Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Seek Ye First

It seems like I am forever seeking after something. Sometimes it’s a new recipe, a new hair style, a new way to get healthy or a new way to be a better person. Always on the lookout for the new and improved so I can become a new and improved person. All that seeking wears me out sometimes.

Love, love, love Pinterest, all those pictures for yummy food, great hair and healthy people. How could I not become better if I did all these things? I show my hair stylist the pictures of hair I want and then it looks totally different on me. Somehow my recipes just don’t look the same as they do in those pictures, must be the lighting. Those exercises look so easy until I try them. I really thought I could get my leg to do that? Really, the girl in the picture is 20 something and I am 60 something. Somebody help me!

Yup, I’m tired just looking at all the ways I can keep up with somebody else. So maybe I ought to think about this seeking thing I’m doing.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary tells me what seek means:
  • to search for (someone or something) : to try to find (someone or something)
  • to ask for (help, advice, etc.)
  • to try to get or achieve (something)
I’ve been trying to decide what color to paint the living room walls. Now that should not be a major decision but it has become one. I have purchased seven different colors in the last three weeks. I paint a huge spot on three of the walls to see how the light shines on it at different times of the day. Each time my husband and I look at each other and say too blue. Who knew there were 20 different shades of gray? Blue grays, red grays, beige grays and black grays and everything in between. I finally just decided on the best of all of them Light French Gray. (still looks blue to me)

Normally when I become obsessive about something I try and find out what God has to say about it. So I looked up the word seek in the Bible. Wow, it is listed 309 times in the NKJV.

People did a lot of searching back in Bible days. They had to search for basic needs like water, food and shelter. We take those for granted most of the time now. If we are searching something now we just Google it.

There was another form of searching they were doing back then that we do today. Searching for the truth in God’s word. Every time I hear the word seek I remember the verse in Matthew

6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

If I spent time searching the scriptures as much as I search Pinterest or Facebook then maybe I would have a better understanding of all things. It may not help me decide on my paint color, but I’m sure I would receive more peace about my decisions.

May God Bless

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Church Lady

Wonder what popped into your mind when you read the title? When I hear the term “church lady” I think of Dana Carvey’s character on Saturday Night Live. That character cracks me up.

Really, when I think about a “church lady”, I picture an older woman, very serious looking – almost stern and of course she would be wearing a strand of pearls. Her collar would be buttoned up tight and her dress would be something matronly looking. Funny isn’t it what images we come up with certain words and phrases.

Going to services in our congregation I see all kinds of church ladies. Ladies with all different colors and lengths of hair, stylish clothing, all different ages and different sizes, and they all have one thing in common. Their willingness to meet together and worship God. Each one of them is different in their own way.

Let’s look at some of the women in the Bible.
  • Eve – the mother of all living persons
  • Woman at the well – sinful but searching
  • Mary Magdalene – a follower of Jesus
  • Esther – a queen
  • Ruth – a beloved mother-in-law
  • Jael – an ordinary woman who would kill
  • Deborah – a warrior princess

Which one of these women would you be able to pick out of a crowd? Each of these listed above could be any one of us.

Some of those women I worship with I know them very well. Others I just know their names and faces, then others I’m just getting to know.

I’m always amazed when I get to know someone new and there story of where they have been in their lives and how they came to find Christ. When I first started going to worship, I felt like everyone was better than me and I was a heathen that had so much to learn. Amazing to find out that at some point and time we all have been “at the beginning” of becoming a “church lady”.

So as you go through your week, think about how far you have come in your walk with Christ and what kind of “church lady” you are. Stop and say a special prayer this week for all the women in the church who trying their best to be like Christ in their own special way with the gifts that God has given them.

May God Bless

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Detoxing – All the Rave

So, tell me what is this “detox” all about? You drink lemon and spinach water and empty yourself until you can’t stand up. Whaaaat? Somehow I don’t think this is good for me. Now each of us can do our own thing, but I know for a fact that one isn’t going to work for me. Let me clarify, I’m not talking about detoxing from alcohol or drugs, that is a totally different subject.

I know we pick up free radicals thought our breathing air and drinking water. I know that our food is full of chemicals and hormones and antibiotics. I try my best to control the foods we eat. We don’t eat out a lot, comparatively to others, we buy local food as much as possible and I wash my food before I eat it. (Most of the time.)

I do believe that the more we process our food, the worse it is for us. Some days we get our healthy kale shakes in and some days we don’t. I can tell you this, we are doing better today than a year ago with our eating habits. So hurrah for us. I’m pretty lucky; my husband will eat just about anything. Every once in a while when I try something new, he will just say “not so much”. 

Just so you know, I refuse to give up my dark chocolate. Nope, it is not going to happen.

What I think we should be more concerned with is detoxing our minds and souls. What we watch, read, and listen to, can be more harmful than anything we eat or drink. This old body is going to give out one day and turn to dust, my soul, Lord willing, will live on forever.

The Olympics are really great. We have loved watching them, but one thing I don’t understand. Why do the ladies beach volleyball players have to be almost naked? Sure they are getting hot and sweaty and sand all over them, but that is the game. Don’t tell me they play better being dressed the way they are. I just am not buying it. But I digress.

Movies, TV shows, music, books are good and wonderful, as long as we are choosing those items appropriately. No, I don’t always make the right choice and no I’m not a prude. Anyone that knows me can vouch for that, but I try. I get up each day and try hard again. Then when I lay my head on that pillow at night I ask God to bless me, forgive me and let me try again the next day.

So instead of being so concerned about detoxing your body of harmful chemicals and such, try detoxing your mind and soul. It just might make your body feel better too.

May God Bless

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My Meltdowns

My world is spinning and I’m dizzy. (Well not really, I’m fine) Metaphorically speaking everything is spinning and making me dizzy. The worst thing is when this happens and I don’t know why.

Sometimes I have to sit down and write a list of the things that are driving me crazy. A list of all the things that are swirling around in my mind like a Autumn wind tossing dried fallen leaves. Some items have control over and others I can’t do a thing about. Normally it’s the problems that I don’t have an answer for that really drive me crazy.

There are days I wake up and think – the earth has fallen off its axis. All day long I am waiting for the sky to fall like Chicken Little. I function but not completely. Those days are the days I can’t wait for the sun to go down so I can crawl under the covers and sleep. Hoping the next day will be normal again. 

After making my list and handling what I can, I normally have a meltdown about the remainder items on my list. Trust me an old lady having a meltdown is worse than a two year old having a tantrum. It most likely will involve crying, whining and chocolate in some form.

I’m old and just now wrapping my head around this fact and fighting it every inch of the way. My mind isn’t as sharp as it was. My hair doesn’t flow like it used too. The body – well it just isn’t the same. So why am I having this midlife crisis now? Because our world has gone crazy.

The upcoming Presidential elections are out of control. Crime and disrespect is at an all time high. Our enemies are now on our home soil and could be your neighbor. There is global warming – maybe – and my pants are tight.

Soooooo what is a woman to do? How about for a change, look to God and see what He has to say.

Philippians 4:8-9 (NKJV)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Oh look there is the answer, right there in the Bible, God’s word. Stop thinking about all those things I can’t control or fix and think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, or good report and praiseworthy. 

My life would be so much simpler if I didn’t think so much and worry so much about thinks I can do nothing about. If when I open my eyes each morning I praise God and thing on only good things. I just might have to try this more often.

May God Bless

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'll Pray For You

Have you ever said “I’ll pray for you” to someone? I have and I do pray for them. Have you ever said it and then didn’t pray for them? I have and then forgotten and when I remember I feel really bad. Not that I don’t have enough things I can beat myself up about, let’s find another. But I feel like this one is really important.

James 5:16
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Jesus tells us to pray for each other and I know a few really great prayer warriors that I want on my side submitting prayers to God on my behalf. Am I one of those people?

Remember the chain letters? If you don’t send this to 20 people you will something horrible happen to you. I always did them because I just didn’t want to tempt fate; I mean that million dollars just might come my way. It has to happen to somebody, right? 

We see it on social media all the time, someone asking for prayers for themselves or a loved one. Or the prayer chains that go around like the chain letters years ago. If I stopped to pray for everyone that I see on social media asking for prayers I would be here all day praying. Well I guess that wouldn’t be a bad thing, it would be a wonderful day if I did that. Let’s be realistic, I can’t do that every day. So what in the world are we supposed to do with all these requests?

Personally I have come up with a plan – I can hear God laughing every time I make a plan. So here it is, I simply say help them Lord. God knows who needs help, what the issues are and what needs to be done. Most of them on FaceBook I don’t have a relationship with.

The people that I do have a relationship, they get my detailed prayers. My family, my church family and my friends, the ones I really know what to pray for. The rest of the world I pray for in more of a one size fits all prayer. Please don’t think I am taking prayer lightly and the power it has for all. I’m just explaining in my simple terms how I try and combat the guilt that takes over sometimes.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – mediate on these things.

I think there are all kinds of prayers we can offer up to our Heavenly Father, short ones, long ones, some make me cry, some are for protection, others are for health and others for life and death.

Bottom line is – remember to pray, anywhere and anytime.

May God Bless

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Power Up

Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters, He stores my soul . . .

Don’t you wish you could just plug yourself into an outlet when your battery gets low? Like we do with our electronics now a day. Find a long cord plug it into an outlet and the other end into your port. In an hour you can go for another 24 hours of constant hustle and bustle. Only a dream.

There is a saying that seems to be popular lately “I’m in”. What’s that mean anyway? It means you are on board with the idea or concept. That you agree and will give 100% to whatever the cause. That’s really great, but aren’t we suppose to be “in” already.
  • If you’re married – you should be in that marriage 100%
  • If you have a child – your should be involved with that child 100%
  • If you have a job – you should be giving it 100%
  • If you’re a Christian – you should be giving God 100%

Sometimes we need to recharge ourselves to be able to give that full 100% to accomplish all of these things. There are times in our life that struggles and temptations beat us down. We find ourselves running on empty and not being able to give 100% to anything.
When I get that way I call it hitting the wall. That’s it; there is nothing left to give. That happened to me last week when I was helping my husband do some yard work. Let me be clear – I don’t do yard work and I don’t sweat. This was an unexpected “Look honey I stopped to get the truck load of mulch we talked about. It’s in the truck bed and I need to empty it before work tomorrow”.

Since he was creating this flower bed for me as a birthday gift I figured I would offer to help. I mean I couldn’t very well sit here on the couch while he was out there unloading the truck. Then we decided to put the brick edging around the semicircle first so the mulch wouldn’t come out of it. 

So I laced up my workout shoes (that is an oxymoron) and off I went. We worked for 45 minutes straight lifting those edging blocks then pulling and pushing mulch around. Within those 45 minutes of work I must have stopped every 5 minutes for heavy breathing and whining. I thought I would explode from heat exhaustion. Finally I hit the wall. That place where I had nothing left to give. I was done – actually in our family when we hit that place we say we are “done – done”. My grandson Owen started that when he was little. It fits perfectly. When I got to that place I just walked away and left my husband to finish the job.

We all get that way sometimes, really tired. It could be physically like I did or mentally or spiritually. Physical and mental exhaustion can normally be relieved by a good night’s sleep. However if we become spiritually exhausted a night of sleep can’t fix that. Only getting in touch with God can repair our spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

May God Bless

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Family - Where do You Spend Your Time?

Family – Isn’t that a great word. The word family conjures up so many different pictures in my mind as I am sure it does for you. We all have family, and different kinds of families that we are part of. I tend to picture Norman Rockwell pictures in my mind when I hear the word family. No, my family is NOT a Norman Rockwell family.

We have a family that we are born into, the people that we have chosen to be our extended family, our work family and our church family. We may even have more than those listed depending on your activities and associations. Notice that only one of these families is a group of people that we did not make a choice to join, the family that you are born into. Some have wonderful supportive families and others not so good.

It is up to you to decide who you associate with and who spend your time with.

When we use the word “associate” as a verb the definition is: "To connect someone or something in your mind with someone or something else" This definition shows us that we are making that choice to spend time with certain people and activities.

We all have characters in our families. You know the ones, they show up late to everything, the ones that you can count on to bring the gathering to life and the ones that secretly in the back of your mind, you hope don’t show up. We are an interesting group of humans.

As adults we make choices as to who we associate with. God addresses the subject to us through His word.

Romans 12:16 - Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Notice that we are commanded to “associate” with all people; however I don’t believe that God wants us to be harmful to ourselves and continually associate with people that are not good for us. We should always strive to be compassionate and loving to all; however, surrounding yourself with healthy loving people that are supportive is what creates a great family.

Do you make good choices about who you are associating with? 

May God Bless

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How Big is My God?

The Eye of God
Have you ever thought about how big God is? The thought is so incomprehensible I can’t even wrap my brain around the concept. God is everything and everywhere we look. He is the great Almighty that has made it all. Whatever you stop and look at God has created it.

Children often ask this question in Bible classes. Is he bigger than my dad? He’s bigger than this building, they might exclaim. But we old timers still can’t answer the age old question of “How Big is God”.

He is as far as your eye can see. He is as loud as you can hear. He is as fresh a scent you can imagine. He is as deep into the sea as you can go. Yet, He is so tiny he fits inside your heart.

The Bible tells us God was in the beginning and created everything in seven days.

Genesis 1
1-In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2-The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

At the end of the Bible in Revelation God tells us He is the last.

Revelation 22:13
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last”.

So how does all those words in the middle of the Bible tell us how big our God is? Well you would need to read His word. Every story, parable and lesson that God teaches in the Old Testament and the New Testament tells us what we need to know about Him. Are there are things that aren’t shared with us through God’s word, but that’s OK with me. I don’t need to know every detail to understand that my God is so big that I trust Him with my life.

His stories tell me that He does what He says He is going to do. When He promises me something He follows through. He doesn’t contradict Himself. He is pure white light, so bright that I can’t look at Him.

John 4:24
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

So I still haven’t answered the question of “How Big is my God” because I can’t. There are not enough words of the correct language to distinguish how big my God is.

All I know for sure is my God is big enough for me and He reaches to infinity and beyond.

May God Bless

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

At a Loss for Words

Have you ever been so down or so upset you just couldn’t find the words to pray? I have. I felt really bad about it too.

A few years when I found out I had cancer it was such a shock. I remember when when my doctor told me, he was felt so bad about telling me the news that I felt sorry for him. I was in shock. We never are really prepared for such news.

There were so many times I would sit down to pray and there was nothing – my mind was blank. I would get my Bible, turn off all outside noises like phone, TV, radio, dish washer, washer and dryer, sit in my favorite comfortable chair then try and pray. Nothing would come to mind. There were just no words I could find to say to God. I was at a loss for words.

I wasn’t made at God and never asked why me Lord. I was just empty. Like an empty cup of coffee. 

Romans 8:26
“… We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words.” 

Never before did this problem plague me. There were times in my life that I was angry with God and would question Him, but never empty. This emptiness was so new to me. My faith remained strong. I knew He was in control and I went through the motions of doing the good Christian thing going to Bible classes and services. I didn't break down in tears all the time. On the outside no one could see the difference, but inside nothing was happening.

Finally after several weeks of going through this numb feeling, I confided in a friend of mine. She just looked at me and said “that’s what your sisters in Christ are for, to pray for you when you can’t”. It was so simple, yet so profound. It took such a load off my mind and heart when she said those words to me. It was a light bulb moment for me. 

This is why it is so important for us Christians to stay connected with each other. Not only when we see each other at services, but getting together in each other’s homes and outside the building. When was the last time you had lunch with some of your girl friends or enjoyed a cup of coffee with a friend at your kitchen table?

Ladies I beg you to share your life with your sisters in Christ. You will benefit from opening up and sharing your thoughts and concerns.

Prayer on behalf of another person is a heart well tended.

May God Bless

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

He Knocked and I Answered

The devil knocked on my door today. As I walked to the door I was asking God to stop me. Not answering the door was the “out” that God was giving me. Being weak and not having confidence in myself that I could walk away from this temptation. My hand clenched the knob and I swung the door open. He was in.

I am talking about the proverbial door. It could be a literal door, or a temptation of any kind. 

God tells us to flee from evil.

1 Peter 3:11
Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

Turning from evil is never easy. We can see it coming toward us like a freight train and stand there frozen in its way and never make a move. God knew that Satan was going to be tempting us daily.

Some days it is so easy to turn from sin and other days every step you take is difficult. You struggle with everything you try and accomplish or every decision you make. I sure don’t have the answer for that life problem. Not sure anyone does.

So how do we handle those days when that roaring lion is stalking you and clawing at your heels? The only answer I know is prayer. Deep heavy prayer – often along with quick flash prayers. Flash prayers are fast and furious. “Help me now Lord.”

God is with us always every minute of every day. All we need to do is reach out to Him. Grab your Bible and just flip it open and read till the urge leaves you. Open your phone and your Bible app and read a few verses. Satan will know you are seriously trying to overcome his temptations. 

James 4:7
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

May God Bless

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Teach the Older Women

Titus 2:3-5
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Like many of us, I have read these verses before. Today when I read them something different popped out at me.

Paul was writing to Titus about how Christians should act older men, younger men, older women and younger women. I have used these verses before to write about how older women should teach the younger women, and that is true. What I never noticed was the verse before that one.

“Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but teach what is good…”

What. . . I’m supposed to be taught to be reverent in the way I live? It made me stop and think about a couple of things. What is reverent really mean and who should be teaching me?

Webster’s Dictionary says:
Reverent – an adjective – showing a lot of respect; being very respectful

The first thing that came to mind is the Elders at my congregation. Yes, I can say I am very respectful of them. I respect our preacher and our elderly brothers and sisters. Then why do I think I might be falling short on this trait that I should have as an older woman.

My personality is to kid around a lot. I enjoy laughing and making others laugh. I know there have been times that I’ve been joking around with someone and said something that just may not be as respectful as it should be. At least after it was said I felt awkward about it. Sometimes these things can be a form of disrespect. I might not have meant it that way, but it could have sounded like disrespect, especially if someone was just walking by and only heard part of the conversation.

Conclusion – I need to work on this. Maybe not be so quick witted to try and entertain someone with a smart remark that could be construed as disrespectful. Also, be respectful of all persons, not just those that I think deserve it.

Now who is supposed to be teaching me this? Well since Paul was writing the letter to Titus about the Christians he was working with, then I suppose it could be anyone of my Christian friends. I am assuming this could be some of the women that are older than me. But I would hope that even if a younger woman thought I was not being reverent they would come and talk to me about it.

“not to be slanders…”

Not talking badly about others or situations. I think this applies to talking negatively also. Not just gossip or bad mouthing someone, but to just be negative in my attitude. That can be a difficult subject sometimes. Life gets hard and we all get down or depressed, but I think this is talking about the bigger picture. I’m sure we all have met those people that you just want to cross the street when you see them coming in your direction. They don’t have anything good to say about anything and they are normally hard to get away from. I do pray that I never become one of those people. I call them a “Negative Nelly” or “Debbie Downer”. These people never like change and always feel like someone is out to get them by something that has been done. 

I believe this may have been linked in with the “older women” here because it is easy for the elderly to become negative. The older you become, the smaller your circle of friends becomes also, if you let it. During your child rearing days you are so busy running around with the kids and meeting new people that after your family has grown and left the empty nest hits. For awhile this can be wonderful, but the older you get you don’t have as many opportunities to make new friends. With age comes the reality that more people you know are passing on in life.

“addicted to much wine…”  I think we all understand this part.

“but to teach what is good” So I am to be teaching. It doesn’t say to teach school or teach Bible class, it just says teach. Does that mean we shouldn’t be teaching Bible classes to the young? Absolutely not! Is being older and teaching young kids hard work, YES. But how are these young souls going to learn about God and His salvation without us “older women” teaching them? I believe we must teach (it’s right there in the Bible ladies), teach something. Some can cook well, some can sew well, and some can decorate well. We all have talents that we can teach to someone else. Use the talent God gave you and teach someone something.

May God Bless.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cleaning Out the Closets

I asked my husband to build me some shelves in the closet so I can turn one of the rooms into the office/craft/sewing room. He was sweet to do that for me.

It is a small room so I need to make use of all the space I can. So that meant cleaning that closet out so he could add shelves. Well in moving all of that stuff out I was going to move it all to another closet. Which meant moving the stuff from that closet into another closet. Which meant I had to straighten out that closet first.

Got the picture. I have “stuff” everywhere right now – all over the house. 

So as I put things back into their correct place, which I will forget where I put everything now, I need to look at each thing and decide if I am keeping it or not. Who needs 12 vases, or 15 different types of candle holders? I like pretty things and I collect them from auctions and yard sales. But I don’t use them, so I am getting rid of them. Just keeping 2 or 3 and the rest are going out. This has really been hard work. Much more emotional than I thought it would be. Some of it was my mom’s, so that stuff I am keeping for my girls. All in all, it has been a lot of work and I have 3 big boxes of stuff to go out the door. But now I have straightened out closets, at least some of them.

This makes me think about the “stuff” we keep in our hearts. Don’t you wish we could just box up some of the stuff we carry around with us day to day? Then we could have boxes of Hurts, Broken Promises, Lost Dreams and Dumb Decisions. Pack them up and discard them. Put them out with the trash or sell them at a yard sale. That would be so easy.

Ephesians 3:19
To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

If we were empty like my closets, we could fill them back up again with good stuff, like God’s word and His love.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he prayed for them to be filled with all the fruits of righteousness.

Philippians 1:9-11
9-And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10-that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11-being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

It makes sense to me that by living in this world, we need to empty some of the stuff that we collect daily in our hearts and minds. Since I can’t just take it out and put it in a box, I figure the best way to do this is to study God’s word and pray it out.

So take some time today, dump some stuff and fill back up on God’s word.

May God Bless

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shining Stars

You know what is wrong with the world – nothing. You know what is wrong with the people in the world – everything. God created this world we live in so it is perfect. However, what man does to the pure creation of God is a whole different subject – one we are not going to talk about today.

Google tells me that the word “Millennials” means the generation that was born from the early 1980’s to around 2000. The generation after 2000 is referred to as Generation Z or Gen Z. Now that you are up to date on who I am talking about let’s move forward.

Gen Z is getting a bad rap. So are Gen X and the Millennials. Probably every generation that is up and coming gets hit pretty hard by the generation that has gone before them.

I’m a Baby Boomer. According to an article on we are spoiled. We are the generation that spends every penny we make and have mastered the art of consumerism. I agree with most of that for myself. I do not think all Baby Boomers are that way, so making general assumptions about a group of people does not set well with me. 

So why am I talking about all this? Recently I attended an Awards Program at a Middle School (Jr. High for us old people), what I saw inspired me. A stage full of shinning stars. Children in 6th, 7th and 8th grades (Gen Z) that had their lives ahead of them and they were full of excitement, high hopes and energy. At one point in the program there were about 20 kids on stage holding their awards. As looked at them I saw the future of America.

This is what I saw. Boys and girls from all different walks of life and better yet, all different nationalities. I saw White, Black, Brown, Asian, and Hispanic, children that were of mixed races all smiling and beaming with hope and proud of their accomplishments. There was a blending of cultures that looked promising. Each child was a shining star.

When I think of a star, I think of a shining light, brightness, and a twinkling, almost a sparkling image. People we have got to start looking at the bright stars around us. Turn off the news that capitalizes on the negative in the world. Yes there will always be a dark side in life it has always been there and will always be there as God tells us.

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Remember, these children are the future. We must encourage them, help them become good citizens. Lead them in the way of the Lord. Help them understand where they have come from and the wonderful future that waits them. 

It is our duty if we see a child on the wrong path to give them a helping hand. You may not see the results today or tomorrow, but with prayer and continued guidance we can help the ones that go astray.

I have seen the future dentists, doctors, and scientist and our upcoming world leaders and am impressed with their abilities and determination.

May God Bless

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Orphans and Widows

Being a member of the Lords church carries a lot of responsibility. If you study your Bible you will find a lot of “thou shall and thou shall not” in it. I’m glad that information is there, God-breathed words that help guide me through my life. 

Sacred Selections
The past few months some friends and I have been working on a fundraising event for Sacred Selections, an organization that helps raise funds for adopting parents. We had so much fun preparing for the event and last Thursday evening the event took place. It was a blast and a success. Over 150 people came and donated over $20k. This is double the amount we were hoping to raise.

Working together with people I knew and some I never met until the night of the event created bonds that will never be broken. We all came together with one thought in mind… do it for the babies. 

The days following the event there was a “stillness and completeness” that I felt. This was a new emotion for me. I can’t ever remember having this calm. I can only assume this is the emotion that you feel when something wonderful has happened that has the hand of God on it. I know I want to feel that again. 

My calling is to help the widows and orphans. Think about that for a minute, widows and orphans, the beginning and the end of our lives here on earth. I know that all orphans are not babies, but by the standards of our laws, if you become responsible for yourself at age 18 then we are talking about children. If you are over 40 you can relate that we still feel like someone under 18 is a child. Who is a widow, any woman that has lost her husband? Unfortunately that is not always an older woman, but normally it is.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Since God has specifically told us to take care of these groups of people then we should focus on that. I’m not sure yet how this is going to happen and what my actions will be in the future, but know somehow God is going to use me for this purpose. I couldn’t be happier. 

Have you found your purpose in life? Maybe you just moved into a new phase in life, your children are out of the house now and you have more time on your hands. Maybe you just started retirement and looking for a cause to volunteer your time and energy into. Let me urge you to look into doing the Lord’s work for orphans and widows.

May God Bless

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

God Forgives Sin

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I am so glad that God forgives me of my sins. Where would I be if He didn’t? How do people who are nonbelievers live day to day? Do they think they don’t sin? I’m not sure and each of us has to decide that for ourselves. God gave us free will to make our own choices each day.

Understanding that God forgives me of my sins is really beyond my understanding. I mean, I read it in His word, mentally I comprehend what the Bible tells me, but emotionally it is sometimes hard to grasp. How can I be forgiven so easily?

Remembering back when my girls were growing up and they did something I was not happy with; I would reprimand them and then forgive them. They were children, still learning, but had to take the consequences for their actions. 

What consequences do I get for my wrong actions? Sometimes I wish God could talk to me directly and reprimand me, then hug me and tell me that He still loves me. There is sin that has obvious consequences and there are others that are not so obvious. We can sin in private or in public, but God sees all.

My concern is that we take sin lightly. Maybe it is not the sin we take lightly but the consequences of the sin. If no one sees me sin except God, then I can quietly go to Him and ask forgiveness. If my sin is public that is a little different. People will talk and spread rumors or gossip about me. That will hurt my feelings and people will think of me differently. We should be more worried about what God is thinking about me than what my peers are thinking about me. I’m afraid we have this concept a little backwards.

Also, have we become a little easy on sin? What I mean is do we go into situations that are questionable and then if we sin, we know in the back of our mind that God will forgive me so it will be OK. I wonder how God feels about that train of thought. “I’m just human so if I sin I’ll ask God to forgive me and it will be OK.”

We need to be careful that we don’t fall into this last category. Giving excuses for sin. Sin is sin my friend and we will all face God on judgment day. Do we want to take the chance for a moment’s pleasure, or bad language during an outburst of not getting into heaven? We must be on guard at all times against sin. 

1 John 2:1-2
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole worlds.

May God Bless

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

When I Fall

Most of us have fallen at one time or another. If you watch children, most of the time they fall and get right back up. We were at one of my granddaughters birthday parties today and our youngest, who is 5, tripped, she jumped right up gave us all a thumbs up and said “I’m OK” and out the door she went.

Now that I am “older” every time I go to the doctors they ask me if I have fallen recently. What is up with that? Do people really fall down that much? 

The last time I fell down, well it wasn’t a pretty sight. It was about 4 years ago and my hands were full when I tripped over something in the garage. Down I went, full force on my knees and chin. Shocked I didn’t break any bones, I laid there and cried. Not because I was hurt, because I dropped the center pieces I was carrying that I had made for my oldest granddaughters birthday party. There was pink sand everywhere. I kept yelling to my husband to pick up the center pieces. Nothing made sense at that moment. Luckily I was just bruised and had a black and blue chin for a few weeks. Well that was the last time I fell physically. 

What if the next time you went to worship someone asked you “have you fallen this week”? What would you say? First I bet you be surprised. But think about it, we fall down spiritually all the time. At least I do. Even if I don’t mean to I mess up. I don’t kill, steal or commit adultery, but I slip and fall. 

Normally you can’t see my fall, there are no bruises or broken bones, but my heart knows. Worse than that, God knows. I can’t hide my sin from Him. So what can I do about my constant falling spiritually?

I need to understand that my falling short spiritually is normal. I am human. God knows my weaknesses and He understands how much I fight Satan on a daily basis. He knows when I win the battle and when I lose. Most of all, He catches me when I am down and helps me back up. He strengths me and forgives me and allows me to have another day. 

Yes I fall, but I get back up and try again. Thank you to my wonderful Heavenly Father and His grace that I can do this day after day. 

Philippians 3:12 I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

May God Bless