear, or due to pride, fear, thinking we are too busy, or some other excuse/reason we fail to obey, we sinned.

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

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.    Romans 13:1

Well, so far, yup, He is telling me I am supposed to do as I feel He leads me and that not doing so is wrong in His sight.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Luke 6:46

And, there it is, He tells us to obey Him and that if we know what is good but fail to do it, that is a sin. Seems to me I need to be better about obeying. I have been working hard on not sinning other ways but still through whatever stubbornness, insecurity, fear, pride, or what ever excuse I try to make up as an excuse to not obey when He speaks to me, I am not obeying and therefore I am sinning. If you hear or feel God speaking to you, do as He leads you. Such a simple concept, but sometimes, the simple things are not so easy.

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness and mercy You give me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me better hear and listen to Your voice and that I get better about obeying what I know is Your will for me. And that when I hear that I follow without trying to find excuses not to obey. I thank You for teaching all the things You have taught me and ask that You help me hold all the lessons to heart and incorporate those into my life. I ask that You continue to work with me to make me a better Christian. I ask that You draw all my loved ones closer to You that we all know You and the salvation You give us that was paid for by the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus who died for my sins. I pray You help me be a better example for Christ.

Amen

 

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

 

The Plan

battleplan

 

During a conversation with a friend recently the subject of plans came up. Human plans vs God’s plans. Part of the talk was about how sometimes we humans experience things that, as we go through them, seem hard to comprehend and at times seem to lead us away from where we think He wants us, but later as we look back and see the whole picture it makes more sense.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

We both made statements about God knowing so much more than we do and that His plan is perfect and if we trusted Him more, as in completely, we would end up where He
plans on us being much sooner and without the difficulties many of us encounter.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

As the conversation continued I commented on how it is similar to a military operation and how the privates don’t always understand a lot about what is going on, they have a mission and instructions on how to complete their mission but sometimes those instructions, the big plan, involves them going what to them seems like the long way around to reach whatever the objective may be and they decide they want to take a short cut but as they do so they run into a flooded fields, barbed wire, land mines or some other trap the enemy has laid for them and because of that they either have to move very slowly or they end up caught in a trap. How the enemy makes them suffer for not following the plan. But, if they persist, they can still reach the objective and after the mission is complete and they have seen the reason they were supposed to take the long route that in the end would have been simpler and safer, yet still would have resulted in reaching the objective without all the hardships they encountered because they took what seemed to be an easier, more convenient way.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

I reflected on how God often has a plan and we decide to take short cuts, remembering the objective, the goal, but not doing exactly as God leads us to do. Seeing and understanding His perfect plan for us, but in our simple human minds thinking that we can do it better than He can. So, we try and fail. Eventually we realize (hopefully) that we strayed from the path He laid before us, diverted from His plan. We are caught in the enemy’s traps and then trying on our own, just can’t seem to get out. So, we call on Christ to help us and He hears our pleas and gets us out of the mess we created and sets us back on His way for us. Reminds me of a movie I saw about World War 1, a soldier took a short cut while they were retreating and got caught in barbed wire and the harder he tried to get out by himself, the more tangled up he got. He didn’t have wire cutters with him to cut the wires and he was trapped. He called for help and another soldier heard him, made his way to where he was caught and cut the wires so the trapped soldier could escape.

8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

 

He is our savior. He has given us the tools, the Bible and prayer, to get out of the barbed wire snares of Satan and God has a plan for each and every one of us, we must only allow Him control and follow His guidance. Using the tools He gives us, requires faith and obedience, without those we can easily fall into traps and by alone we cannot get out of the traps. But if we find ourselves caught in situations that we know are not of God, even though we pretty much got ourselves in those circumstances through our own poor choices, He will come to our rescue and loosen those traps and help us, sometimes carry us, away from the situation. He will deliver us from evil, He will take care of His children and if we believe in Christ as the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected to defeat death and confess our sins and ask for the forgiveness we need, HE WILL REDEEM US. What an amazing Lord He is!

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

 

Lord, I thank You and praise You that You have a plan for me, and each of us; that You have understanding of things far beyond my simple abilities and that only through seeking You and following You will I be able to escape the traps of satan and reach that place that Christ has for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me listen for Your voice and feel Your presence and hand upon me, guiding my steps as I live my life here on earth. I ask that You help me better understand You and Your plan for me and help me stay in the path that leads me to Jesus. I ask that You draw us all close to You and help us be lights in this dark world to help others see the true path. Thank You for the mercy, grace and redemption that was given to me because of the sacrifice and suffering of Christ.

Amen

 

I appreciate those who take time to stop by my blog. I hope something I said blesses someone and that you all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else.

 

Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance

 

no fear

I had the radio on while I was driving earlier and the song “Stand In Your Love” came on. The line that caught my attention was the start of the chorus where it says: “Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” That got me to thinking about some situations where I have been fearful of something. When I was a child and a sudden loud noise startled me and I got scared; when I was in Iraq; times when change was coming and there was unknowns about everything; when money was tight and we were living paycheck to paycheck I was fearful about how bills would be paid; when I found out I was getting laid off years ago I was also afraid I would have trouble paying bills and many other times. Now, I don’t consider myself a coward but there are times when one faces difficult circumstances and it is hard not to be afraid. But, as we face the trials of life, the words of that song can give comfort, but more importantly is that Christ can give comfort in times of fear.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  Romans 8:15

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.  Proverbs 29:25

There are a lot more verses about fear, facing fear and finding comfort in His word and His presence.

Give a listen to the song when you get a chance, listen to the words, the verses and the chorus. “Stand in Your Love” by Josh Baldwin.

http://www.klove.com/music/artists/josh-baldwin/songs/stand-in-your-love-lyrics.aspx

Lord, Thank You for reassuring me when I face difficult times that cause fear and worry and for being my Comforter when I need comforting. I pray  in the name of Jesus that I and others facing challenging times regardless of the cause: changing employment, loss of employment, worry about finances, concerns about relationships, fear of any and all enemies that we face, fear about health problems and for all the other causes of fear, that You be there and strengthen us and make us without fear so that we can face them without the anxiety that comes with fear. Show us Your path and how we can best follow Your wishes for us. Teach us to face challenging times with courage and reassurance that You are with us. Draw us all nearer to You Lord that we may learn to serve You as You want us to serve.

Amen

 

Thank you all for taking a few minutes to read my blog. I hope all are ready for a new week and that you are blessed as you go about your days. Try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

Signs of Hope

hope

“My scars are someone else’s signs of hope.”

 

I saw this statement a while back, somewhere on the internet and had it tucked away in my list of topics. In a conversation with a friend the other day we were talking about hope, salvation, how Christ provided us escape from our sins and hopes through His suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection. All that was to allow that we, the hopeless and undeserving, would have forgiveness and salvation. Through His nail scarred hands we are saved.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Now, I got spankings when I was a child. NO, I am not whining about how I was abused. It was punishment for wrong doings. I don’t hate my parents for spanking me. Children need disciplined and discipline needs to be sufficient to make sure a child remembers what they did, what the behavior brought and that they would rather avoid the punishment by not doing wrong in the future. BUT, this is not a blog about that, so as before I digress……let me get back on track………..

Yes, I did get spankings and they were painful. But that does not compare with the beatings Christ received when He was beaten before being crucified. The whips they used had bits of metal or bone imbedded in them so they not only stung, but cut and ripped flesh. He had nails driven into His hands and feet(still some debate on where the nails were actually placed during crucifixions, but this is not about the historical accuracy,) pounded through His feet and hoisted into the air to die a slow, painful death. All that suffering was so WE could have forgiveness. His suffering gives me hope.

I have had some tell me that when I write about hardships and difficult times they think I am whining. No, I have to admit, it isn’t always pleasant thinking about some things I have been through. There are not too many out there that enjoy thinking on unpleasant things, on difficulties I have endured. Talking or writing about them makes it even more unpleasant. BUT, God sometimes burdens me to share some things. Not to get other to pity me, not to moan and wail about poor little me. But, I was scarred; some are physical scars that are visible; others are emotional or spiritual scars. I had things I carried with me from my life experiences. Sadly, I allowed those things to become barriers between me and God. Instead of seeking Him I built walls to isolate myself emotionally. Yes, I had and have scars. But, as the quote above says, and the reason for some posts, is that my scars and difficult times, with the salvation and deliverance Christ bought for me is a sign of hope for others. Well, I hope so anyway. I hope that through this or that event in my life from which Jesus delivered me that others see some similarity and realize that if God will do that for me, He will do that for them as well. I hope that my scars show them that there is hope in Christ and that He is the only true hope for any of us.

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Romans 12:12-13

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  Romans 15:13

I pray that seeing my trials and tribulations reminds them that we all have suffered in life but more importantly that there is cause for rejoicing thanks to the hope we have in Jesus. I know that all suffer, many far worse than I, but we do all suffer and because of that we all have our own scars. But, hopefully someone will see what I have endured and have hope that if God can do what He did for me, He can do similar for them. All they have to do is believe in Him.

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

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the salvation that was paid for through Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. I know that I am not worthy of that, but You gave it to me anyway. I see my hopes in the knowledge that He suffered to deliver me from sin through the stripes He took for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You use me in some way to help others see that regardless of what scars they carry, You can heal their souls, forgive them their sins, give them salvation and give them hope of a blessed eternity with You. I pray that You draw each one of us closer to You that we may give hope to one another and help each other to find Your perfect peace and the true path and plan You have for each one of us.

Amen

 

I thank you all for your time today and I hope you each have a blessed day. And, as always, that you are able to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

 

free

My mother would quote this scripture when I was a child and she thought I, my brother or someone else was lying about something like when someone broken something or maybe got into some candy without permission or whatever other mischief kids are prone to get into. She would start out asking us as a group, then as individuals. She would usually quote John 8:32. Eventually someone would confess or tattle on the guilty party at risk of getting into further trouble. And, because of when she used it, I often thought back then that it was essentially a scripture for use with guilty parties to “force” a confession so they would have less punishment and, to an extent, that is true. BUT, the truth that sets us free is the truth of Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins and was resurrected. Defeating death and earning us forgiveness and salvation that we don’t deserve. AND….we escape all punishment for our sins.

But, I also realize that like many scriptures there is more than a simple meaning to it. Yes, there is always a simple understanding of the scripture, but there is often a deeper, more profound, meaning to many verses and passages. Now I have come to realize that the truth of Christ is not the only truth to set one free. Sometimes in life a person is accused of some sort of wrong doing but the truth comes out, the falsely accused will be found innocent. Such a situation occurred at work not too long ago, one nurse accused another of not doing some things at work she was supposed to do, and also claimed the accused nurse did some things she didn’t do, issues with patient treatment that came up after the patient complained that something was done wrong. Well, nurse A accused nurse B, because nurse C made statements to the effect that nurse B did not splint a patient as they were told, and that they gave them a wrong medication. Confusing? Hang on, because it gets worse.  But anyway, one nurse accused another because of what a third nurse told them because of what yet another nurse said that they heard. Well, it was a few days after the fact before it was reported and the supervisor started to investigate the situation. At first, the nurse that was accused by another nurse that was not even working the day it supposedly happened but said “she was told” that the nurse didn’t know what she was doing, splinted the patient wrong and then did not check the medication that she gave the patient. Well, she didn’t say who told her but did admit it was what she heard but did not know for certain. Well, the accused nurse was on duty the day in question, but after reviewing all the information she was not the nurse that was taking care of the patient involved and after they determined what nurse was actually taking care of the patient they talked with her and she initially denied, but then later admitted that she did not know how to apply the splint she was supposed to put on the patient. Now, she could have asked and someone would have helped her or done the splint for her. In addition to that, she said that she was stressed because of the splint and “may have grabbed the wrong pill bottle.” Well, as it was she only gave a lower dose of the prescribed medication but not a wrong medication. Still, too low of a dose and the patient did not get the pain relief they should have gotten. There was a lot of conjecture about who told nurse A about what happened and most seemed to believe that the nurse that actually started the rumor and almost got the initially accused nurse into a lot of trouble was likely the one to start it. All done by a different nurse to try to keep herself out of trouble.

A few lessons in this case, if one doesn’t know something they should ask for help; if one does something wrong then admit it. Because as it stands, the truly guilty nurse had more problems after all this than if she had fessed up in the beginning. Nurse B who was falsely accused and had to deal with a lot of the fall out was in the end, exonerated. Although, put through a lot of stress unfairly, because of the unsubstantiated allegations that were made and some “judgement” of being guilty until proven innocent was applied. All in all, it was a mess for a while. Because someone would not admit to a mistake and because of the effect of the rumor mill.

BUT, the truth, when it finally came out, did make nurse B free. Not the freedom from sin and eternal damnation from which they who believe In Christ receive but freedom from the repercussions of someone else’s wrong act.

Well, thinking about the times my mom would quote John 8:32 she would often also quote:

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

She would try to get someone to confess and if the guilty party did confess they would probably get a lecture about being more careful, but if they did not admit to whatever had happened she warned she would find out and the punishment would be more severe. Well, the same thing applied to the nurse that initially messed up. She apparently tried to cover up her wrong doing by causing scrutiny of an innocent person.

As I think about this situation, there are a lot of lessons to be learned, on a day to day, real life situation it is better to admit shortcomings than to try and cover them up. It also reminds me that if one sins and does not confess to Christ that they are a sinner and ask for God’s forgiveness, they will have a price to pay for their sins. BUT, the truth and glory of God’s mercy and grace is that He sent His Son, Jesus, to stand in the gap for us, to take our sins upon Himself and obtain forgiveness for us.

 

Lord, I pray that I remember the truth of Christ and His sacrifice for me. That my forgiveness is not earned by me, but bought by Christ, the true Son of God. I ask in Jesus Name that You help me avoid sin and to live as You wish so that I can be an example of Christ on earth. I ask that You forgive me of any sins and that You help me see the truth in all situations before I subject someone to unfair scrutiny and false accusations. Teach me to not judge others and to not gossip and cause others to suffer needlessly. Draw us all closer to You and teach us all to be the Christians You wish us to be.

Amen

 

I hope all are ready for a great weekend, that you are blessed and also that you have a chance to be a blessing to someone else.

Trials

trial

 

I was watching news and they had some coverage about a man being on trial. The talked about the charges against him and such. Wellllll…..my mind working as it does I had a couple different thoughts. One was that with all the evidence God has against me due to my human frailties and from that I have sinned. I am guilty and even though I am guilty with no defense, I was forgiven. The charges against me were dropped and my record expunged. Christ paid my “attorney fees and court costs” with His pain, suffering and death on the cross. He bought me my freedom, forgiveness and salvation and paid for my place in Heaven when He defeated death and was resurrected. I didn’t deserve it, but He did. I’ve said it before, what an amazing God!

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

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

The other thought was about trials. Not court cases but difficulties we deal with throughout our lives. Problems at work, with family or other relationships, financial, any number of trials. Sometimes people think those trials are punishment for our sins. But that isn’t the case for those who seek Christ and acknowledge He is the son of God who suffered and was crucified for us. If we do that and confess their sins, ask God to forgive us He does so. And the sin exists no more. God won’t punish us for something that doesn’t exist. We become new creatures who are blameless in His eyes.

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

He does allow us to go through, and sometimes puts us through trials. Not as punishment but as a means to improve our walk with Him; to help our faith grow, to teach us to lean on Jesus and not ourselves, to strengthen us spiritually so we are better able to withstands all the enemy throws at us. He rewards our faithfulness during those trials through spiritual growth. Oh, He rewards other ways at times but the most precious reward is the one that has no monetary value but pays tremendous dividends in Heaven.

3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:3-5

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

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13

Lord, I come to you and ask again for the forgiveness You offer for my sins. Though I try to not sin I know that I fail at times. I praise Your name and thank You for the gift of Your own Son who suffered and died in my place and who arose and defeated the death I earned. I pray in the name of Jesus that people see the message You try to give us and that You draw them to You. I pray that those going through trials remember to look to You and seek You in the difficult times that You deliver them from their sins and strengthen their faith during the hardships. Bring us all closer to You that we may know Your true grace and mercy.

Amen.

I hope all are safe and God is with you as you go about your days. If you don’t think He is, look into your hearts to see that He is there, waiting for you to reach out to Him. I hope all are blessed and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

Leaning

leaning

 

I leaned against a cabinet at work the other day, it is on wheels and usually is in the corner, wheels locked. WELL, as it turned out, as I leaned back against it the cabinet shifted about 3 or 4 inches and I sort of fell back. I didn’t fall down, but the support I thought I would have when I leaned on it was not there for me. Oh, I lost “cool points” when I did that but otherwise I suffered no injury. I thought about a few times that I leaned on something for support and fell. One time I was hunting morels (mushrooms) and I sat down on a fallen tree. EXCEPT, it was not really stable and it sort of rolled/shifted under my weight and PLOP onto the ground I went. No one was with me so I didn’t really get embarrassed, but I did get annoyed at myself. Similar things have happened a lot of times. I leaned on a board that I thought was nailed in place only to have the board flip up and not only did I fall, but I got whacked by the board as well. In a way all of these were sort of comical but those episodes and many other times when I leaned on different things that were not as secure as I thought and I fell or faltered.

As I thought about that, I also reflected on the times I, or others, have looked to someone or something for support only to find that the support they expected was not really there. At times I have expected someone to help me with something and they have failed to do so. That has happened when I needed assistance moving something and other times I thought I could rely on someone at a time of emotional need and find they are not there for me. I considered how some will be going through emotionally difficult times and seek the comfort and solace they want and need with drugs or alcohol but find that when the temporary relief they felt was only that, temporary, and that they find themselves right back in the same situation. We have all leaned on something that was not the support we expected or needed.

Then, I thought about some extremely hard times, needing some sort of comfort and support to help me get through those times and finally realized Christ was there for me, waiting for me to seek His help. I think about the old hymn that “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” How He is there for us when we need Him. He doesn’t pull away, fail to support our weight, or let us fall.

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.  Isaiah 41:13

The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower.  Psalms 18:12

He is always there for us, when no one and nothing else is there to provide us the support we need. We can rely on Christ. We can lean on Him for the comfort, guidance, protection and deliverance that we require.

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.                     Proverbs 3:5-6

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  1 Peter 5:7

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

He will supply our needs and not leave us alone. He will take our cares and burdens and make them light.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:4-5

 

Yes, I have made a mistake leaning on things and on others that have all let me fall, but Christ never let me fall, He never leaves me without the support I need, no matter the struggle I am dealing with at any time. I just need to live for Him, give Him the burdens, lean onto He who died on the cross for me so that I need not suffer.
Lord, I praise You and thank You for the help, comfort, support and guidance You have given me. I thank You for all the blessings, for my salvation and forgiveness of my sins. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to teach me how to better lean on Christ for the needs I have, that I seek Him to help support me in trying times. I pray that You show all my loved ones that You are there for them as well. I pray that they all come to know Your mercy and grace and the forgiveness they have for the asking. I thank You again for my many blessings and pray that all receive the greatest blessing of all, the redemption of their sins.

 

Thanks to all who take their time to read my words, I hope something in them blesses someone and that all have receive some sort of blessing today. Please try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

 

VICTORY!

victory

I was watching a documentary about World War Two the other day and part of it showed some of the celebrations for VJ and VE days. It’s hard for me to fully appreciate the joy they felt. It is hard to understand the hardships endured in the US during the war. So many of the men, and quite a few women, were gone in support of the war effort. Factories were converted from making cars, farm machinery, office equipment and such to produce tanks, airplanes, guns, and other required supplies for the military. Food items were rationed, gas was rationed, they couldn’t buy tires and a lot of other things. One way or another, the entire country was at war, regardless of whether they were in the military or not. And, when the war ended, they were going to return to normal lives. Definitely cause to celebrate.

But, as I saw them celebrating I thought about how I celebrated victories. When I was young if my team won a ball game, when I accomplished something difficult, how victorious I felt at times when I was in Iraq and a roadside bomb blew up and despite damage to vehicle I was unscathed and when bullets whizzed by but I was not hit. I celebrated all those victories. But, the victory that I celebrate, not with cheering and raucous behavior, but with silent thanks and at times tears is the victory that Christ gave me over sin and death. I celebrate my salvation, thanks to His sacrifice.

But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.    I Corinthians 15:57

Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.                                  2 Corinthians 2:14

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  Romans 6:14

What an amazing God. He sent His Son to die on the cross; He showed us mercy and grace: He forgave us when we did not deserve it: He gives us triumph over sin and death. Yes, I have had victories in life, some bigger than others, but none will ever compare to the defeat of sin and death that I did nothing to earn, yet was given through Jesus and His sacrifice for me.

 

Lord, I thank You for the victories in life but the greatest victory was the defeat of sin in my life through Your Son, Christ, who died for my sins and so I could have salvation. I praise Your Holy Name and stand in awe of Your love for us sinners. I pray in the Name of Jesus that I live as You wish me to live that I may enjoy that victory and that I am able to help others know that same victory by showing how merciful You are to us. I pray that my loved ones come to know You and that same victory, that we all are drawn close to You and see and follow Your plan for us.

Amen

 

Well, it is way cold in the middle of the country and other places at well, for those of you who have to go out in the sub-zero temperatures, be sure to dress appropriately. To those who live or are in warmer climates, well, I am jealous but also hope you enjoy the warmth He provides. I hope all have a chance to be a blessing to someone else today and are also blessed as you go about your days.

 

Oatmeal????

quaker

Well, no, not Quaker oatmeal, but Quaker as in the denomination.Today I was visiting with my unit chaplain at drill. He is fairly new to the unit and we had exchanged pleasantries previously but never really talked much. He has a Cross on his uniform so I knew he was a Christian Chaplain, but didn’t know what denomination, etc. So, I asked him, “So, what flavor Chaplain are you?” He looked at me kinda funny and I said, “What denomination?” I explained that I was curious about the different denominations and if he was a pastor with a church I wasn’t familiar with I would like to visit some time to learn more about it. AND……he said ae attended the Friends Seminary. I wasn’t familiar with that term and he said Quakers. Well, counting him, I know one Quaker. The only other one I knew of was the guy on Quaker Oats. We joked about him not wearing the right hat and such and then I asked if he had a few minutes because I was not familiar with that denomination and I am always interested in learning a little more. He was agreeable and we talked for several minutes about the tenets of his faith. He asked about where I went to church, we talked about my believes, the aspects of both, the differences and I commented about being raised to think that no one denomination that reach Heaven and instead there will be people from all denominations present and as long as they all believed that Jesus was the son of God who was crucified for our sins and resurrected to defeat death.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9-10

 

 

He agreed and we talked a little more about the various churches that are more strict on ceremony (liturgy) that some believe must be followed and others that are more informal on how we can interact with God. After a few minutes I had to get back to work, but it was an interesting talk. Learning about a different denomination, not the same as the church I attend, but not a lot different. And, how, even though some in his church tend to be more rigid in their thinking (as we see in all churches) but most believed that salvation does not require one way of thinking, one way of doing things. Oh, there are some that believe the only right way to reach Heaven is the way they believe and that everyone else is wrong.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:12

One aspect he mentioned that was a believe of Quakers that I strongly agreed with is that each of us is able to have a relationship with God individually. We don’t need ministers, priests, lay ministers or others to have God in our lives. We don’t have to be in church to have a significant experience with God. BUT, they also believe that gathering together is important as well. There are a lot of other denominations that believe this as well. I think a lot of people worry more about church and God on Sunday’s and then not talk to God during the week. Church is not a replacement for an individual relationship with Jesus, it is to help us have a more meaningful personal relationship with Him and to give us the chance to get together with others to help us all build up one another and be encouraged in each of our relationships with Christ.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians 3:16

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Hebrews 10:25

 

Lord, I thank You for the opportunities to visit with other Christians, those from my church as well as other churches. For the opportunity to learn more about You by understanding the believes of other denominations. I pray in Jesus name that You help me know the real truth of how to know You and have the relationship with You that best serves You and helps me be a better vessel for You. I pray that You work in my heart that I never forget that You gave Your Son that I may have life. I know there are those out there who believe wrong about some things and I pray You work on their hearts and show them (and me) the real truth. Bring us all to a closer walk and understanding of what Your will for us is on Earth.

Amen

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