Monday, November 14, 2011

I used to_______but now I don't
Listening to a short podcast today, I had to reflect on what was being said. Too often, we as children of God, have good intentions of sharing our testimony, but really, what are we doing? Have you ever found yourself rattling on a list of 'stuff' God has helped you change?

"I used to smoke, but God helped me to quit"
"I used to drink, but God helped me to quit"
"I used to cuss like a sailor, but God helped me to quit"
" I used to_______, but God helped me to quit."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In fellowship, out of fellowship, in fellowship, out of fellowship...

... this was the popular calls this week, asking about being in fellowship with God. It seems that, as the minister was assuring a caller that our sin does not take out of fellowship with God, several other listeners were getting concerned at the possible error he was giving out. One of the concerned callers called and shared the story of how she accepted Christ at a young age, but as she grew older, she wandered off, doing things that she knew were not good things to do. Now, while she knew she had NOT lost her salvation, she felt that she had lost fellowship with God. She was doing bad things, and totally ignoring God. Couldn't that be out of fellowship? 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trials and Tribulations

Wow. What a timely message this morning. I cringed when I first saw that the sermon was coming from the book of James. James has always been rather hard on my old ego. I wondered how it would look through the eyes of Grace this morning. There are several verses in there that the Pentecostal background I had would use to prove that one must 'gut it out for God", if they indeed wanted to spend an eternity in heaven. Would today be more of the same?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

During our Bible study last week, an interesting verse was revealed.  In I Peter, we're told to be ready to give an answer when someone ASKS us about the difference seen in us.  This was different than what I  was used to growing up.  I remember as a young child, I was encouraged to tell everyone I saw about Jesus. Somehow, and I don't quite recall how, I gathered that I was supposed to MAKE people listen to me when i would tell them about Jesus. Another preacher would laughingly refer to this as running them up the flagpole to get away from us.   Looking back, I suppose we were nothing more than one of those annoying people that we would go a mile out of our way to avoid. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't forget the Cross

What an eye opener. This morning, I finally got a chance to trim up our dying wisteria bush in the front yard. It was bittersweet, really.   Every spring, whoever passed by could breathe in the fragrant blossoms that were just dripping all over this magnificent bush like clusters of bright purple grapes.  I never ceased to enjoy its beauty whenever I would walk by, and others have commented the same.

7th Day....of which calendar?

Man--listening to a favorite archive of mine, it seemed that the flavor of the show was the seventh day Sabbath. One guy mentioned that whenever someone keeps the Sabbath, people automatically think that person is a Seventh Day Adventist. I didn't know until tonight that there were Seventh Day Baptists. Not having heard of it, I decided to browse through the Internet for a few minutes and see what I could find.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Forgiveness for Others

Wow. What a relief. No, seriously, I mean a REAL relief. A fella called the ministry this afternoon, asking about forgiveness. The question was, if we don't forgive other people, then we'll lose our salvation. Was this true?

Before Bob answered the question, he felt he needed to bring to light the difference between the Old Covenant and New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, Jesus taught folks to pray "Forgive us, as we forgive others" Yikes! I have a list of names I'm still working on forgiveness for.  So, if I don't forgive them, God's not forgiven me?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wow. What a revelation. This weekend, I learned that yes, we CAN survive without the internet.  Have you ever wished you could tear yourself away from the internet, but feel powerless to do so? Too many times it's just simply convenient to "do everything' from your computer. This past weekend, Saturday morning, to be exact, a thunderstorm took out our modem. Neither my teenage boys or me were too upset. We were getting the much needed rain for our yards, crops and wildfires, so we weren't at all upset that the internet was gone. In fact, I would go so far as to say I felt an emotion I'd not felt in a long time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh yeah... Summer is here..

Nothing says summer quite like my Daddy's garden. Now add to it, my  uncle's garden and brother's garden.  This week we dined on the first fruits of Daddy's zucchini and yellow squash, as well as Uncle Freddy's tomatoes. Sure, you can get most of these same veggies year around in the local grocery, but there's so much more flavor in the home grown vegetables than in their store bought counterparts.  I suspect several of you know what I'm talking about. You bite into a big red-ripe juicy tomato from the store and it has all the appeal of eating cardboard. No amount of salt and pepper will help. Show of hands for anyone having had that same experience? Let me raise my hand several times on this.   Contrast that with a home grown tomato... fresh dirt... real cow fertilizer, and hydration from the underground spring.  Oh yeah.... you know what that flavor. You mouth comes alive when you bite into that tomato from the garden. Didn't realize tomatoes were supposed to taste like that, did you? To be honest, I was completely satisfied with the ho-humness of the grocery store tomatoes until I tasted the real thing from Daddy's garden. I didn't know vegetables could BE so good. I've eaten so much zucchini and yellow squash, I think I might've hurt myself.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello, I am a Christian, and I suffer from Martha-itus

Well? What can I say? It's just hit me square in the face that I suffer from Martha-itus. You remember that story, don't you? Where Jesus came to visit His friends Mary, Martha and perhaps Lazarus. Mary sat at Jesus' feet, while Martha scurried around trying to get things done for that crowd of people.
After a bit, Martha started complaining that she was doing all the work, and at the very least, Jesus could make Mary help. Of course, Jesus told her no, that Mary chose the better thing and it would NOT be taken from her.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Out of the Mouths of Babes. As I read one of my favorite comics from my morning rituals, I grimaced at how accurate little Billy's statement was. When we leave our fellowship on the weekends, be it Saturday or Sundays, often times it's as if God lives there--within those four wall, instead of within our hearts 24/7.  We go to our preferred church, carry out the weekly rituals of opening with Prayer, singing a few songs, maybe passing around the collection plate, listen to a sermon, have an altar call, close in prayer, and shake hands on our way out the door. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mic Burger of love

What a refreshing sermon this past Sunday. Talked about loving others, not just in words, but in action. We're told in the scriptures that the only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6). The word "expressing" is a verb... it shows action. Too many times, I've been guilty of murmuring a few words of sympathy, then moving on, because I simply couldn't be bothered. To keep someone in prayer, is a fine thing, but will that really help the person get his or her needs met? I loved this sermon, because it brought up several instances to remembrance. These incidences reminded me that I didn't have 'conjure' up good works... but rather that the love of God that lives within me will stir up my desires to help this one or that one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lost my marbles?

Pulling the keys out of my pocket, I sighed as the entire contents of my pocket spilled onto the sidewalk. My pockets were a treasure chest of sorts, with different confiscated toys from the day's off task students. Locking the door to my classroom, I gathered up most of the contents, missing only a few. "Looking for something?" My teacher buddy asks, noticing me searching the grounds as she's coming up the sidewalk. "Well..." I sighed, "It's official. I have lost my marbles" She cracked up. "Stop it!" she cackled. Honestly, though, I HAD lost my marbles. Those were the elusive treasure I couldn't find. A few minutes of searching finally located the marbles, gleaming in the bright afternoon sunshine. Gathering them back up, we said our goodbyes and left for the day.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The sound of silence

Life was going as usual. The cafeteria was full of students eating and calling out to each other. Suddenly, a favorite colleage came sliding up to me, grinning. "Did you notice our world falling in around us?" he asked, chuckling. My blank look prompted him to continue. "All of our cell phones are down, all of our Internet is down, as well as the landlines," this course meant that the ATM's were down, the gas pumps were down, as well as the grocery store. The funny thing was, I felt a sense of relief. For a small rift in time, I was totally unaccessible to the outside world. The younger generation wasnt sure of how to communicate without their tech.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Warning! Whine session ahead

May I have some cheese to go with my whine?

Dear God,
I know you have seen, and are seeing, everything going on inside my heart and head this morning. You also know that my heart is in an angry turmoil about everything.  Lord, I'm not You. I can't walk in love 24/7, and it's getting to where I can't even walk in love at all. I find it odd that I can have patience with the world, because after all, "they" are acting like who "they" are--children of satan. People who have, for whatever stupid reason they can conjure up, have decided to reject You, Your love, and Your salvation. So of course they would act the way they're acting.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Misplaced focus?

"it's time for the sleeping giant to awaken (the church). It's time to wake up, step up and speak up, or lose everything" was the message silently being heralded on a busy intersection in town.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Going to Hell in a Handbasket

"I don't want to hear anymore about it!" my coworker lamented as she shared the latest on the political agenda of bankrupting our state. I could totally sympathize with her. Our governor is reducing the quality of education, medical care, and law enforcement. Added to this, the homeless will be cut off of government help, and the poor will no longer be allowed welfare. On the flip side, the laws that have tighten the health of our ecosystem is also being laxed. Soon, the laws restricting the sewage being dumped into our rivers will be relaxed a bit. Sound wholesome? Sound like the decision of someone with their public's best interest? No, we didn't think so, either. But what to do? Our governor isn't acting alone. All across this nation, we're hearing of totally ludicrous laws being passed, and encouraging things to go from bad to worse.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


.....And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eureka!! It makes sense!

On a friends status message, I read the following thought: "Don't try to live for God with all your strength; and don't try "all of God and none of me." The third and right way is our union with Christ. It's all of Him joined to all of me, and we are compatible.".  A response was given that " it's still a terrible plague that, after having received a new self, we still fall into degenerating ourselves, as though that's humility. It's more humble (and accurate) to acknowledge what God has made of us, all by Himself".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wysteria and Rabbits

This morning, heading out to work, we were met by 3 fluffy bunnies in our front yard, totally oblivious to the fact that my son and I were their natural predators. Surrounded by the fragrant scent of the wysteria bush, this morning could have been a replica of the Garden of Eden. A feeling of peace washed over me and I took a moment to enjoy the frolicking of the rabbits in our yard.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will the Real Gospel Please Stand Up?

I just heard through the grapevine that someone I know has been "miraculously" healed of cancer. Great. I'm glad they've had the healing--cancer isn't fun for anyone, neither the family  nor the victim.  However, the thanks wasn't given to God for the healing. No.... thankfulness was given to prayer.  C'mon, I know you've heard this before, "That's the power of prayer!"  Never, 'That's the Power of God!!" So... if  our healing lies in the power of prayer, why do we need God?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Okay, What Do I Do, Now?

A kid named Brady emailed the ministry with a sincere plea for direction. He'd accepted Christ a couple of years back, but was now at the, "now what?" stage. He didn't really 'feel' any different. Should he read the Bible more? Go to church more? He went to church, but it wasn't a big deal to him. Where should he start reading in the bible? What should he start 'doing'?

God decides when they'll bloom..

It's been an eye opener for me, learning that, no matter how hard I plant, water, fertilize... things are not going to happen until God says it's time. Inhaling the beautiful, fragrant wisteria outside our front door, I'm reminded of this very truth. All I did was plant the bush. Everything it is, it is because of God. The buzzing of the bumble bees, the intense color and fragrance---all God's doing. Just as He does for His creation, He does for His kids.

Friday, March 11, 2011

So there was this guy, see...

...and he was as mean as a snake, killing Christians for blaspheming the name of Jehovah.

Yeah.. You can guess who I'm speaking about. Saul. Remember him? Later on he became Paul, but for all of his childhood, and half of his adult life, people knew him as Saul. Putting people to death, simply because they didn't believe the same way he did. Giving consent to Stephen's stoning, he wrecked havoc on both churches and homes to those who were members of  "The Way". Saul was a pharisee, and was bent on protecting the good name of Jehovah. Stephen understood that the religious leaders, including Saul, were doing the murders out of ignorance. Christ was crucified through the ignorance of men. Had they known, they surely would not have killed God incarnate.

Friday, February 25, 2011

R.I.P. They're the lucky ones

Man...three funerals in one week, and 7 deaths to contend with. Loved ones, both family and friends, seem to be dropping like flies around these parts. Emotions are running ramped, to say the least. The funerals were interesting, as I watched the immediate loved ones deal with the passing of their mothers, their father, and their son. Part of what caused the turmoil was wondering of the final destination of the loved ones. Were they in heaven? Did they make it?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

His Love Will Sustain

What a wonderful truth to cling to! His love sustains us, when we've nothing left to give. Of course, it's not like we had anything to give to begin with, but our decaying lives. Have you ever felt that you given all you have, and the world still wants more? Can you really give more than 100%?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Been betrayed lately?

So, how about it? Is there anyone out there who has ever done a kind deed for someone, only to have them throw it back in your face? How'd it feel? Hurt, didn't it? The more we love said person, the greater the hurt is. We can even categorize our hurts into 'little' hurts and those huge wrenching heartbreaks that seem to last for years.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My fault, my fault, my fault, my fault

Could you imagine? I don't even know where to start. I just know that my heart is breaking for a buddy of mine. I can't tell him, so I'll tell you. Hopefully, if you are also of this mindset, maybe this particular posting will give you cause to go, "hmmmmm".

Saturday, January 29, 2011

FaithFUL versus FaithLESS

My mercy--when God does something, be prepared to be bowled over. One of the neatest things to me, is when someone shares what God has done for them, and I can relate because He's done the same thing for me. I'm like, "yeah, yeah! I know EXACTLY what you mean!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prayer Works.........?

I have to admit--I don't know whether to clinch my teeth or to let out a big ole sigh. Discombobulation has been my constant companion for a couple of weeks now, and it's really getting old.

Given that, it's understandable why I'm fast losing patience with what I used to could just turn my head away and not deal with it. Here lately, it's as if someone else has my head and forcing to me to see things the way they are.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

   "..... just to take Him at His word!" So rang the lyrics in my head. The melody was such a soothing balm to my soul. A nice slice of pie after a hearty supper, if you will.

What brought all of this on, you may ask? I'm glad you asked! This past Thursday, we had our family Bible study, and the fellowship was intensely sweet, the study itself was intense as well. It was all God, and none of me, nor any other member of our family.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dear Diary....

Dear Diary,
Merry Christmas! I know, I know... a few days late, aren't I? Well, there's a reason for that. On Christmas Day, the family wasn't able to get together due to work schedules and parenting conflicts. So, in order that everyone could be a part of it, we just postponed our Christmas gathering until December 30th.