Friday, April 9, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Today was my last day at a job I dearly loved. I worked with nice people and very precious children whom I will remember always. But yet today I said goodbye to them all for a new, full-time job doing much the same thing not too far away from them. Yet God know this day would come for me, that "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."(Eccles.3:1)

It made me cry, getting through this day. For I saw people, priceless people whom Christ died for, whom He allowed to be a part of my life for a short time. And now that time is gone. Now a new chapter in my life opens up. What will it hold for me?

I have been back in the work force for almost 10 years now, after raising my children. I have held many jobs since them. But this one was quite special to me. Parents were saddened that I was leaving, and quite frankly I was touched that I meant something to them. I am hoping that somehow, in some small way, I made a difference in a child's life, that hopefully I showed Jesus' love to co-workers.

Today made me realize that life is going by too quickly. To treasure each moment you have with people because nothing stays the same, everything comes to pass. Touch lives where I worked dear Father. I only hope that this new place will be a positive one also, but I know that the Father will be with me, for He has promised it to be true. (Matt. 28: 20)

It is even the same in my family. Relationships that were present 10 years ago are in some cases completely gone now. Nothing comes to stay, everything comes to pass. There is only one thing that is constant, that will never change: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) Of this one thing, I can be sure as one door of my life closes and a new one opens.

Friday, March 19, 2010

On my Birthday, I give thanks!

Today I am 48 years old. I thought it would be neat to give God thanks for 48 things in my blog today.
1. For my human parents, who cared for me and changed my diapers,gave me a warm home to grow up and food to eat, raised me well and provided me with a college education.
2. For two wonderful sisters who are great friends as well.
3. For a faithful and devoted husband who has stuck with me over 25 years and been a great Dad to my three children.
4. For my two devoted sons and their beautiful fiancees.
5. For my daughter.
6. For a job that I love with babies and children I adore.
7. For a wonderful church where the Word of God is taught and the love of Christ is evident.
8. For a computer hookup and the freedom to write about my faith.
9. For friends in the faith that I have met online.
10. For my Bibles.
11. For health to get up and go to work each day.
12. For good medical coverage and chiropractic care.
13. For a roof over my head that is paid for.
14. For a car that is paid for and runs well.
15. For the ability to write stories, articles and poetry.
16. For old friends like my friend Tammy who has been true over all these years.
17. For the fact that each day I have food to eat.
18. For my body which has been fearfully and wonderfully made.
19. For getting us through this rough winter and the crocuses blooming outside.
20. For mercies that are new every morning.
21. For a comfortable bed to sleep on.
22. For a comforter that is sleep-inducing.
23. For solid Bible teachers like Dr. Chuck Missler.
24. For my pastor, Scott Warne, and his humility and laying down his life to teach us.
25. For organizations like Voice of the Martyrs, Persecution Project and many others that are sharing the gospel and helping suffering believers.
26. For my husband working so hard over the years to provide for me and the children.
27. For the Word of God which whose promises are sure and which will never pass away.
28. That I heard the gospel on that little blue transistor radio in my bed all those years ago and decided to accept Jesus as my Savior before my heart could grow hard.
29. For Mrs. Paraskos and the Good News Club that she held all those years ago and her encouragement to me in my young faith.
30. For the dear brother in Iowa who sent me the Bible correspondence course all those years ago and personally answered all those questions I hammered him with.
31. For the lady from the campus ministry at Alderson-Broaddus who helped me through dark times.
32. For the Campus Crusade Ministry at Pitt and Michelle, Lynn and Gretchen who took an interest in helping a mixed up backsliding believer like me with one foot with Christ and one foot in the world.
33. For the pastor who first taught me the grace of God, Pastor Rick Knapp.
34. For the fact that I was able to stay at home with my young children and home educate them, and share the wonder of God's creation with their young minds.
35. For Focus on the Family for publishing my first children's story.
36. For God letting me discover how much I loved writing.
37. For all the innumerable spiritual blessings I have "in Him".
38. For a home in heaven that will never be corrupted.
39. That one day I will see my Redeemer face to face.
40. That I will get to fellowship with all those faith heroes who have gone before.
41. For my friend Judy whose love and friendship has been constant for 20 years and who gave me marriage saving advice.
42. For neighbors and friends in a safe community.
43. For my son Jesse who looks out for his mom and is available to drive me to medical tests, entertains me with his guitar and crazy antics,and helps out his Dad.
44. That God is working for the good all the trials in my life.
45. That the time is winding down for Christ's return to this planet.
46. That Jesus personally had me in His mind when He went to the cross 2,000 years ago, enduring the wrath of God and not despising the shame of hanging naked on the cross.
47. That God has spared my life on numerous occasions when I have done stupid things.
48. That I am sitting here today, a real live person, not a fly on the wall or a rock, and that I have eternal life right now, right this minute and that nothing, nothing can separate me from the love of Jesus. THANK YOU LORD JESUS!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trust in the Lord

T hanks be to the Lord
R eliable is He in all His ways.
U nchanging from the beginning of time.
S upreme above all created beings is our God.
T ruth Personified

I nviting all those who thirst to drink His Living Water.
N ever forsaking even one of His children.

T rue in all His judgments
H ealing the lost and brokenhearted.
E ver faithful Friend.

L amb Slain before the foundation of the world.
O mniscient, knowing the end from the beginning.
R edeeming by His blood an uncountable number.
D ear Saviour, Master, King and Lord.

copyright 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What is true love?

Since we are in the month of February and Valentine's Day is just around the corner, let us think for a minute about true love described in I Corinthians 13. These are the verses you hear at every marriage ceremony. They are read, but how many really think that the definition of agape can be carried out in real life?

"Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...."(I Cor. 13: 4-8a)

If you and I are honest, we have to admit that we just do not have what it takes in and of ourselves to love others the way Paul described above. If we are honest with God, He will not condemn us. He knows we are but dust anyways.(Psalm 103:14) Once we admit that we can't, He can whisper to our hearts, "But I can inside you" "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

Once we know that only He inside us can love like that, we can look to the only One who ever lived that love perfectly, without failing once. He is Perfect Love.
"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2 This perfect, giving Saviour lives inside us and wants to live His life through us.

Here is agape:

A bundant life freely

G iven at Calvary

A ccomplished perfectly and

P aid in full for

E veryone who believes.

Lord Jesus, I ask you to teach me the way of agape so that I can truly love others the way you want me to. In Your Blessed Name, Amen.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jesus calls us to love one another...

I have a little habit of visiting Christian message boards. Often, I admit that I waste precious time visiting these sites. Time after time, though, one thing comes through. Christians can be unkind to one another, sometimes downright vicious. It does not edify and build up the Body of Christ.

Often unbelievers visit these sites. And often they turn away from Jesus because of what they see there. They see us acting no different than they do. They are searching....searching for the God of the Universe and we turn them away by our lack of love for one another. Jesus said very plainly: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this ALL MEN WILL KNOW that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
(John 13: 34-35).

I have to admit that one of my goals in this new year, indeed for the rest of my life,is to learn and apply what agape love truly is. First to my husband, my family, to the Body of Christ, and finally to all the world. Have you read what true love does in I Cor. 13? I admit that I fall way short of this every single day. But I am starting to get a taste, just a tiny taste of God's agape love toward me. And sometimes it will bring me to tears. That is what will give me the ability to love others, by viewing "what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge..." (Eph. 3: 18-19).

Even the Psalmist knew this when he told us the importance of loving our brethren. He writes an entire Psalm about it.

Psalm 133
1"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing--life forever."

God commands a blessing upon us loving our brethren. I ask the Lord for the rest of my life to truly show me what this means and for the grace to apply it daily.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

For Parents with Hurting Hearts

Are you a parent with a broken heart? It seems I have met so many, both online and friends I know. I am one myself. It seems that it is so very hard to raise your children in the Lord these days. Even if you homeschool, or send them to Christian School, there is no guarantee that one of your children will not break your heart. This world is so evil, there are so many influences out there that want to steal our children away from us, but especially away from the Lord. What is a parent to do?

I know good parents who taught their children the Bible. I taught my children the Bible. We took them to church regularly. We homeschooled. And yet we still ended up with a broken family. Yes, there are no guarantees that things will come out rosily.

But today I was reading in my time with the Lord from Andrew Murray's With Christ in the School of Prayer. I was so encouraged as I underlined and even wrote the date in the book because I felt God was speaking to me directly through the words of Mr. Murray. It was in Chapter 8, called The Boldness of God's Friends. He spoke of the parable of the friend at midnight in Luke 11: 5-8 and prayer for the perishing around us. God not only wants us to pray for ourselves but for those around us that have need. What about our children who may be lost to us? He speaks of the threefold cord of Scripture in this way: "Let us securely hold the threefold cord that cannot be broken: the hungry friend needing the help (in my case, my very own flesh and blood), the praying friend seeking the help (that would be me, or any parent that is in my shoes), and the Mighty Friend (Jesus Christ) loving to give us as much help as we need."

He then brought to mind the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. I read verse 18 where it says the prodigal "came to himself". The word for "came" in the Greek is (#2064 in Strong's Lexicon) "erchomai". It means to recover one's sense or understanding. My prodigal is not living in a pig pen right now, but this child needs to come to this understanding. It is something I cannot do, but the one thing I can do is to pray believing, like the friend at midnight. If you are a hurting parent, it is the one thing you can do as well. Mr. Murray says "even though I don't have what I need, I have already begun the work of love, because I have a FRIEND who will help me. WE DO NOT KNOW HOW EFFECTIVE THIS PLEA IS. When the friendship of earth looks in its need to the friendship of heaven, ...'He will...give him as many as he needeth."

This has been an ongoing trial for me, lasting many years. Yet it is my hope and prayer that in this trial not only will my faith be refined like gold, yet I may somehow be an encouragement to others, who are truly hurting as well. Pray for your children and don't stop until you hear from above. Our heavenly Father is a friend who truly hears and cares.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I stretch forth mine hands...

The first post for a new year! A new year, full of new beginnings, new possibilities.
Some random thoughts for the new year...

I came across some verses today that impressed me mightily in my spirit as I was considering the new year.

Psalm 143: 6 " I stretch forth my hands unto Thee: my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land. Selah." In this year of so many distractions Lord, I want to stretch forth my hands to You. So many things bid me to pay attention, yet Lord you are the only thing in this universe that can give water to a thirsty soul. Indeed, Jesus only gives us water that will cause us never to thirst again. "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

And then I was impressed with these verses. In II Chronicles 13 we have a review of Rehoboam's life. Now Rehoboam was the son of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.
You think some of that wisdom might have rubbed off on his son, but sadly that is not the case. Verse 14 somberly tells us that "he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord". In the book of Ezra we have the opposite said of Ezra:
"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach Israel statutes and judgements." (Ezra 7:10)

In this new year of 2010, though we are on the finished work side of history, we still can prepare our hearts to seek Him with all our hearts. What are some things we can expect if we do so?

The answers, once again, come from the Word of God. Luke 18: 29-30: And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in the present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." In the New Living Translation they will be repaid many times over.

And I Corinthians 2:9 tells us "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."

Maybe the idea of a nebulous treasure in heaven seems remote right now, but if it comes from the Maker of heaven and earth, who designed the beauty of a flower and the majesty of a galaxy, we have to take Him at His word that it will all be worth it when we stand before Him in eternity. Amen?