Tag Archive | happy

Bible time for Justin and Jacob

“I know the plans I have for you.”  GOD  

There is no one His equal.  He is love.  His compassion knows no boundary.  He has no boundaries known to man.  Except one…your will. 

He will not allow anyone to put Him in a box of any kind.  He will break out of it every time.

He was, He is and He will be involved in the lives of all mankind because He is the creator of all mankind.

All that He is, His power, His love, His majesty, causes anyone who is in His presence to come away filled with awe and wonder.  In His presence all fall on their face.  Pride crumbles.

He loves mankind so much that in His plan, knowing the past, present and future, He sent His Son, His own unique Son, into the world of men as a man.  He came as a man among men.  He displayed God to man.  He came to redeem, to buy back what had been given away by Adam, the initial created by God man, who made the decision not to trust God’s word.

God is love.  Love gives.

Jesus taught His disciples that God is a father, “Our Father who is in Heaven”.  In this dispensation we are the beneficiaries of the last will and testament of God’s son.  He is the mediator of this New Testament.  He came to Earth to showcase who God is. 

God is a Savior.  God is a healer.  God is a deliverer.  God is a provider.  God is a protector.

God is a God of order.  He is not causal or careless.  He is purposeful and intentional.  He is not haphazard.

Corrie ten Boom, author of the book, “The Hiding Place”, tells the story of God’s love for those who abused and murdered her family and the Jewish people.  The Word of God says, “What does it profit if you love those who love you, love your enemies and do good and pray for those who use you?”  Corrie had to forgive the guard, who before receiving Christ as his own personal Savior, had abused her sister Betsey.  She could only do so with God’s love.

Can you pray blessing on one who has “done you wrong”?  Pride can’t, pride won’t.    Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that the one you hate, the one who offended you, the one who stole from you…dies.  Flesh wants a pound of flesh. 

“Tit for tat, butter for fat, you steal my dog I’ll steal your cat.”

You are only a human being, you are not God.  Apart from His appropriated power you cannot forgive from your heart.  And only truly seeing your own “self” in the light of His love and then seeing your offender through the lens of God’s love, only then are you able to forgive.

“With God all things are possible.  Nothing is too hard for God.”  With you?  Not so much.

Most of your life is ahead of you.  The path in front of me is much shorter.  I am advising you to make the most of each day.  Choose to follow the path least travelled.  “Broad is the way that leads to destruction.”  Many people are walking there.  The surest way to reach your desired destination is to stay on the narrow path, keep focused on the goal.  God is calling you to walk with Jesus, led by His Holy Spirit.  If you do so, you will fulfill your destiny

Religion will keep you satisfied, just a normal, nominal Christian.  Keep drinking that Kool-aid and you will leave this world having made your mark on the world.  “He was a good person.”, they will say.  “Only God is good.”,  Jesus said.  

A Christian is a Christ One.  Christ is not Jesus second name.  Christ means the sent one.  Jesus is the one sent.  His name in Hebrew, the language of the people when He was on the Earth, means Savior.  Jesus Christ…sent one to save, that was who He was.  It was love that sent Jesus. 

Who He is now is King.  A king has a kingdom.  When you accepted Jesus as your Savior you were brought into the Kingdom of God.  You are now looked after, taken care of by King Jesus.  You have to learn the ways of The Kingdom.  The Word of God will teach you the way.

Someone once asked thus question.  “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  This is something you should consider.

A true Christian will touch the world around him with the love of God, he will impact the life of every one whose life he touches. You have influence. How do you choose to use it? 

Learn to love.   May what motivates you be the love of God.

My prayer is that when you stand before God, the Righteous Judge, there will be more than enough evidence written in the book of your life to hear these words… “Well done good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of your master.”  Amen!

Answered Prayer

I wrote the other day how I hurt for my daughter Kathy as she watched her dear sister, Mary, dying in front of her eyes.

Well, today I can bring you a report of Praise to the God of Heaven and Earth.

Mary and all of Kathy’s family are Roman/American Catholic.  They strongly hold to the tradition and doctrines of the church.  They are lovely, caring people.

Our family believes and lives the born-again, spirit-filled, loving Jesus with all of our hearts lives.  The Bible is our guide book and as such we do not pray to saints, nor do we believe that water from a certain place is holy.

Having said that, we respect their family and know that they are as loved by God as we are and that He hears our prayers.

During this whole ordeal all of us, and more, have prayed for Mary. Well, I want to shout it, God heard and a miracle happened.  Here is how it came down.

When Kathy came to the hospital, the prognosis was that death was not far off because Mary’s lungs were in such bad shape.  She was on a ventilator and hope seemed gone.

So many people prayed and sent their love to Mary, but it seemed as though God did not hear and the end was near.

A simple prayer from a heart of love, filled with faith that God is good, made a plea.   That prayer caused the tipping point, the cup filled to overflowing, and God in His mercy made a decision, Mary would live.

Kathy asked the doctor what needed to happen for Mary to be able to begin Chemotherapy, the response was that she breathe on her own and her lungs be improved.

Kathy and the others in the room went to God with the request.  The next day the decision was made to remove the ventilator and see what would happen.

That is when the miracle happened.  Mary began to recover.  By the end of the day she was sitting up smiling and breathing on her own. The oncologist called it miraculous.  We call it a miracle.  Thank you Father, our Lord and our God!

The oncologist is saying that Chemo will begin tomorrow and Mary can possibly go home on Tuesday.

Our prayer now is that the chemo target every spot of cancer and kill it, but there be no destruction to surrounding tissue.

Focused death to cancer, that is what I am calling it!

Continuing to stand in the gap for Mary until the cancer is completely destroyed.

Joy

 

 

 

Divorce

Divorce is a cancer upon the world.  There is no good that can come of it because it always divides and subtracts from the people involved.  Children pay the heaviest price.  This subject is heavy on my heart this morning.

Having said that, God can make a mess into a message and a test into a testimony.  I have heard and read many stories affirming this truth and my own marriage is a testimony of it.  I have friends for whom this is also true.

Please take some time to look up these scriptures in the Bible.  I suggest the Message Bible as a very readable, understandable version.

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

Let us make man after our own image in our likeness.  Genesis 1:26

From the dust of the ground God made man and breathed into him the breath of life. Genesis 2:6-7

No suitable helper was found. God put man into a deep sleep, making a woman for the man out of his side.  Genesis 2:18

For the hardness of your hearts man was allowed to divorce his wife.  Matthew 19:1-12  Romans 7:3

Jesus said, “From the beginning it was not so.”  Matthew 19:8  I Corinthians 7:2

Man was created first, then woman.  I Corinthians 11:3, 8-12     I Peter 3:17

Submit one to another in the fear of the Lord.  Ephesians 5: 21-33

Divorce happens because of self-centeredness.  Each person doing what is right in his or her own eyes.  Proverbs 30:12

Does that mean that there are no reasons for divorce.  Certainly not.

God allows divorce because of adultery.  Though not clearly spoken in scripture, God does not condone one person abusing another.  But, that does not mean that in every case of abuse or adultery God wants a woman or man to depart.  God treats every person as an individual.

Define abuse.  Abuse can be physical, mental or spiritual.  When would God have you stay, when depart?  If your life is in danger, depart.  If your children are in danger, depart.

A friend of mine has stayed with a husband who is verbally abusive and now she has been diagnosed as mentally ill.  She left once and went back, in my opinion she should have never gone back.  I believe it was fear that gripped her and this opened a door to the dark side.  Though she claimed to be a Christian her husband became her idol.

My sister has been with a verbally abusive man for over 50 years.  He has little education but an outgoing personality that has gotten him by in life.  His weakness is putting her down to lift himself up.  In spite of this she loves him and believes that God has told her to stay.  The words he uses have caused her to turn to the Lord for comfort and strength, and He gives it to her.  He also blesses her in many other ways for staying the course.                  I Corinthians 7:16

The Bible tells us that a wife may win her husband to the Lord by her godly respectful behavior.  Surely God puts up with irreverent, ungodly sinners, sometimes for many years before they are won over by His love.  Earth life is short compared to eternity.

At this moment one of my sons is involved in divorce proceedings.  I believe that God chose this woman for my son.  That being said, the Bible says this:   “Many are called but few are chosen.”  I know that is not talking specifically about marriage and divorce, but the principle is there.  God calls some to be married, they can choose to do so or not.  Once married they are called to stay married to their spouse.

God has given each person a will.  We make decisions every day that affect our destiny.  God will never superimpose His will upon anyone, though He has the power and authority to do so.  God is love, and true love thinks of what is best for the loved one.  God often allows what He does not condone.

Self-centeredness:  “It is all about what I want.  Others exist to do my will.  If you don’t do what I want, I have the right to throw you away.  Life is about me being happy.  If I am not happy then you won’t be either.”  Plainly put:  God is not in it, it is idolatry, you are sitting on the throne of your life, you are your own god.

God has a way for marriage that transcends the world’s way of doing and being.  Like the salvation of a soul, it requires a death, death to selfishness, for God’s way of doing is loving your mate, giving of yourself, your time, to be a blessing to him or her.  In so doing, you will receive the blessing of the Lord yourself.

Someone said that God puts people in marriage to kill them.  I agree, because if you don’t die to self-will, you cannot stay married long.

The world’s way of marriage looks like this:  Each person finds someone who will make them feel good, feel completed.  Some want their spouse to do what they do, like what they like or go where they go.  In other words, to be just like them.  God did not create Adam and Adama.  He created man and wom(b)man for the purpose of taking care of the earth, populating it, enjoying each other and enjoying being in His presence.

God, in His written word, specifically tells a believer not to marry someone who does not believe in Jesus as the way of salvation, the way to God, the way to Heaven at death.  Why?  Because they are two different operating systems.

Does this mean then that if two people are Christians and they marry that they will not have any problem.  Absolutely not!  There may, in fact, be more.  The reason is that we live in a fallen world, a world where every man does what is right in his own eyes, a world where God has been put on the shelf or shoved out of His rightful place, thus the adversary of God will target the true believer, he will attack anything of God that looks like it may be successful.

Divorce in the church today is nearly equal to that of the world.  It ought not to be.  The handbook for believers, the Bible, clearly spells out God’s will for marriage.  Then why is divorce accepted among Christians?  My simple answer is because the Bible is not relevant to them or their lives.

As I said, we have arrived at the time when Truth has become irrelevant because each man is doing what is right in his own eyes.  This opens the door for all manner of evil to prevail.  Wrong becomes right, light becomes dark and good becomes evil.

What then shall we say of these things?  God have mercy upon us, forgive us for our self-centered way of doing and being and lead us into your truth, your way of doing and being right!  Amen.

Friend, please know that I bring no condemnation to you or upon you.  It’s just that I am grieved over the hardness of heart that I see around me.  God forgives any who call upon the name of Jesus.  I have a personal knowledge of this.  If you have been divorced, put away, God loves you and there is healing in Him.  Run to Him, He will receive you and love you to life.

This spring my husband and I will have been married for 53 years.  My husband’s first wife divorced him, put him away, for another man, and I had never been married, nor had I ever had a relationship with a man.  We did not know how to be married; we were flawed people who wanted to be loved and accepted, but neither of us was equipped.  We lived together for 35 years walking on parallel paths. I rejoice to tell you that we learned that only in relationship with Jesus are we loved and accepted.  This has brought us contentment with and happiness with each other.

Marriage is mixing everything together so that you cannot find the separate entity anymore.  Somehow you become one and yet retain your individuality.  It is a mystery when it is done God’s way.  And, it is wonderful.  Is it a piece of cake?  No!  You have to work at it.

We “keep short accounts”.  We don’t let offenses go and allow them to fester, we don’t allow divisive thoughts to continue, we communicate and solve issues.  We don’t speak evil to each other or of each other to another person.  We don’t focus on each others shortcomings, we focus on those things that we do well, or for each other.  As I was taught in Lutheran confirmation regarding others:  “Put the best construction on all that he does.”

My prayer for you if you have experienced the pain of divorce is healing in Jesus.  I also hope this has provided some food for thought.

God bless you, Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trophy – looking for love in all the wrong places.

Born in 1948, he was Nin’s 5th child.  Her Mother was not happy.  Yet one more baby for her to worry about.

Kenny was a happy baby.  He gurgled and cooed, smiled with his eyes, and charmed everyone who met him.

Nothing much changed about Kenny as he got older.  He still smiled with his eyes; he was active, always moving, doing something, testing her patience.

Then she became pregnant again, this time another boy.  They were close together, these two sons of hers, so close that many people thought they were twins.  The little brother was a follower.  He mimicked everything his big brother did.  Together Kenny and Larrie made quite a team.

Baby number 7 was born when Nin was 42 years of age.  She was a Down’s syndrome child, at that time called Mongoloid.  The extended family was quick to blame J.B.’s alcoholism.  Nin didn’t care what they thought, she loved her little one.  She gave me the privilege of naming her, I called her Cynthia Kay.  I thought she was beautiful.

Cindy was about 18 months old when Kenny and Larrie took her for a ride in the baby stroller.  Some of the neighborhood children gathered around and made very hurtful remarks about her looks.  Coming home, they asked Nin what was wrong with her, why did the children make fun of her.  The innocence of childhood and the love of family; they didn’t know she was different, she was just Cindy and she was their sister.

People are people the world over, we judge and criticize what we do not understand.  We still do it when we become adults, we are just more covert about it than children are.  How often do we say things to others that if said to us would cut deeply?  We don’t even think about that.  We should.

Kenny and Larrie got into a lot of trouble.  Mostly Kenny leading the way.  They were so cute, it was hard to be angry with them, but Nin did not let things go by.  Sometimes, she made them go to the tree in the back yard and pick the switch that she would use to swat them; but Kenny was a runner and he would take off, laughing as he ran away from her.

One day  a policeman showed up at the door.  It seems someone had seen the boys deface public property and reported it to the police.  Kenny heard him talking to her, ran upstairs and crawled under the bed, getting as close to the wall as he could.  That didn’t phase Nin, she got a broom and went after him.  He had to face the music.  He spent time cleaning up the mess.

When the boys became teen-agers, the issues became problems and heartaches for Nin.  Fast cars, fast girls, drinking and smoking, seemingly following in their father’s  footsteps.  By now Kenny was a very handsome young man.  He had no problem having a girl friend. Close calls driving drunk could have taken Kenny’s life, but God had a plan.

Nin saw to it that the boys had a strong work ethic, so when they were old enough they had to get a job.  Of course, it took money to live the lifestyle they wanted, and with J.B.’s alcoholism getting worse so that he couldn’t work, it was up to them to get it themselves.

Kenny had drive.  He wanted the finer things of life as he got older.  He saw what others had and he wanted it for himself.  He pushed ahead.  Military service side-lined his plans temporarily, but once he was back home he began his pursuit of things.

God brought him a wife, the perfect mate.  Though the ensuing years brought struggle and turmoil, God had a plan.  He lived a double life for quite a few years.  On the surface, he was a happily married man with two daughters, but he was sinning really well in private.

Trophy:  The apostle Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because he had persecuted Christians, though he said that he was ignorant, and that is why God could apprehend him.  Paul was one of God’s trophies.

As I thought about Paul today, I began to think of my brother Ken and wanted to share a piece of his story with you; I believe that Ken is one of God’s trophies.  Oh by the way, when he got older we had to stop calling him Kenny, he was now Ken.  (smile)

These days, Ken serves God as well as he served the devil, the world and his own flesh.  He is in love with Jesus and brings the good news of salvation to any who will hear.  He ministers love with his smiling eyes and kind words.  He is a trophy of the love of God.

I have no doubt that if God has a trophy room, Ken’s smiling face is there.

Love you my brother!

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