Tag Archives: prayer

Abiding in His Love

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But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2Corinthians 4:7-11

I’ve written it before, and I think it needs to be the reminder in our home right now.  Praise God for the glory of His word to teach us, build our character, shape us, and connect us to Him.

For the love of God is eternal, unconditional, just and perfect!  May we always remember, live by, abide by and stand firm in His word.

Waking up to Snow

 

Snow is here.
Snow is here.

The Compassion of the Lord – Isaiah 55

55 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
hand I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but sit shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Faith or Works

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“But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.” Galations 4:22-24

The question in our study asked to record and explain the two images Paul uses to illustrate how the Law functions. The two images were prison and guardian. How could it be both?

My answer to the how was to consider a plane in a holding pattern. Number 3 in a line of 6 sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off. As a patron in the plane, likely having sat on that plane for about 1/2 hour already at that time, one could feel as though they are in prison. Not able to get out of the seat, not able to use the phone, not able lay the seat back. It is a requirement that one follows the rules of the plane at this time. However, as the pilot, hearing and knowing that the holding pattern they are in is truly a protection from being hit by other planes and that waiting their turn is worth the safety of the crew and patrons on board.

How wonderful that the fulfillment of Christ’s death on the cross set us free from the imprisonment of the law. If ever you’ve read the law laid out for god’s people of the Old Testament you would realize that it’s quite complicated. One could easily feel imprisoned, especially since the Law did not give them freedom, it only gave them a recognition of their sins and their death to them. Only the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of his death could provide life. I wonder how many people that call themselves Christians understand this? Being a homeschool mom, I have over the years met and observed many groups/people that practice much of the Old Testament Law. I often wonder if they truly know Christ and understand that there is nothing they can do obtain salvation. I wonder if they understand that the covenant made to Abraham in Genesis, came 430 years prior to the law.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Galations 12:1-3

This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it longer comes by promise, but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Galations 3:17-18

The understanding that we can do nothing to obtain salvation other than through the freedom in Christ is sometimes twisted by unbelievers so that they feel freedom in sinful behavior as long as they claim to believe in Christ. I’ve even heard it said that if someone is a good person and they do good works and have lived a clean life they are saved. Even if the person outwardly has claimed they don’t believe in God. I would argue and have argued that one is not saved through such criteria.

And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:29-31

So then what freedom does a person claiming to believe in Jesus have? Can he or she knowingly still freely sin? Are the 10 commandments null and void due to the coming of Christ?

NO!

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:9-11

I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. John 17:9

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37

Can someone just say he or she believes in Christ and they are saved? How do we know it’s genuine? What about alter calls? I have to be honest in saying that I myself find it hard to judge the heart of another. Just as one of the two thieves on the cross deserved death, he was not baptized, he did not follow the law, yet he believed in Christ, genuinely, and Christ understood his heart. He was welcomed by the Lord unconditionally other than his proclamation of faith. Consider however, he did not have a life further to live. He was dying alongside our Lord. For healthy humans who say they believe, if they are genuine in their faith there is a change of heart and their lives begin to reflect that change.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. do not marvel that I said to you ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where is wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for this soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels int he glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:24-27

And again in Mark 8:34-36 the above is again repeated. Ending with: “For what can a man give in return for his soul? for whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in his adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:37-38

Keeping God’s commandments, and doing good works are all a result of saving faith. The requirement of the Law of the Old Testament as atonement for sins is no longer required since Christ died on the cross. Good works by those who love Him however, still exist as a result of one’s faith in Christ.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothes and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17

But someone will say to you, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God , and it was counted to him as righteousness” – and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. James 2:18-26

Why has this subject been swarming in my mind this past week? I’m not sure other than to say it is God’s providence that I have a blog to share with others. To write about my understanding of His words and to share what I know with those who may not understand. For we know not the way the Lord may touch the human soul. Through a song, a friend, a family member, a loss, a tragedy, or maybe through a blog.

I hope you find your week to be blessed and that you can see Him. May your hearts be stirred to know him more completely through His Word.

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1 (The commentary on this verse claims it is addressing a deep spiritual longing to seek the Lord while he may be found. The word Come is all one needs to do in order to find mercy in God. ESV Study Bible Commentary)

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:17

Why bother…?

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(This painting hangs in my kitchen… It’s so me!)

Why fermentation?  Why canning?  Why grow your own food when you have grocery stores on every corner?  Why go through the work?

Oh my, so many questions.  I’ve heard it all.  I’ve even heard, “Sherry you are too sick to be doing all of that”, or “I did all that when I was younger and see no need to keep doing it.  I hated doing it then with my mother why would I do it now.”  Well, the primary answer to everyones “why” about this topic is this:

Neighbor, “Yeah we have so many tomatoes this year that Sally (name changed) is thinking we should make some pasta sauce.  We just aren’t sure what to do with so many.”

MY husband, “Oh yeah.  Can the sauces so you have them this winter.  It was great this last winter when Sherry was so sick and I prepared the meals, those canned sauces really helped out when I needed them.”

Neighbor, “Maybe they can help one another and do the canning together.”

Said and done!   Two verses come to mind when I consider this conversation exchange.  The first is from Proverbs 31:10- 18  “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.  She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.  She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.  She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.  She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.  Her lamp does not go out at night.”  Keep in mind that as I type this I am aware that it sounds boldly prideful on my part to consider this verse and my husbands conversation.  However, when you realize that the title of this portion of Proverbs is titled “A Woman Who Fears The Lord” you understand that all that I do is pleasing to the Lord.   I understand who the Lord is and why I am here.

Now, I also must admit that the human side of my being, living in a self indulgent world also realizes that homemaking has become a taboo word for women.  The thought amongst our peers is that we were either too stupid to make it doing anything else (and yes I’ve even heard of one persons interpretation of my being a stay at home mom described as “not being highly educated”) or we have an overbearing husband who chains us to the house without allowing us to have a mind of our own.  That being said, I have to also admit that worldly thinking can and does creep in sometimes.  My worldly thought on the conversation was this, “Thank you Lord that my husband appreciates the sacrifices I have made.  I was not at the pool, tennis courts, golfing at the club, sitting down watching soap operas (are those still running?) or going out spending money with friends buying designer clothes and enjoying lavish expensive lunches (as many of my friends did at our last place of residence).   I will consider this my paycheck… A wonderful compliment from my husband.”  Now, being that I started it out as a sort of thanksgiving prayer, one would assume this was not worldly, however, I would argue with you that it was very selfish on my part to look to myself with pride expecting praise from someone for something I’ve done and sacrifices I made.  Really?  I’ve made no sacrifices, this is my JOB as a wife and mother.  Going to the Word of God you see that Proverbs 31 has much more to say past verse 18.  And, it’s all to please the Lord.    Does that mean there is no laughter and fun?  Of course not.  There is great joy when you all sit down together for a meal, or when the aroma of dinner tantalizes your husbands nose when he walks in the door, and the pleasing look in his eyes when he knows that he doesn’t have to worry about one more thing after a full day of work away from those he loves.

Gardening, canning, fermenting, and housework is done to please the Lord.  Not to please anyone else.  Now, in pleasing the Lord, I am also pleasing the family.  It’s a win win.

The second verse was from Titus 2:3, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”  Again, God honoring to teach the younger women (Sally) how to please the Lord by also pleasing, preparing, saving money and working for the good of the family.

Now, that I’ve shared what’s been on my mind the last two days, I need to share why it’s been on my mind.  Yesterday began canning day.  With the harvest coming in from our own garden and the local CSA it’s time to begin preparing for winter.  Oh we enjoy enough of our harvest now, however, we also enjoy it all winter long.  The first comment of my being too sick actually came to reality when I was on my feet all afternoon without sitting down for a break and by dinner time my right leg was numb and I felt like I was again dragging my right foot.  Oh swizzle sticks!  (as the little girl next door says)  Today is a new day and we will try again.  Taking breaks this time so as not to overdo.

Yesterday I canned the two day project I was working on.  Chicken Stock.  Yes, I canned it.  I did some reading and educated myself so as not to ruin anyones day with illness. I made my chicken stock the day before, cooking it in the Nesco all day.  Then I poured it into jars, refrigerated it and skimmed off the fat the next morning.  I then put it back into a stock pot (2 – 3/4 gallons of it) just to the boiling point, poured it into clean hot pint jars, added a tsp. of salt and placed on the lids and began the canning process.  Because water baths are not sufficient enough for chicken stock, I used two of my pressure canners at 10 lbs. of pressure for 20 minutes.  I made 23 pints of stock.  (See previous post last fall on making the chicken stock.)  Disclaimer:  I would NOT can any chicken that comes from the traditional conventional marketplace.  I would only can organic, non-GMO fed chicken stock that was homemade with all organic ingredients using pure unadulterated water sources.  

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After the chicken stock I moved on to making fermented salsa.  I took the beautiful ripe organic tomatoes from the CSA (mine are not done yet), one very large onion, a large bunch of cilantro and about 10-15 garlic.  I put them all in the food processor and gently processed them down to a mildly chunky state and poured it all into a bowl.  I took clean jelly jars and a few pints placing 1 tsp. salt and 1 TBS fresh whey in each.  Then I scooped the salsa into each jar leaving 1 inch space at the top.  Wiped each clean and put on the lids.  I then shook the jars to mix in the whey and the salt.  Placing them on the counter on top of a towel I then unscrewed the lid of the jar so the air would be able to flow.  I will leave them on the counter from 3-7 days, burping the jars each day to release the fermented gases before putting them into the refrigerator.

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Fermented foods have been a long tradition in many cultures and is wonderful to help aid in digestion.  We see the importance of eating yogurt, this is the same only using fresh organic vegetables.   Each month my doctor wants to know if I am continuing to eat my fermented veggies, juicing, kefir and kombuccha of which the answer is always yes.  We both agree it helps tremendously.

Today, I will be creating and making fermented beats, fennel, cabbage recipes which I will share at the end of the week.

 

P.S.  I am college educated with a 4 year degree. 🙂

 

Thank you Lord for the blessing of a family to care for.  Thank you for the knowledge you have provided regarding health, nutrition, foods, and the human bodies response to unnatural man made resources.  Thank you Lord for the daily strength that can only come from you as I open my eyes each day feeling weary.  It is only through your almighty grace that I continue on.  Lord I pray that I can honor you through all that I do, say and think.  Help me to keep my focus on you and you alone so that all I do on this earth will be glorifying to you.  Amen…

 

Beauty or Truth? You decide…

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Proverbs 4:7  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,and whatever you get, get insight.

Ecclesiastes 7:12  For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.

We recently returned from another Highland Festival gathering which took place once again in Canada.  We decided to take an additional few days before the games to take a tour of the north eastern part of Canada since we were going to be so close.  So off to Quebec City we drove.  There is so much to share about our trip, yet one part of it continues to haunt my thoughts and is something I have been praying over for the last week.

When I began writing this blog, my earlier posts had a theme of “why”?    I thought it would be interesting to write in that direction, however, many other things popped up that had me writing and sharing outside of that why box.  Well, I have over the last week continued to pray about and ask why about one small hour in time that took place on our trip.   I know and am very aware that this subject could be a hot point and am not certain how many will continue reading once I get to my point, however, I certainly hope that more will at least consider that this is me asking why and maybe they will consider my question and God’s truth on the subject.  After all, 2Timothy 3:14-16 says “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

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On our country tour of Quebec City, we were taken to St. Anne’s Basilica, or as the French call it Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine.  My first why was questioning “shrine”.   In the dictionary this is how they describe shrine: a building or other shelter, often of a stately or sumptuous character, enclosing the remains or relics of a saint or other holy person and forming an object of religious veneration and pilgrimage.   My second question was more of a “who” rather than why.  Who was St. Anne?  On the tour bus we had the explanation given through our tour guide describing her as the mother of the virgin Mary.     Now comes the third question, why is the mother of Mary a saint?  Well, saint in the dictionary reads as such: any of certain persons of exceptional holiness of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, especially by canonization.  Did she lead an exceptional life?  Her name is not listed in the bible and from what I researched it is only listed once in the middle of the second century in the apocryphal Protevangelium of James.  Everywhere I looked for information about Anne, there were different stories and legends about her life.  From her being barren and sharing the same story as Hanna and Samuel, to her being married once to her being married three times and having three daughters.   I repeatedly found the word “tradition” used when describing her and her importance. Making me wonder what the definition of tradition was: a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable.

Ah, definition b. is where I see the bigger picture. “Commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable.”  With such inconsistencies,  no clear biblical explanation into her importance, why is she a saint? It must be obvious at this point I am not catholic.  I do not understand praying to someone other than directly to the Lord in the name of Jesus.

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Back to the trip…off through the country’s winding roads and small towns we went to see a shrine dedicated and named after a woman who is a part of history yet whose name is not even in God’s holy scriptures.  The driver went on to explain that St. Anne was prayed to for healing and that people have hobbled into the basilica crippled and walked out leaving canes and crutches behind.  As I sat uncomfortably in my seat, knowing that my body is riddled with spirochetes and various other infections, I was no longer concerned over my own health, yet was concerned over the spiritual health of those who pray to someone other than Christ.  I began to pray  for the miracle of His divine power to change the heart.  I began praying for all of those who ooed and awed at the thought of seeing the basilica, seeing her hip bone under glass, and their praying to “St. Anne”.  I asked Christ directly to show those who did not know Him to be shown Him.  Just as my peace and healing has come from prayer directly to Christ himself, they too can feel healing if they only knew Him.

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Exiting the bus, it was hard not to breath deeply at the beauty of such a towering “shrine”.  It certainly was beautiful from the parking lot, and from the road.  I took a great number of pictures of the beautiful windows that the suns rays shown through, and the enormous copper doors which a local man had made.  However, as I studied the sculpture above the door as we entered in, I was wrought with sadness.  Sadness at seeing a woman (St. Anne) portrayed as an idol by those who were bowing down before her.  (I tried for 3 hours to download the picture, not sure why it will not upload.)  Why?  Her name is not listed in scripture, she is not the reason for Mary’s immaculate conception, her history is sketchy at best and there is no history of her doing anything spectacular other than being a mom to someone else who was an important part of history.  Bus loads and car loads of people unloaded to go into the basilica and pray to her.  There was even a campground across the street and a small building behind the church to buy your souvenirs.   Why pray to her?  Scripture tells us even in the old testament prayers were lifted to either the creator of the earth, our Lord God Almighty, or to man made idols.  So, since we know she herself is not God, does that make her an idol?  After all, people make pilgrimages to her basilica where miracles of healing are proclaimed and they pray to her.

The following prayer was found laying out for people to read and use in their prayers.  (Please note 1/2 way down the page under Before a relic of Saint Anne, second paragraph..)

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It must be mentioned that the Catholic Church in 1677 condemned the belief that Anne also participated in the immaculate conception of Mary.  Another why… why then is this prayer sitting in a Catholic Church dedicated to a woman who is not listed in scripture enticing people from all over the world to visit and to pray to her?

1 Timothy 2:3-6  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

I know that the answer falls back onto the shoulders of those who taught such ideas, as well as tradition.  Tradition passed down from generation to generation.  It is possible however, to be the one person to break with tradition and begin reading scripture as God intended for us to do.  We no longer live in an age where all we have is personal reflection and stories passed down due to the lack of writing and paper.  We have bibles in our stores, churches, hotels and prayerfully in our homes.  We have internet, Bible aps and ipads.  If one begins reading them and praying directly to the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ one may find wisdom.  As Christians we need to ask hard questions when something doesn’t seem right in the teaching of the scriptures.  If people do not know truth, how will they know Him?

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

To the reader that has read all the way through, thank you.  Thank you for pondering with me the questions which need to be asked.  I hope that you will continue to read the scriptures below and listen to the following sermon posts on the first two commandments so you may understand my concern for those who pray to anyone other than Jesus Christ.

I titled this post Beauty or Truth?  because I think it’s another pondering question.  Would you rather have a beautiful sanctuary with gold and silver relics and copper doors or would you rather have truth?  I would rather have truth.

Who should we pray to:

John 14:13  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.  

John 14:14
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

John 15:16
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

(Please note that the Father in this text is God, not the local priest or pastor.)

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

Let us remember:

Deuteronomy 5:6-21

6″I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
7 “‘You shall have no other gods before me.
8 “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 “‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
17 “You shall not murder.
18 “And you shall not commit adultery.
19 “And you shall not steal.
20 “And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
21 “And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

Jeremiah 18:15
But my people have forgotten me;
they make offerings to false gods;

Zechariah 10:2
For the household gods utter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
they tell false dreams
and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.

Jeremiah 10:1-15

Idols and the Living God

10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord:
“Learn not the way of the nations,
nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
because the nations are dismayed at them,
3 for the customs of the peoples are vanity                                                                          A tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
6 There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For this is your due;
for among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is none like you.
8 They are both stupid and foolish;
the instruction of idols is but wood!
9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
and gold from Uphaz.
They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is violet and purple;
they are all the work of skilled men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12 It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
cand he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
hand there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of delusion;

 

I hope that you will consider listening to these two sermons on the first two commandments.  Very thought provoking.

http://crbc.us/media_events/953-The-First-Commandment

http://crbc.us/media_events/954-The-Second-Commandment

 

For more information on biblical teaching of the commandments, visit CRBC.us.

Past vs. Present

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I admit it, I’m a bible thumper.  I enjoy being in church and when we travel I miss fellowship with those who are dear to my heart, my church family.  I enjoy learning about the history of the gospel, the truth of God’s Word and the approach of which we should all be living out our lives if we are truly sheep of His flock.  I am continually held accountable through conviction of my own sins and am blessed by the knowledge that I will never be perfected in Christ until my redemption through death.

I remember the day I sought out His will for my life and that of my unborn child.  The day I wept in prayer seeking forgiveness for a life spent looking for happiness and “fun”.  Oh, it has been a journey and sanctification can be long and sometimes difficult.  Attending a world wide bible study with over 17 denominations, yes there are many, I learned about reading the bible and how to study scripture.  I learned about how to be a wife and a mother as God intends, a friend, a servant and a daughter to an almighty sovereign Father.  I learned about forgiveness and the blessings that follow and learned about the toll bitterness can take on one who does not seek it.   I have been encouraged in times of trouble, I have been comforted in times of darkness, and I have listened hearing words spoken that I had not before understood.  I remember feeling as Saul must have felt when the scales were removed from his eyes and he became a servant.  I felt as if I had been blind and was finally seeing colors and shapes as they had never been seen.  Things have over the years become clearer and the journey has not been easy.  Taking me from being a nominal christian in the worship of several different denominational churches where my stirring heart to hear truth in a way I could not explain was not satisfied, to the community of which I call home.  A community of like minded believers that see things as I see them.  Where truth comes from God’s most holy word, through teaching that is scripturally sound and thoroughly studied.  Christ has led this sinful mind, body and soul to a place of humbling grace surrounded with unconditional love and forgiveness.  I praise God that I have been led out of darkness and into the light.  I praise Him for His continued watchful eye over my family, grabbing hold the hearts of my husband and children so that generations will share in His kingdoms glory, serving Him together for an eternity.

As we sat in church this morning, I once again felt that society needs to hear truth.   Truth spoken from a pulpit that does not focus on “bringing in the numbers” by pleasing the people, yet a pulpit that seeks to honor the Father on His day with truth from His own book.  Do people really understand why we have the family platform we have?  Do they understand that it was not a man made concept that just took off in tradition?  How many people understand that the bible is the most widely read book in the world?  What is taught on Sundays and any other day of the week for God’s faithful should not just be left at the door step of the building as they leave, it should be carried through out their week and taken seriously.  Hell is real.  Heaven is real!  (And no, I do not watch movies that try to tell me it is, I know it because I read it in God’s spoken word in the scriptures and I feel it in my heart.)  We live in a corrupt world of deception that tries to destroy families and what they stand for.  We as believers in truth and followers of Christ need to stand up for what we believe in and teach our children to be strong in their faith, protecting the Word as God would have us.  He will overcome!

Therefore, I am posting today’s message spoken from the pulpit.  This is a subject dear to my heart as I teach my children about marriage, expectations in relationships and the honor and glory commitment is to our almighty sovereign God.  To Him be the glory!

I pray that you are blessed by the message and that you will be given the ears to hear it as God intends.  If you are a sinner seeking forgiveness, I pray that this gives you hope.  If you are a parent, I pray that it gives you a clearer vision into the scriptures to teach your children.

Please read these first and then listen to the audio.   (If you do not own a bible, please google the verses in ESV.)

Psalm 30:2-3,  Proverbs 5:1-14,  Ephesians 5:22-33 and Exodus 20:14

http://crbc.us/media_events/976-The-Seventh-Commandment

(Courtesy of CRBC.us, and with permission to post.)

 

Graduation Day

A blessing that will be remembered for many years to come.  Celebrated with our closest friends, church family and a few of our immediate family members.

I remember our sons first day of school and I also remember his first day of homeschooling.  We both were excited at the new adventure, yet we were also a bit nervous over what the years would bring.  It wasn’t always easy as I not only prepared lesson plans for one class, but all of them.  At times I felt like I had lived under a rock over my 40+ years.  We learned together in most subjects and I wondered if I was doing a good job.   There was always worry….  There were a few years that we put almost 100 miles a week on the car driving from sports activities, volunteering opportunities,  to music lessons.   I used to tell my husband that being a stay at home mom is not easy and I will not know how well I’ve done my job until our children turned 18 and I see the end result of who they become.  After all, there is no evaluation at the end of each year, there is no paycheck handed to you and there are no promotions.

At this point, I weep with joy over the end of our adventure as I see a once little boy become a young man.  He is first and foremost a Godly individual who wants to serve the Lord in all he does.  He is polite, happy, easy going (most of the time) and he is incredibly smart.  He graduated last weekend with a near 4. GPA, and he is also at a sophomore level in college.   Well, I can praise God for leading us through this part of our journey between mother and son and thank Him for His glory that saw us through the difficulties.  We could only have done it with the power of prayer and strength from Him whom we trust.

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A selfie with mom!

 

 

Trembling and Falling Down Before Him

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Luke 8:40-48

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Seeking out physicians to find the cure.  I can relate.  Falling down before him.  I can relate.  Healing by the touch of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I can relate.  To have faith and go in peace.  I can relate.

Psalm 91:1-6

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Dwelling in the shelter of the Lord.  I can relate.  Crying out “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  I can relate.  Finding refuge under his wings.  I can relate.  Not fearing the terror of the night nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.  I can relate.

Through the grace of the Lord I will be healed.  Through the strength of he who carries me, I rest in peace.  Through the words of truth, I find wisdom.  Through prayers of thanksgiving I find hope.

Friends, I pray that you find healing today and in those yet to come.  I pray that you find peace in the Lord and in knowing that through Him all things are possible.

Have a great week!

 

Contentment?

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Ordinarily I do not ride on the tails of others, however, I felt that this mornings devotional reading by C.H. Spurgeon was worth sharing.  How often do we flit here and flit there looking for things to make us happy?  Is the insanity of looking for contentment elsewhere a cost worthy investment when we are currently rich with possibilities?  When we are afflicted with uncontrollable and unforeseen circumstances, are we willing to sit back and accept God’s will for us at that moment in time?  Are we content?  If the answer is no, how do we find contentment in our time of great need?  It’s not through the ability of our own, it’s through the Lord Jesus Christ, our faith in Him and our trust in His sovereign grace that we can learn how to sow flowers of contentment.  From Morning and Evening Daily Reading by C.H. Spurgeon:

“I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.”
Philippians 4:11

These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. “Ill weeds grow apace.” Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us. Paul says, “I have learned … to be content;” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented without learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

On this sabbath day, my prayer is for all those afflicted with physical challenges and those afflicted with the challenges of life to look beyond their current disabilities and to seek sowing a field of contentment.  Even being shut up in a home because of ailments can bring out contentment if you look hard enough.  After all, we are warm, we have food, we have clean clothes and we are not sitting in a cold dungeon of persecution.   Be blessed in the education and discipline of learning contentment.

Why was I a guest?

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So many days sitting, waiting, healing and praying.  Praying for the return of the healthy, strong, fearless body that did not often sit idle.  I have not asked God “why pain? or why illness? or why me?” in this journey.  I guess I look at the adversity of life and know that it’s not about climbing the mountain to be close to Him, it’s about the nourishment in the valley.  After all, the top of the mountain is usually quite cold, brown and lonely.  The valley is warm, and green with lush grass and flowing streams.  It’s a place where the Lord can meet you where you are at, providing comfort, company and substance for healing not just for the body yet also the soul.  If I question Him and ask “why me” then I am not trusting His will for me.  What I have asked is “why has he chosen me out of so many”.  Chosen me to be a part of His kingdom.  I am a sinner whose sins are no less than anyone else, yet He has chosen me to be a part of an eternal plan.

As we sang in service yesterday, I considered the words in one of the hymns.  It’s a beautiful hymn whose words and musical components made my inner being stir. To not embarrass myself nor my family by falling down on my knees, I sat quietly praising Him in my thoughts as the words streamed out of my mouth.  How can I ask for any more than that which I am already blessed with.  After all, this life is only a warm up to an eternity!

Isaac Watts, 1707                                                                                                                        “How sweet and awful is the place, With Christ within the doors, While ever lasting love displays The choicest of her stores.                                          
While all our hearts and all our songs Join to admire the feast, Each of us cry, with thankful tongues, “Lord, why was I a guest?”                                    
“Why was I made to hear thy voice And enter while there’s room, When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starve than come?”                                  
‘Twas the same love that spread the feast that sweetly drew us in; Else we had still refused to taste, and perished in our sin.                                        
Pity the nations, O our God Constrain the earth to come; Send they victorious Word abroad, And bring the strangers home.                                              
We long to see thy churches full, That all the chosen race May, with one voice and heart and soul, Sing thy redeeming grace.  Amen”

Matthew 7:13  “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.