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For Me?!

God’s Word is a reflection of His character and of His deep love for each one of us.  Yet, at times I have found myself thinking, “Certainly that scripture cannot be true for me”.  I have skipped over the words on the page without allowing their meaning to penetrate my heart.  Words that would strengthen my spirit and build my faith if I would dare to let them in.

God’s Word is true. It is for whoever will receive it. Today, Valentine’s Day, I would like to invite you to choose at least one scripture about God’s love for you.  Maybe you already have a verse that is special to you. Feel free to share it with us!  You might like to use one of the verses on this page.  However you choose, take your verse and remember it throughout the day.  Reflect upon it as though The Lord had written just for you, because indeed, He did!

Happy
Valentine’s Day
Beloved Child of God!


You are Precious to God

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

When I laugh or when I cry, You find joy in singing over me.

You Are Known By God

Luke 12:7 (KJV)
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The number is ever changing, but You Lord, still keep count. I do not need to be afraid because You love me that much! 

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect!

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Your perfect love covers my imperfection. You love me just as I am.

You Are Worth Dying For

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

You died Jesus, that I might live. As if I were the only person on earth, you gave Your life for me.

You are Not Abandoned

Hebrews 13:5b (KJV)
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Though others may leave me Lord, You never will.

You Are Forgiven

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Because You love me, You take the scarlet stain of my sin and remove it from my life.

 

 

 

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Liar Liar ; Second Time

The following article, originally published in May of 2011, has been going through my mind lately. I guess it is time for me to reread it and check my “Truth Meter” once again. Perhaps it is time for someone else to read it as well!
(**If you are interested, there is an update at the end of this post on our once discouraged friend.)

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John 8:44 ….. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.(NIV)

I was recently talking with someone who was hoping to acquire a job that seemed like just the “right fit”.  Excitement was high, but they narrowly missed being awarded the position.  This, combined with other jobs that had not come into being led to a deep discouragement …. and the temptation to lose faith in himself, and in God.

I could imagine the thoughts swirling through his mind …. “You will never get a job.  God doesn’t care about you.  You aren’t qualified to do anything.  There is nothing out there for you”.  The list goes on and on and on. 

Now, Satan is a liar and the father of lies. While we don’t want to give him credit for every negative thought that enters our mind, we do need to remember that we have an enemy who wants to tear us, and our faith, down.  I love the title of this entry.  When we were children, we sang the song “liar, liar, pants on fire, hanging from the telephone wire” to the person caught in a bold faced lie. So can we also sing the same song to Satan when he speaks lies to us.  We can turn our back on his lies and counter them with Truth.

I want to invite you to recognize any lies you are believing about yourself or God, and to refuse them.  Turn your back on them.  Counter the lies of the Enemy with the Truth you find in God’s Word.

And as for our job searching friend?:
God loves you.  He has a plan for your life.  He will supply all of your needs.  You can trust Him.  HE will direct your path.  (John 15:13  Jeremiah 29:11 Philippians 4:19 Proverbs 3:5,6)

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Our friend found a job soon after the original writing of this story. Since that time he has experienced a fast paced journey in the world of employment. He has gone from being a job seeker to being a sought after employee. God has a plan for him to build His Kingdom as he works in our everyday world. As it turns out, all of those thoughts of worry and hopelessness were for naught. So Lord:

“I ask You to show me where I am believing lies, about You and about myself. Help me to replace them with The Truth of Your Love, as I look to You and Your Word.”

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

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

Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 43:3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.



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Our Heavenly Father

In a recent post (My Forgotten Prayer), I described being embarrassed before God because of my behavior. As soon as I realized what I had done, I went right to Him and told Him that I was sorry. I asked for His help to do better in the future. I was forgiven. That story took my thoughts back to when I was young, and to my earthly Dad.

While I loved my Dad and believe that he did the best he could as a parent, his childhood was not easy. He was born the last of eight children, and described his father as being “a mean old man” who had little use for him. He was belittling and provided no example of how to be a good, kind, and loving parent. It left my Dad with wounds.

The circumstances of his early years resulted in his response not always being the best when I made a mistake. Doing something wrong caused me to be fearful and to hide what I had done. I would be quiet about my failures, hoping that my Dad wouldn’t find out. When he did, his reaction was often harsh and his discipline could be unjust. It was not safe to come to him when I had done wrong.

Oh how very different it is, however, with our Heavenly Father! You see, it does not matter the mistakes we have made or the wrongs that we have done. He already knows about them, each and every one. We never have to be afraid to come before Father God. He is good and loving and kind and forgiving. He is a safe place to run when we need help. He will not condemn us. Instead, He desires to help us turn away from our error and to turn back towards Him. We can ask Him to forgive us, then He forgets what we have done. When there are consequences for our choices, He helps us make the necessary corrections to get to the other side.

“Father, thank You that Your love for us is perfect even though we are not. You know all about our failings, and You love us just the same. Because of Your Love, we never need to be afraid to come to You! Help us to run to You quickly for forgiveness when we fall. “

As for my Dad, we had a good relationships in his final years. I believe he is with Jesus now, free from the effects of his wounds and scars. Our God is an amazing, loving God.

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

Psalm 86:5 (NKJV) For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.


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What Ya Lookin’ At?

As I was hurrying home the other day, I noticed an old blue pickup in the right hand lane of the freeway.  There was something large and white in the back that I could not recognize.  “WHAT is that?”, I wondered, trying to figure it out.  Having tied down many a load in our vehicles, I was distracted by the odd shape and curious to see if it was properly secured.

Traveling at 72 miles an hour and still gawking, I was beside the truck in no time at all.  Briefly glancing ahead to the road in front of me, I found myself DANGEROUSLY close. Jerking back into the safety of my own lane I realized, I had drifted where I did not belong.

My goodness!  How did that happen!? That could have been really bad!  After my heart rate returned to normal I thought, “we move in the direction that our attention lies”.

There are many distractions that can pull us away from our journey with Jesus, especially when we seem to be clipping right along! Things that try to pull us away from God’s will for our lives, causing us to end up in an unexpected place. Therefore I am taking pause and asking myself; what am I looking at?

DAm I focusing on my long to do list in the morning, allowing it to draw me from God and from man? 
Are my thoughts thinking on negative things, (disappointments, discouragement or not yet answered prayer), instead of the good things that I have in my life?
Do memories of previous failures draw me to the past, instead of leaving them behind?
Have I drifted towards fear and worry, instead of believing the promises of God?
Am I looking to myself for provision, instead of trusting Him?
Is there a sin that keeps drawing me to it, placing me in a danger zone?

There is safety and peace when we keep our eyes on Jesus, as we travel to the destination He has planned for us!

Hebrews 12:2  (NKJV)   looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 3:13-15 (NKJV) … but one thing
I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV) Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way, walk in it”, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.

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My Forgotten Prayer

Last fall our water heater quit and needed to be replaced.  I am so grateful for a husband who knows how to do such things!  He had a new tank in place in no time. I never even had to miss a bath! What he couldn’t do, even with my assistance, was bring the old tank out of the basement for disposal.  It was too heavy for the two of us.  We would have to wait for family and enlist their help.

A month or so later our son visited for Christmas. He successfully helped his dad load the heavy beast into the back of our pickup. The removal of seven large buckets of water and sediment made the job possible. They were unaware, however, that there was still some water and “gunk” in the bottom of the tank. It had escaped during the removal process, leaving black wetness and goo on several of our carpeted steps.  My husband, wielding a shop vac, handled the majority of the moisture, but the black muck and goo were going to be up to me.

With my best can of carpet cleaner and an old flannel sheet in hand, I said a prayer before beginning my task.  “Goodness Lord, this looks impossible!  Would you please send angels with scrubbing bubbles to help me get this out?”.

Less than a half hour later, I was amazed.  The stairs were clean!  I started rationalizing about how it could have happened.  Great cleaner combined with absorbent rags?  Maybe the goo wasn’t minerals after all but just dirt? Then I remembered … I had asked The Lord for help.

I stood embarrassed before Him wondering how many other prayers for assistance I had prayed, then forgotten? Prayers that I had softly whispered, or shouted loudly toward heaven.  Unspoken prayers heard by Jesus, in spite of my lack of speech. I wondered how many times I had neglected to say thank You and to recognize God’s faithfulness when I asked for His help?

“Lord, please forgive me. Open my eyes to Your answers when they come.
Help me to never neglect to say thank you!!!
When You ask me to wait, please grant me the patience and faith that I need.
Jesus, thank You for Your patience with me! You love me even when I forget and when I fail.
Thank You Lord that You answer each prayer, no matter what that answer may be.”

Psalm 116:1-2 (NKJV) 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
2Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

Jeremiah 33:3  (KJV) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Psalm 18:6  (KJV) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Psalm 116:1-2  (KJV)I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. 2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

Psalm 136:1-3 (NKJV) Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. 3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:

Psalms 52:9 (KJV) “I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.”

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Our First Post of 2019!

Welcome 2019!!!  It is good to be back with you! This morning I am writing to you as I smile and shake my head. Things don’t always go the way we had planned. Today, that was the case for me.

I have been working on our New Year’s post since last week. The first message of the year is important. I had spent much time writing, rewriting and rearranging, trying to get everything just right.  I was still making changes around midnight last night, when somehow all of my work disappeared.  I have been learning to use a new system.  I guess I  hit the wrong button!

The scriptures will be different than I had thought this week, and my story not quite as detailed. I am out of town attending meetings, and I don’t have time to recreate what was lost.  We will see if I rewrite the original for another day, or if it will remain just between Jesus and I.  Either way, I will not allow myself to worry or feel embarrassed, choosing to post what I have and move forward with determination instead. This has been a good lesson about perfectionism. It is something I need to let go.

So here are our new scriptures. May they perform their purpose in spite of the fight it took to get them on this page!

Isaiah 50:7 (KJV)For the LORD God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Philippians 3:13 (KJV) … but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This year, may we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. May we take our mistakes to Him in prayer, then continue to move on ahead. May our battles serve to make us stronger as we set our faces to be as hard as stone. This year may we be determined, to accomplish what it is we are called to do!

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Merry Christmas

Have a blessed and wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Savior and King!
We look forward to seeing you in 2019!

***The picture above is one of our favorite family decorations passed down from my husband’s Grandmother.  They were made for her by a friend.  Their bodies are fashioned from beer bottles.  Their heads are ornaments made to hang on the tree.

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The Battle of The Christmas Tree Lights

After the dishes were done on Thanksgiving, our son and son-in-law carried our Christmas tree upstairs for my husband and I. It’s a great tree, 8 feet tall with a full diameter and packed with at least a thousand lights.  We got it several years ago when we made the difficult decision to stop buying real trees and to buy an artificial one.  I was looking forward to getting it back into the living room to decorate so that we could have it up for the whole month of December.  After everyone had gone home and the house was quiet, I plugged the tree lights in.  Oh no! They had quit working except for one small strand. How disappointing!

As days passed, I would periodically make a half hearted attempt at figuring out what was wrong. I would change a plug here and replace a bulb there, all to no avail.  Not knowing what else to do, I eventually quit trying and just ignored the problem.  

When my husband offered to do an assessment with his electrical tester, reality became evident.  The lights would no longer function.  With that final confirmation I knew what had to be done. I would need to remove all of the lights and restring them.  Tree trimming is traditionally on my side of our informal,  but tried and true, 40 year old “List of Household Duties and Responsibilities”, so I began to unstring the lights.

As I began to work, I realized that every light was TIGHTLY SECURED onto the tree. There were clips that were difficult to remove,  flexible small green tree needles wrapped around the cords to hold them in place needing to be unwound, and cords that split into different directions with no predictable pattern.  My hands and lower arms looked like pin cushions from the stiff needles on the artificial branches (my own fault for not wearing long, heavy sleeves while I worked). 

Removing all of the lights would take hours.  A few hours at a time, it actually took days.  More than once I was tempted to quit, wondering if this could possibly be worth the effort.  Quitting however, would mean throwing out a perfectly good tree. The tree wasn’t the problem, the lights were.  After the new lights were in place, the tree would be beautiful once again.

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It is Sunday night at 11:00 and I just finished hanging the last ornament.  Standing back to behold the finished work I realized; the price I had paid was not too high.  All of the hours.  All of the effort.  All of the frustration.  All of the scratches on my arms and hands.  The tree is restored to its beauty once again. 

This season we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, who won the battle against sin and death.  He doesn’t throw us out because of the darkness within us, no matter how deep that darkness may be.  Instead He came from heaven to bring restoration, so that our beauty might shine brightly, a reflection of His Love.

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Too Many Choices!

I have had a lot of choices to make this past week.  Following are just a few:

Do I stay home with my husband and help him get caught up with chores and a mountain of office work around the house over the weekend?  Or do I leave and give a short sharing I was invited to give at a friend’s church?  While short, it would require preparation, and preparation takes me a lot of time!

Do I attend my daughter’s birthday party?  Or do I keep another commitment that is out of town?  Is going out of town so important that I take the next step towards craziness, and actually try to do both?

Friends are coming from out of town next week.  Do I spend time with them?  Or do I help a family member to whom I made a commitment before I knew they were coming?

How will I avoid feeling good about what I accomplish, and guilty about that which I do not?

All of these questions caused me to remember the order of God’s priorities.
God.  Family.  Work.

Walking and talking with God and spending time with Him.  As much as I am able, keeping my thoughts, deeds and heart in ways that are pleasing to Him.

With God’s help, loving family in the way that I am loved by Jesus.  Placing their needs above my own desires.

Remembering that work is not to take precedence over my relationship with God or with the people that I love.

Under that backdrop I presented each of my choices to The Lord, and I prayed until I had peace.  The result?

I stayed home with my husband and helped him accomplish what was too much for one person to do.
I attended our daughter’s birthday, and fancy that; my other commitment was canceled!
I kept my commitment to my family member.  I will see our friends the next time they come.

In the end, I didn’t feel guilty.  With prayer and peace as my markers, I knew I was doing the right things.

“Lord help me to remember to consult with You in decisions that are big and small.   Today I decide to trust You to show me what is best in all of my choices.”

James 1:5 (NKJV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

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

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 

 

 

 

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Be A Light!

I was running late as I dashed to the bank to deposit two checks that I had forgotten to take for far too long.  I was scheduled to be at my Mom’s to pick her up for a Doctor’s appointment in about 10 minutes.  Changes to the deposit slip needed to be made, and I was planning on filling out a new one inside. I had just enough time.

Briskly walking up to the building and pulling on the door handle.  I was met with strong resistance.  The door was locked because the bank didn’t open for another half hour.  Quickly I sat down on the floor and scribbled corrections to the numbers on my slip of paper.  Noticing a sign that said the drive up was open, I hurried back to my car and headed for the window.  Only one person was in front of me, but they were waiting for a car in the next lane.  Someone else pulled in behind me, boxing me in.  Not exactly what I had planned.

After waiting for what seemed like a very long time, a lovely gal with a southern accent appeared and cheerily asked me how I was.  “Doing fine”, I responded flatly as I refrained from saying, “but very much in a hurry and running late!”.  I asked how her day was going, just to be polite.  “Quite well, but very busy!” she replied as she continued on with her work.  That smile and positive attitude were starting to get on my nerves!   She stopped to say good morning to the man in the car beside me, assuring him she would be right back.  “HURRY UP!”, I grumbled to myself aloud as she rounded the corner and headed out of sight.

She returned in a few minutes, task complete, and wearing that same smile on her face.  “Here you are, Christine!  Have a wonderful day!”. Surprisingly I found myself  replying with a smile, “You too!”, as I rolled up the car window and put away the deposit slip.  I’ll be darned.  The persistent light of her joy had cut through my darkness and brightened my mood!

Pulling away from the bank I realized how stinking my thinking had been.  The fact that I felt hurried because I had allowed myself to be late had absolutely nothing to do with that teller.  It had everything to do with how I had decided to respond.

Every day I have a choice.  Will the light and joy of Jesus within me shine, brightening the day of another?  Or will I cover it with negative grumbling, bringing darkness to myself and those around?  Such a seemingly simple choice.  One that carries much impact.  There is much difference in so many ways when we choose Darkness over Light .

“Lord, every day may I choose to be a reflection You!
Show me quickly when I have slipped into an attitude other than one of thankfulness and praise.  I will need Your help with this.
Thank You for the simple ways You use us Lord, and turn them into something  profound.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen”

Matthew 5:15-16  (NKJV)
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 5:5 (KJV)  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

John 8:12 (NKJV) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of  life.”

Isaiah 60:1 (KJV) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.