Tag Archive | Father

Roots

Roots, how important are they?

I woke up this morning at 3:33.  The number three stands for trinity, it is the number of God.  This led me to my subject today: Roots.  What are our roots, where do we come from?

We are body, soul and spirit.  God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God created mankind, He made us man and woman and out of that union comes a child.  Three, in God’s economy a beautiful number.

As I lay there, I began to meditate on last night’s experience.  The church is having Vacation Bible School this week for the children.  They are brought to church where they are taught that God created them, that He loves them, that they are special and He has a good plan for their lives.  I noticed that there were children of many ethnicities there.  How wonderful, how delightful and how unique each child is.

Some children are outgoing, energetic and fun-loving, others are quiet and observant.  Some children love to raise their hand to answer every question and others never make a move, afraid they will be called on to answer a question.  There are children who are taller than others of the same age, or one may be more “fluffy” than another, but they all are learning how to live, how to be a person ever moving toward being an adult.

My friend, Jeri, has struggled with weight all of her life, as we were talking one day she told me that she decided to agree with something she had read; she decided to call herself “fluffy” not fat. Somehow that helped ease the condemnation she felt.

There are many reasons why people are unhappy with themselves or others.  One very good reason is that some of us are taught to hate when we are very little people.  Rejection is perhaps one of the biggest issues that most of us face.  Some of us don’t feel we measure up to someone’s standards of perfection and so we hate ourselves and cannot come to the place of acceptance and peace with who we are.

There are others who hate people who are different in some way than they are, perhaps it is the color of skin, religion or some other prejudice.  I recall a song from “The Mikado” about children being taught to hate.  “You have to be taught, you have to be carefully taught.”  There are organizations whose whole base is hate, they teach their children to hate, perpetuating the work of the adversary of God.

Acceptance of ourselves as we are and acceptance of each other is necessary, mandatory, if we are to be like our Father in Heaven.  He loves and we must love; love the person God created, in spite of “flaws” that may be obvious to our eyes, or the eyes of someone else.

I think it must be said that blind acceptance of what is sin in God’s eyes, taught as tolerance, is not what God teaches in His Word.  God hates sin because it separates us from Him.  He loves family and like any good father He wants to be with His kids. God’s Spirit is always reaching out to draw us closer to Him in order that we might be forgiven and be in relationship with our Father.  God convicts never condemns His children.

Are we not all flawed in one way or another?  After all, we live in a fallen world; there is no Utopia anywhere on earth, and there has only been one perfect person that ever lived on planet Earth, the God-man, Yeshua.

The theme for this year’s VBS is Norway: a fishing village.  Since I am Scandinavian by my roots, I thought it would be an especially unique time.  Well, it was, but not as I thought it would be.  I was looking for teaching about the roots of the Norwegian people, but it was about modern Norway.

I think that understanding where we came from is a major part of coming into relationship with each other.  Children need to be taught their roots, naturally and spiritually and if we have come to adulthood and don’t know where our ancestry came from then perhaps we need to search it out.

Today there are many interested in genealogy, the search for your roots.  Sources abound where you can find out about your ancestry.

I recall a series on the local PBS TV station called “Roots”, I believe by Alex Haley.  According to some this was not an accurate picture of slave trade to Europe and America, it was said that slave trade went on in Africa years before the Europeans showed up.

I am reminded of Englishman John Newton who wrote the song “Amazing Grace” and his part as a slave trader in destroying many African people before he came to faith in God.  People capturing and using people, selling people, is not new.  It proves that there is evil in the world and it accentuates the goodness and love of God.

There is a certain amount of pride that comes with identifying with an ethnic group.  My husband is 100% Norwegian by background and his family is proud of it.  But, it is finding ourselves in the family of God that changes our life and makes us contributing members of society.

We can find our family origin, our roots.  We can find our place in history and still not find ourselves and our part in the world in which we live.  God created man.  Our original roots are in Him.  He is the designer, the manufacturer and when the product needed to be recalled, redeemed, He came to earth as the God-man, Yeshua from the town of Nazareth in Israel to do the job.

Apart from God you are defective.  Come to God through Yeshua (Jesus), He is the manufacturers representative.  He is The Way.  You will find your roots in Him and you will grow up to be the man or woman of God that Father planned for from the beginning.  The way is open to whoever will come.  You will be changed.  You will find yourself in Him; real life will begin.  Will you come today?

We love you, Jesus and me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Fear Walks

Mary was a tall slim woman of thirty five years.  She had never married, much to the chagrin of her family.  People had described her as plain, but when they got to know her they found that she had a delightful personality, everyone was better for knowing her.

Dan Archer was new in town, he had moved to Washington from the Midwest.  Jobs were hard to find as the economy was in a downturn, so he took the only job available, The Moton Pet Store.

Harry and Alice Moton owned a pet store in the town of Jethro, Washington.  They were animal lovers so when Harry retired from the business world they decided to open a pet store to do what they loved.  It was going well, so much so in fact that they needed to hire an employee.  Harry worked long hours and this would free up some of his time, so he could relax.

Mary Pierce worked for a local insurance agency as receptionist and secretary.  She loved her job.  Working with people was what she loved to do best.  She had been trained to be a helper since she was a child.  Her mother had been active in church and taught Mary to reach out to others, especially those less fortunate than herself.

There was a new pastor at the 1st Baptist church in Moton.  He came from California where he had pastored a church of fifteen hundred people.  Pastor David Melvin was well known in the evangelical stream of Christianity for his sermons on revival.  He had a large following on Facebook; mostly it was people who knew him or those who found him there and liked what he had to say.

Mary was a loyal member of the congregation since her youth.  Her mother Agnes was a founding member.  Agnes had raised Mary alone as Mary’s father had left her when she found she was pregnant.  He told her, “I didn’t sign on for this.”  Not to be daunted, Agnes turned to Jesus for help and He was her faithful partner.  Mary turned out good!

The Saturday before the fourth of July, Mary decided that she wanted to have a pet.  Agnes had died the year before and though Mary had an active busy life, she wanted a companion at home.

As it happened, Dan was working at the pet store when Mary walked in.  Dan had not married after he got out of college because every girl he met was shallow and vain.  Not one to dwell on the negative he took it in stride and moved on filling his life with friends and fun.

Mary asked to see the dogs, she was particularly fond of the Black Labrador breed.  Harry got pets for the store from several sources.  He had only recently acquired the Lab puppies from a source in a small town near them.  They were so cute and lively.  She fell in love with a male who seemed to be the most gregarious of the litter.

As she was paying for her dog, Dan asked if she knew what she was going to name him.  She replied, “Alphonso The Great”.  “Interesting name for a dog.”, Dan replied.  “Yes, I think so too.”  Mary responded.  “I will call him “Fonzie” for short.” Mary said.  “Oh, like on the old TV program, “Happy Days”? Dan asked.  “Yes, because “Fonzie” always wore a black leather jacket and my new dog is black, I think it is appropriate, don’t you?”  Mary said.  Dan agreed.

Dan thought, “Interesting girl.  Not much to look at, but she seemed to have a great personality and a sense of humor.”

Mary and Fonzie settled into what would become a routine over the next year.  He grew to be a full sized Lab and could take Mary for a walk instead of the other way around.  He was headstrong and wilful.  She decided he needed some training, so once again she went to the Moton Pet Store to get a lead.

Walking in, she noticed the man behind the counter was the one who had sold her the dog a year ago.  He remembered her and asked how “Fonzie” was doing.  Explaining her problem Dan told her about a man in town that had trained dogs for the United States Army.  He was highly recommended.  Mary contacted him and he worked with Fonzie and her to teach them how to work together.  Teaching Fonzie that she was the top dog was no easy task.

When Dan smiled, Mary noticed that he had a dimple in his right cheek.  “Mmmm nice, she thought to herself.”  Dan could not help but notice that Mary, who was wearing shorts that day, had beautiful legs. “The old-time movie star, Lana Turner, whose legs were insured for a million dollars, had nothing on Mary Pierce.” He mused.

As it happened, the Baptist church was having a revival the coming week-end; there were signs all around town announcing it.  A tent was to be set up on the vacant lot at the back of the church.  A famous evangelist was to hold the revival along with Pastor Melton.

Mary was looking forward to the meetings.  She asked Dan if he would be interested in coming to the meetings.  He wanted to get to know Mary, so he said he would be delighted to come.

Rain was threatening for the Revival week-end, but it was no match for the praying women.  The storm parted and went right around town.

Dan had never been to a revival.  He was not a believer, in fact, in his youth he had told his parents that he did not believe in a god he could not see or prove existed.  Naturally, his parents, who were believers, were devastated.  He had gone to church at their insistence,  but, since high school days Dan had not gone to church.  He had mellowed a bit and was not as dogmatic and argumentative as he had been then, but he still did not believe in God.  He believed in being rational and reasonable.  If it could be seen and explained, he was all over it.

Pastor David Melvin had brought his young daughter into the store to purchase a parakeet.  She was a sweet little girl with red hair that her mother had put into pigtails.  So adorable.  Dan loved little kids and hoped that someday he would have his own, though at age thirty, time was flying.

Dan saw Mary sitting up front; noticing a chair next to her he ventured forward.  “Hi, may I sit here?”  he asked.  “Yes, of course you may.  Good to see you again, I am so glad that you came.”  “I am glad to see you again, Mary.  I don’t know anything about this sort of thing.  What is the format?”  Dan asked.  Mary explained the general pattern of service, but offered that they just needed to be open to what God wanted to do.  Dan wasn’t thrilled with that remark, but chose to let it go.  He just wanted to get to know Mary better.

What followed for Dan Archer was nothing short of life changing.  In one night he experienced God’s power, a power that he had denied existed.

The visiting evangelist told the congregation about the love of God for them.  He explained that God was not mad at them.  “He loves you and wants you, just the way your are.  He wants you to come to Him, to know him.”  He told them that through the sacrifice of the Son of God for them, as if they were the only one who needed to be rescued from their miserable life, they could come to know this loving God, this Father.

Something was stirring in Dan, he felt very uncomfortable.  He wanted to leave, but he was sitting up front and would not make a scene.  He had heard this message before, but it had never touched him. “What is going?” He thought.  “I am a reasonable person, I don’t do emotional.”

Thankfully, it was over and Dan asked Mary if they could spend a little time together.  Mary suggested that they stop by her house and pick up Fonzie for a walk in the park.  He liked that idea and agreed.  He felt so comfortable with Mary, she was intelligent and could carry on a stimulating conversation.  He liked that.  A woman with a good mind was hard to find.

The next day was Sunday and the revival services continued at the tent on the grounds of First Baptist.  Monday morning Dan heard that a woman who had been hard of hearing was healed at the Sunday night meeting, so Pastor Melton decided to continue the meetings to see what God would do.

The praying woman in the community had been meeting together for over a year, asking God to move upon their town and revive it.  Now, it appeared that He was doing just that.

Dan called Mary to ask if she would like to have supper with him, this was Monday night.  Mary said she was going to the tent meeting, but Harry and Alice were having a get together at their house at noon, which he also had been invited to, and could they meet there?  The answer, of course, was, ” Yes!”

Dan loved picnics and Bar B Q’s, he loved the outdoors, so this was right up his alley, as they say.  He was delighted.  Mary arrived shortly after Dan did, she was wearing his favorite color: blue, and had on shorts again, showing her best asset, in his opinion.  He was finding himself increasingly attracted to Mary Pierce.  And, he liked it.

He watched Mary as she interacted with people.  He thought to himself, “How could I have ever thought she was plain, she is beautiful.”

Mary stood at the sink washing dishes and chatting with some ladies.  Dan watched her from the couch.  She seemed to be in her element when she was helping others.  What a great quality in a woman.

Mary noticed that Dan was watching her, she wondered what he was thinking.  He was so handsome and she wondered why no woman had snatched him up.  Feelings began to rise in her that she had not experienced before with any man.  She liked to be with Dan.  He was so interesting, but he was not a believer and she knew that she could not be joined to a man who was not of like mind and faith.

The food was eaten, the dishes were done and it was starting to get on toward late afternoon.  She had to get home, take Fonzie for a short walk and get ready for the meeting.  She hoped Dan would want to come, but he didn’t seem interested.

That night there were several people that were healed of long standing illnesses and diseases, as well as old Silas Crup who had been in a wheel chair for twenty years of his seventy years.  When all paralysis left his body, he got up and began to jump up and down like he was twenty.  The people were stunned to say the least.  No one had seen anything like it before.

Tuesday morning the town was a buzz about the healings that had taken place.  People called their relatives and they told others and suddenly the town was full of people coming from the surrounding communities to attend the revival meetings.

Several people came into the pet store to talk with Harry and Alice about the revival.  “Were you there when my cousin Sadie was healed of cancer?” Leta Carpenter asked Alice.  “Yes.” she replied, “We could hardly believe it; if we had not seen that deep hole in her cheek fill in right before our very eyes, we would not have believed it could happen.”  “But with God, of course.” she added.

Dan heard all of this and wondered what was happening.  “Could it be true?  Does God really exist?  Could I have been wrong all these years?  No, I have studied this thing out, there is no such thing as God.  I know I am right.  This is just hocus-pocus.” He thought.  But the crack in his armor had taken place and Spirit of God was drawing him.

When the revival was over that evening Dan was waiting for Mary.  She came to get in her car and he asked if they could talk.  Reluctantly, she agreed, but said she had to go get Fonzie and take him for a walk.

Arriving at Mary’s house, he put Fonzie in the back seat of his car. Dan wanted to talk.  She didn’t know what was on his mind, but she agreed.  He headed downtown toward the pet store.  Dan turned into the lot behind the store, Mary saw the community service officer’s car hesitate as she saw them, but then recognized Dan’s car and kept going.

He stopped the car and they got out with Fonzie.  Dan had the leash in his hand, intending to walk him along the grassy area behind the store.  Fonzie suddenly reared up, showing his teeth and began to attack Dan.  Mary stood dumbfounded at what she saw happening, she was paralyzed with fear.  Dan yelled at her to get back and call for help.

Incredibly, when the story was told later, they realized an angel, sent from God, came and seemed to get in front of or into Dan as he wrestled with the dog.  Fonzie fell to the ground, apparently dead, and what stood before them could only be described as a satanic presence.  It was the ugliest evil thing either of them had ever seen.  It bared its teeth and growled that it was going to kill them.

That’s when I woke up and realized I had a dream.

Days are coming when God is going to show up and so is satan.  Maybe you don’t know it, but there is a war going on and to the victor belongs the spoils.  The spoils these warring kingdoms are after is the souls of mankind.  I have read the back of the book and I can tell you, God wins, satan is defeated and sent to Hell.  End of story!

Which side are you on?  Think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JALYN’S JOURNEY

Father had a plan, He had a purpose.  All of Heaven was excited because it would not be long and a little spirit would be sent to the earth.

Tom and Laura had been spending time together for some time now.  They both had been led to go to State University, the angels that Father had assigned to each of them had been working toward that end and now it was in Tom’s heart to make Laura his bride.

When Father dreamed of the family He wanted, when He planned the who, what, where when and why of it, Tom and Laura were part of that plan.  He had a purpose in the creation of those who were to be part of His plan, unfortunately, not everyone that He planned for was allowed to come into the earth, some people refused His plan, they aborted it and it sorely grieved Him.

I present to you a plan that proceeded to fruition, and I think that you will be pleased, as Father was, because this story has a happy ending.  I will warn you though, as the story unfolds it looks for a time like the happy ending will not happen.

Come along with me on Jalyn’s Journey.

Tom was raised in the city that hosted State University, called by the locals S.U.  Because of the strong Science department and its professor, Tom chose to attend S.U., plus it was less expensive than other universities he looked at.

Laura was raised on a farm near a larger city.  When her family was making the decision where she should go to school they were more inclined that she should attend a school more in line with the faith that she was raised in, but Father had a plan and in the end she was sent to S.U.

Tom and Laura were in their senior year at S.U. when they decided to be married.  It was an exciting time for them.  The future ahead seemed bright with possibilities and they were eager to embrace it.  They began to dream and to plan.

After graduation the wedding took place, family and friends met each other, rejoiced with the happy couple and wished them well.

One thing about the future that we humans don’t think about is the possibility that things may not turn out the way we planned.  Life has a way of bringing disappointments into our lives that throw us out of kilter, mess with our minds and lead us into the dark night of the soul.  When this happens we are forced to think outside the box we have made for ourselves and if we allow it, this will lead us to our creator.

In our story, Tom and Laura flowed into Father’s plan for their lives; each of them individually had come to a place of decision, what I like to call “the fork in the road” , where a choice was made to go down the narrow path, through the narrow gate that leads to life.  And, while life on planet earth was not easy and they were dealt some blows, they always turned to Father for help and help was given.

In the course of their lives four daughters were born to their union.  Jalisa was the first born, the other girls called her “the fair-haired child” because she seemed to be perfect in every thing she tried to do and it left them feeling like they could never measure up to that standard.  But Father had a plan.

Next was Jalyn, after her Justina and lastly Janora.  The girls resembled their mother in appearance having her beautiful blue eyes and blond hair.  When they were little and Laura would take them shopping, people would stop her and comment how beautiful her little girls were.

As the girls grew up, the angels were busy, they listened for Father’s word and moved according to it.  There were times when Laura and Tom got so busy living life that they did not give the angels much to work with.  Angels don’t like to be idle and they wonder why humans don’t speak the Word so they can fulfill the assignment Father has given them.

Jalisa had left home for college and was ready to graduate in the spring and move into her career.  She had met Lance and they were making plans to marry when she finished her schooling.  In the mean time Jalyn was in her junior year of high school and doing very well.  She sang in the school choir, led in the debate club and taught Sunday school, or should I say she taught Sunday school until she was interred with.

Up to now I have not directly mentioned the enemy.  You know, of course, that Father has an adversary who seeks to destroy His plan for every human being.  And, while each human is special to Father, not each has the same calling in life and it is just there that the enemy seeks to destroy Father’s plan.

Let me take you back to the beginning…

All of the little spirits with Father wanted to come to earth, their sense of destiny and  purpose was strong and they asked Him if it was time.  Finally, it was Jalyn’s time.  She  was so excited.

Jalyn was born into the earth to Tom and Laura.  Second born.  Tom desired to have a boy  that he could take hunting and fishing, but because their hearts were right with Father, they thanked him for their new daughter and life moved on.

Jalyn was a curious, outgoing little girl with a sensitive streak, she liked to be with people, like to watch them and talk to them.  As she grew her dry sense of humor was a delight, not only to her family, but also to her friends, which were many.

As she approached the “fork in the road” on the path of life, the evil angel who had been assigned to her by the adversary of God called satan, advised him that there were some weak spots in Jalyn’s make up that could be exploited and he intended to take advantage of them.  The evil one said, “Then do it!”

Since the adversary is the father of lies, he is an expert at deception.  “If you tell them a lie often enough, the fools will believe it is the truth.”, he told the evil angel.  So, that was the assignment, tell Jalyn “‘The Lie’, tell her God does not exist and even if He did what makes you think He would love you?  You are not like your sisters, you are different, you don’t fit in this family.”.  He did it with vehemence and it worked as you will see.

Jalyn was going down the adolescent road, for the most part enjoying it.  In the distance she began to see something but though she was curious about it, she couldn’t quite make it out.

Slowly, she began to change, her body began to do things that were new and different.  And she was confused a lot about the feelings and the thoughts she had.  Her friends started talking about sex, drugs and alcohol and some of them had experimented with them.  Jalyn had been taught that these things were wrong and she should not do them, but she was curious.  It was this curiosity that led her into the enemy trap.

She was being set up.

There is an old saying, “Curiosity killed the cat” and sometimes that can be true.  In any case, for Jalyn, while it did not kill her, it left her with a scarred memory.  It was her weak place and because she yielded to it, she was trapped by the adversary and spent many wasted years.

“God does not exist, you can’t prove it!”, her friend said.  As Jalyn sat at her computer doing a term paper, she thought, “That is true, I can’t prove it.”  That was how it started, Jalyn began to entertain “the lie” and the road to apostasy began.  So, by the time Jalyn reached the “fork in the road” she was well on her way to denial of God’s existence.

There is always a day, a time, when a decision is made, but one is conditioned well before that day, and Jalyn was no exception.  Discouragement, depression, despair prepare the way for taking the wrong road.  As Jalyn approached the decision point, she saw clearly that there were two roads.  She could see that she must make a decision which one she would take.

Ahead lay the broad road.  There were neon signs flashing, music blaring and people milling around, smiling, looking happy.  There was all kinds of “stuff” that could be had,  there were promises of the “good life” if you took that road.  You could have it all, everything the world had to offer, all it took was a simple choice, after all you had been told you could go anywhere, do anything and you believed it.

“My parents are holding me back.”  Jalyn thought.  “I don’t want to be like them.”  “You can be free to be yourself and do what you want to do, they never let you be yourself.” she heard.  “Who can compete with Jalisa anyway, who wants to be like her, I don’t.”, she thought.

Such were the thoughts the evil angel whispered in her ear.  She took them as her own and the more she thought about it the more angry and bitter her soul became.  She could not wait to get away from home.  Oh, she would use her parents to provide for her college tuition alright, but she would be free of their influence once she was in college.

She stood at the “fork in the road”.  She looked to the right.  The road narrowed.  It seemed unappealing, unattractive to her,  it seemed dark and foreboding.  “Who would want to go that way.”, she thought.  “I know my parents have talked to me about the narrow way, but I don’t believe them.”  She looked at broad road to her left and it appealed to her greatly.  Her decision was made, she moved forward.  She was not going to go the narrow way, she would go on the broad road.

The decision Jalyn made was a decision of her own will.  The angel assigned to Jalyn when she came into the earth and the evil angel could only influence her.  The decision was hers.

God the Father has put the power to choose in each one of us.  No one chooses for us, we choose for ourselves which path through life we will take and the consequences of our decision rests with us.  Each of us faces a Garden of Eden decision as Adam and Eve did.  Each of us chooses which kingdom we want to be in.

When Jesus came into this earth He perfectly fulfilled the plan and purpose of the Father, so that anyone who would choose to go down the narrow road would find the door; He is the gate to life, and anyone who will can come in through the door and enter into the Kingdom of God, which is Light, Love, Life and Laughter.  There is salvation in no other, there is deliverance from enemies, healing, protection and provision to name just a few of the benefits of being a citizen of the Kingdom of Light.

It is written:  “In your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasure forevermore.”  Psalm 16:11

Jalyn finished high school and enrolled in a very liberal college.  It was there that she was further influenced to follow the path of the kingdom of darkness that she had chosen.  She was enticed to take a glass of wine to calm herself down as she prepared for her finals, after all her family drank wine from time to time so she justified it.  She found that it relaxed her and she was able to finish her assignment without stress.  From that point on each time she felt stressed she drank, unaware that she had been set up, baited and trapped in addiction.  It was not her intent, but it was the result of her choice.

Jalyn married a man she met in college.  He became a successful entrepreneur businessman.  Her beauty attracted him to her, but he was not a faithful husband and had many affairs.  Jalyn was aware of this, but she didn’t care.  They had a beautiful home and she had all the money she wanted.  She was living her dream.  She smiled and pretended that all was well as her addiction deepened.

Two children were born to Jalyn and her husband.  One of the children was a Down’s syndrome child and as the stress increased, the money, the prestige of position, the entertaining that was necessary to maintain their lifestyle, all weighed heavy on her and she turned to wine more and more.

Pay day came.  Her husband was found shot to death in a sleazy motel.  As the finances were sorted out it was found that he had defrauded many of his customers and by the time that mess was finished everything they owned was taken and she was left with little, not even self-respect.  Once more the familiar path she had chosen to take many years before was paved with disappointment, depression and despair.

She was at the end of herself.  There did not seem to be a way out.  Everything she had lived for was stripped away.  Her looks, her reputation, her status in the community, her lifestyle, all were affected.  She knew now that she had made the wrong decision and that decision had brought her to where she was today.  Her Mother’s words came back to her.  “Jalyn, when you come to the place where you realize that you made the wrong decision, and you will because I have prayed for you, turn back to God and He will welcome you home.”

Turning around, she headed back to the “fork in the road”.  She started down the narrow road looking for the door.  The gateway was covered with vines on which hung beautiful purple grapes.  The door itself was narrow, weathered, but there was a handle.  She reached her hand out, turned the handle, the door opened to an incredible world.  The light was beautiful,  she was welcomed to come inside, to “taste and see that the Lord is good”.

Even now, she was hesitant, she had been so deceived.  She had rejected the Kingdom of God and its King, how could He want her in her condition.

As she had that thought, suddenly there He was, King Jesus, standing before her with His arms outstretched inviting her to come to Him.  She ran into His arms and the sin, the heaviness, and all of the ugliness that she had become, melted away and she felt light, free, for the first time in her life.  She was home!

Each of us has a path through life on planet earth.  Each of us makes decisions every day that influence the path we are on.  When a child reaches what we in America call the teen years, he comes to a place where he is no longer a little child, he now “sees” and begins to make decisions apart from his parents.  It is a part of the natural process of becoming a mature adult.  It is also one of the most dangerous times in our life.

As you have followed Jalyn’s story, you no doubt have identified in some way with her.  We all come to the “fork in the road”.  Some of us ask Jesus to come into our heart and lives as little children, but when we come to the place where the road splits into two roads, we must choose to follow the narrow road that leads to life.  If we do not then we will go down the broad road that leads to destruction.

As I have written before, there are two kingdoms, two kings and two roads.  We decide why we will go, who we will go with, when we will go, where we will go and how we will go, and we bear the consequences of our choices.

It is written in the Word that some men’s sins go before them to judgement and some men’s sins follow after.  There is always fruit…good and bad.   Sin has a payday and righteousness (God’s way of doing and being right) has a payday and that payday is either now or at the judgment seat of God, but there is a pay day.

Friend, are you ready?  I pray that you are.  There are stormy waters ahead according to those who can see.  When the floods come you must be sure that your house will not fall.  The only sure foundation is Jesus the Messiah, the only Kingdom that God will bless is the Kingdom of Light.  You can be transferred from the Kingdom of darkness by going through the door to the Kingdom of light, Jesus is the door.

If you have not received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, today is the day of salvation.  Repent to Father God for rejecting Him and His Kingdom, for disobeying what has been there before you all the time, but which you have been too blind to see because you believed “the lie”.

God is not dead!  He waits to receive “the precious fruit of the earth”, the souls of men who turn to Him in repentance.  He longs, as any good father does, to pour out blessings upon His children.  But, you have to come into “The House” to be a child of the Father.

God has created, is creating and will create many more people, but not all of them will come to Him and learn of His love.  He could have made us robots who worshiped Him without a will to do so or not, but He didn’t.  He waits for us to love Him for who He is, “our Father who art in Heaven”, that is who Jesus taught His disciples that He is, Father.

You are loved by Father.

Psalm 139: 13-16:  You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother;’s womb.  I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth!  Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self know right well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]  (the womb)  Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.

You are special, you are called but the choosing is up to you.  How do you respond?

I am one with Him, I am loved, I chose Him, will you choose Him today?

Joy

 

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Perspective

We are all a work in progress.  We will not be finished here until our life on earth ends.  We come to earth through a woman.  After our birth, we grow in every way, physically, mentally, emotionally etc.  This process is without effort on our part.  We walk through life as if we were on a moving walkway.  Some people seem to run and some people decide to sit life out; others rebel against the process and still others go with the flow, but no one can stop the process.

I have been thinking this morning about my sons and how they perceive who I am.  If I wrote a letter to them, I would tell them that how they see me is not who I really am.   I am the sum total of all of my experiences to date.  Everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today.  I am not the Mom that raised them.  That person was left behind long ago.  I am more fully Joy today than I have ever been.

I was a legalistic parent.  It was my way or else.  I raised them by what I perceived were Biblical standards.  I did not know that God is not legalistic, He has laws and obeying them brings blessing.  Disobeying them bring a curse.  We can choose to obey and be blessed and we can choose to disobey and reap the consequences.  God is not angry with us, He loves us intensely, passionately.  Everything He does is for our good.  He is a good Father.

I reached a point where I cared about my parents, and though both of them lived with me, I wished I had sat down with them and asked more questions about their lives so I would know who they really were.  But by the time I cared, they were gone and it was too late.  I have read stories of people in trouble crying out for their Mom, needing her comfort.  I don’t believe it ever leaves your soul.

A friend of mine, in her 80’s, shared a memory of being in the kitchen with her mother as a little girl. She remembered how bright the kitchen was and the smell of bread baking.  She was happy; she had no fear or anxiety.   Yesterday she told me that her doctor says she should not drive on the freeway and her kids are talking about moving her to assisted living.  Another friend is having major health issues and has given power of attorney to a family member.  Each of these women is struggling to maintain their independence while realizing that eventually they will have to have help.

You have to be very brave to go through old age, because you eventually lose the right to be you anymore as volition is transferred to your children or a caregiver.

Americans have an independent mentality.  It is the foundation of our country, one of the major documents of America being The Declaration of Independence.

Parents look forward to their children being “independent”, moving out and beginning life on their own.  As we walk through life, we gather people and things along the way.  We get a job, marry and have children, buy a house, a car etc.  When the kids move out and we are left with the house and the things we adjust to the new reality. Old age comes and a spouse dies and another adjustment is made.  Life is a series of adjustments and adaptations.

There was an elderly gentleman who was hospitalized, he never said very much to the staff.  When he died and they were gathering his things to give to the family they found a poem that he had written in which he spoke about how they cared for him day after day, but they never really saw him.

This brought to mind what I came to know as reality, the spirit of a person does not grow old, only the body ages and dies.  The body goes into the grave and returns to dust.  The spirit, which is eternal, goes to Heaven or Hell; depending on who or what you served during your sojourn on the Earth.

We look at the body of a person and think that is who they are.  Not true!  The spirit within is young.  Some have said perhaps around 30 years of age.

How others see you is only one perspective.  There is another perspective and that is how you see yourself.  If we look at ourselves based upon what someone thinks of us, we will always be striving to please them.  It is a bottomless pit that leads to misery.  “You can please some of the people some of the time but, you cannot please all of the people all of the time.”  People who strive to please others are miserable and they are miserable to be around.

Of course, if you see yourself as superior to others you will be a controlling, miserable wretch to be around and sooner or later, you will be abandoned.  “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Lastly, there is the real perspective and that is how God sees you, which is the only one that carries weight for all eternity.  This is the only true view.  After all, the Word of God says that He looks at the heart while men look at the outward things.  It is written:  “Out of the heart are the issues of life.”  It is God that we are to please, living by His standards brings many blessings.

I pray that you will be blessed today.  God’s Word says that we are “accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesian 1:6  Let us press our flesh to agree with the Word, not what we think or feel and not what another person thinks of us, good or bad.  To be able to walk in that is freedom indeed.

Joy

Songs From the Prairie

There are many songs being sung in our world today and none without meaning.  There are as many songs as there are people.

This past week-end I traveled to spend some time with a woman who has been a good friend for well over fifty years.  She was born with a happy song, but with the years, and with circumstances, her song has been diminshed.  Oh, she still laughs and smiles, but her song is now tinged with sorrow and sadness as physical issues require attention, and her strong work ethic is not so easily managed.  Weariness often overcomes her.

My friend and I spent a couple of hours with our god-child, a very successful man who is goal oriented and driven by a dream.  The business he is engaged in is quite lucritive and he has plans for early retirement when he meets his goal.  His pride and joy though are his children, whom he talks about with great excitement.  From an earthly standpoint, he appears to have it all together, but some “worry lines” on his face indicate that even his song has a dark side, perhaps I should say a gray side.  Life is not free of challenges.

I am blessed to have a son and his family in the same area, so I was able to enjoy a few hours with them as well.  The song they sing comes across to me as mostly blue.  As a mother, I wish I was able to wave a magic wand and “make it all alright”, but my Father in Heaven allows me to make my own choices and decisions and some of the greatest lessons I have learned have been because of hard times.  So, I must allow them to sing the blues while I pray that the clouds will part and the Sun of righteousness will shine upon them.

Following the visit with my biological child I enjoyed a visit with my spiritual son and his family.  A visit to their home is always a joy because they have the gift of hospitality.  I feel welcomed and warmed by their kind, gentle attention.  Their home is in the country and because Spring has arrived, at last, in the north country, everything was green and growing.  I love Spring!  I love it because of the new life, the happy song, the hope of harvest, the hope of fruitfulness in the Fall.  I heard Spring’s song and I was refreshed.

Today as I was considering this week-end with the various songs I heard, my thought turned to fruit salad.  Strange you say, yes, I am sure, but then that is how my mind works.

There are many kinds of fruit, each one can be enjoyed individually and yet they can be combined to make a fruit salad.  If people can be compared to fruit, consider this:   You cannot take an apple and turn it into an orange, you cannot take a pear and make it into a banana, nor can you make a blueberry into a cherry.  BUT, you can combine them into a fruit salad that is incredibly wonderful tasting and very nourishing as well.  Throw in some blueberries for anti-oxident power and you are good to go.

Why do we try to make other people into our own image?  Why can we not accept  each other for who we are?  God loves variety, we all sing a different song and that is okay.  He is the author of all of the songs, but what we do with our song is what makes our song a happy song or a sad one.  Decisions matter!

As I thought about fruit salad, I realized that God’s love is the dressing that keeps it all together, adds just the right flavor to it.  It marries all the fruit together into a pleasing delight for the palate.  And yet, each fruit adds its own flavor to the salad.  Wonderful!

That thought led me to unity.  That is what happens when we allow God into our marriage, our family.  It becomes a wonderful blend where each one is loved and accepted as they are, without trying to force one another to be someone they are not, a job by the way, that only the love of God can accomplish.

Uniformity on the other hand is like homoginization, only one distinct flavor.  Milk is homogenized and that is good and right, but homogenized people?  No!

I love variety in food, I love variety in people.  I loved sitting with my friends nephew and his wife talking about their experience in Arizona this winter.  As they shared their time there, I lived it, could see it, could almost smell the ranch, the horses, the mountain air, and that is not my thing, but oh how lovely to be with them and hear the precious song they sang.

You, dear reader, have a song to sing.  You are singing a song in our world whether you realize it or not.  Won’t you consider what song you are singing and whether your song lifts up or pulls down those around you?

Everyone needs hope, everyone needs love and acceptance, everyone needs to be respected and honored, everyone needs to be valued.  As we honor God for who He is, realizing that it is His love that binds all of the different songs into a sympohny of beauty, harmony comes and discord disappears, our lives are changed for the better, the lives of those around us change and we come closer to Heaven on earth.

Yes, I know, Heaven on earth cannot happen yet, nevertheless, unity is the desire of Jesus spoken of in John 17 and each of us can do what we can do to bring that to pass.

Each of us is an instrument and we will play a song.  We must choose if our song will be discord or harmony.  Let us accept others for who they are and allow God to make them into the person that He wants them to be?  He can you know!

I bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus…Joy