Friday, September 30, 2011

Every Eye Will See

I never knew I loved strawberries so much until I was an adult. While growing up my mother would say, "Just try them, they're good!" But I would barely graze the stubbly surface of one with my tongue before tossing it aside and saying, "No thanks!" I did not even scratch the exterior and experience the sweet goodness underneath. Now days I fancy them so much I give myself stomach aches devouring as many of them as humanly possible. Have you ever had that happen?

God's grace is something else I did not realize I desired so much until I learned of Him in Sunday school and then His grace itself as I began spending time in His Word (each day) as an adult. And like the berries, no one could have convinced me other than what I thought. I was closed off until God opened me (my heart, my mind) to Him. I could not swim out of the shallow end and dive into the refreshing, rejuvenating, replenishing, renewing depths without being properly equipped --- like a scuba diver --- (with eyes to see, ears to hear, and the Holy Spirit).

So, the next time you offer someone a tantalizing bite and he or she refuses, do not lose heart. He/she was bought for a price, belongs to the King, and one day every knee shall bow and every voice profess His heavenly righteousness!

7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:7-8. ESV.)

(Photo Information.)

Wordless...Friday

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Killer Blog Post Ideas (with Survey)

I was reading another blog (which I found on Google+) and the writer had some interesting blog post ideas. One of which was, "Release your own free ebooks". I (obviously) have NEVER thought of that! But what would I write about engaging enough to warrant an ebook? And who would want to read it?! And how long is the average ebook? Are they the same as paperbacks? And, is there a template or program or does one just convert a word file into PDF format? I guess I need to research this further.

Some of the other "Killer Blog Post Ideas" were:

1. Write reviews (books, products, other blogs)
2. List favorite quotes.
3. Create "how to" posts
4. List and link to favorite blogs or websites
5. Release your own free ebooks
6. Make a huge list of something
7. Have guest posts
8. Conduct polls
9. Do a collaborative post (with other bloggers)
10. Compile a list of best niche related jokes.
11. Conduct a survey
12. Create a post of favorite images.
13. Compile a list of frequently asked questions.
14. Write some fiction.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

He Who Believes in the Son

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him.  (John 3:36)

Wie in die Seun glo, het die ewige lewe; wie egter aan die Seun ongehoorsaam is, sal die lewe nie sien nie, maar die straf van God bly op hom.” 
 
فَالَّذِي يُؤْمِنُ بِالابْنِ يَملِكُ حَياةً أبَدِيَّةً، أمّا الَّذِي لا يُؤْمِنُ بِالابْنِ فَلَنْ يَرَى تِلْكَ الحَياةَ، وَلَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَنْهُ غَضَبُ اللهِ.»
 
Който повярва в Сина, има вечен живот, а който отхвърли Сина, никога няма да има този живот и Божият гняв ще тегне върху него.“

Kdo věří v Syna, má věčný život; kdo Synu nevěří, nespatří život, ale zůstává na něm Boží hněv. 

Hvo som troer paa Sønnen, har et evigt Liv; men hvo som ikke troer Sønnen, skal ikke see Livet, men Guds Vrede bliver over ham.

Wer an den Sohn glaubt, der hat das ewige Leben. Wer aber dem Sohn nicht gehorcht, der wird kein Leben schauen; sondern Gottes Zorn lastet immerfort auf ihm.

El que cree en el Hijo tiene vida eterna. En cambio, el que lo rechaza nunca tendrá esa vida, sino que la ira de Dios permanece sobre él. 

Sinhesten duenac Semea baithan, badu vicitze eternala: baina Semea obeditzen eztuenac, eztu ikussiren vicitzea, baina Iaincoaren hirá dago haren gainean.

آن که به پسر ایمان دارد، حیات جاویدان دارد؛ امّا آن که از پسر اطاعت نمی‌کند، حیات را نخواهد دید، بلکه خشم خدا بر او برقرار می‌ماند.»

Joka uskoo Poikaan, sillä on iankaikkinen elämä; mutta joka ei ole kuuliainen Pojalle, se ei ole elämää näkevä, vaan Jumalan viha pysyy hänen päällänsä."   

Celui qui croit au Fils a la vie éternelle; celui qui ne croit pas au Fils ne verra point la vie, mais la colère de Dieu demeure sur lui. 

ὁ πιστεύων εἰς τὸν υἱὸν ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον·  ὁ δὲ ἀπειθῶν τῷ υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωήν,  ἀλλ’ ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐπ’ αὐτόν.   

כל המאמין בבן יחיה לעולם, ואילו מי שאינו מאמין בבן לא יחיה חיי נצח, כי אם יקבל עונש נצחי מאלוהים!" 
 כל המאמין בבן יחיה לעולם, ואילו מי שאינו מאמין בבן לא יחיה חיי נצח, כי אם יקבל עונש נצחי מאלוהים!"

Svi koji se pouzdaju u Božjega Sina da ih spasi imaju vječni život, a oni koji ga ne slušaju neće nikada imati vječni život, već gnjev Božji ostaje na njima." 

Aki hisz a Fiúban, az örökké él. De aki nem engedelmeskedik a Fiúnak, az nem kap örök életet, hanem Isten haragja alatt marad.”

Ա՛ն որ կը հաւատայ Որդիին՝ ունի յաւիտենական կեանքը. իսկ ա՛ն որ չ՚անսար Որդիին՝ պիտի չտեսնէ կեանքը, հապա Աստուծոյ բարկութիւնը կը մնայ անոր վրայ:

Barangsiapa percaya kepada Anak akan menerima hidup yang kekal, tetapi orang yang tidak taat kepada Anak tidak akan memiliki hidup itu. Murka Allah tetap ada pada orang itu."

Chi crede nel Figlio ha vita eterna; chi invece rifiuta di credere al Figlio non vedrà la vita, ma l'ira di Dio rimane su di lui».  

 この方は神様の御子なのだ。 この方に救っていただけると信じ、何もかも任せきる者はだれでも、永遠のいのちを得る。 だが、この方を信じない者、従わない者は、絶対に天国を見ることはできない。 そればかりか、神様の怒りがその人の上にとどまるのだ。」サマリヤ人の女 

아들을 믿는 자는 영생이 있고 아들을 순종치 아니하는 자는 영생을 보지 못하고 도리어 하나님의 진노가 그 위에 머물러 있느니라

Izay mino ny Zanaka manana fiainana mandrakizay; fa izay tsy mino ny Zanaka dia tsy hahita fiainana, fa ny fahatezeran'Andriamanitra no mitoetra eo aminy.  

Ko ia e whakapono ana ki te Tama, he ora tonu tona: ko ia e kore e whakapono ki te Tama, e kore e kite i te ora; engari ka mau tonu te riri a te Atua ki a ia.

 Die in den Zoon gelooft, die heeft het eeuwige leven; maar die den Zoon ongehoorzaam is, die zal het leven niet zien, maar de toorn Gods blijft op hem. 

Den som tror på Guds, sønn har evig liv. Den som nekter å være lydig mot Sønnen, han mister det evige livet, og blir fortsatt under Guds dom." 

Kto wierzy w Syna, ma życie wieczne, ale kto nie wierzy Synowi, nie ujrzy życia, lecz gniew Boży zostaje na nim.  

Por isso quem crê no Filho tem a vida eterna; porém quem desobedece ao Filho nunca terá a vida eterna, mas sofrerá para sempre o castigo de Deus. 
          
Pipish Churita crijca, huiñai causaita charinmi. Ashtahuanpish Churita mana crijca, huiñai causaitaca manataj charingachu, Diosca jatunta p'iñacungallami. 

Cel ce crede în Fiul are viața veșnică, dar cel ce nu crede în Fiul nu va vedea viața, ci mânia lui Dumnezeu rămâne peste el.

Тот, кто верит в Сына, имеет вечную жизнь, тот же, кто не повинуется Сыну, никогда не увидит этой жизни, и гнев Божий будет на нём».

Kto verí v Syna, má večný život, ale kto Synovi neverí, neuzrie život a spočinie na ňom Boží hnev.

Kii Wiilka rumaystaa, wuxuu leeyahay nolosha weligeed ah, kii aan Wiilka rumaysanse, nolosha ma arki doono, laakiin cadhadii Ilaah ayaa ku taal isaga.

Kush beson në Birin ka jetë të përjetshme, kurse kush nuk i bindet Birit nuk do të shohë jetë, por zemërimi i Perëndisë qëndron mbi të''.

Ко верује у Сина, има вечни живот, а ко неће да се покори Сину, неће видети живот, него на њему остаје Божији гнев.

Den som tror på Sonen, han har evigt liv; men den som icke hörsammar Sonen, han skall icke få se livet, utan Guds vrede förbliver över honom.»

Anayemwamini Mwana anao uhai wa milele; asiyemwamini Mwana hatakuwa na uhai wa milele, bali ghadhabu ya Mungu hubaki juu yake. 
           
คน_ที่_ไว้วางใจ_พระบุตร_นั้น_ก็_มี_ชีวิต_อยู่_กับ_พระเจ้า_ตลอด_ไป แต่_คน_ที่_ไม่_ยอม_เชื่อ_ฟัง_พระบุตร_นั้น_ก็_จะ_ไม่_พบ_กับ_ชีวิต_นั้น และ_ยัง_ต้อง_ตก_อยู่_ภาย_ใต้_การ_ลง_โทษ_ของ_พระเจ้า

Ang sumasampalataya sa Anak ay may buhay na walang hanggan; nguni't ang hindi tumatalima sa Anak ay hindi makakakita ng buhay, kundi ang poot ng Dios ay sumasa kaniya.
 
Той, хто вірує в Сина, має вічне життя, але не побачить вічного життя той, хто не слухатиметься Сина, і гнів Божий впаде на того».

چنانچہ جو اللہ کے فرزند پر ایمان لاتا ہے ابدی زندگی اُس کی ہے۔ لیکن جو فرزند کو رد کرے وہ اِس زندگی کو نہیں دیکھے گا بلکہ اللہ کا غضب اُس پر ٹھہرا رہے گا۔“

Ai tin Con thì được sống đời đời; còn ai không vâng phục Con thì sẽ chẳng có sự sống, trái lại cơn thịnh nộ của Thượng Đế hiện đang đè nặng trên người ấy."

信子的人有永生;不信子的人得不著永生,上帝的震怒常在他身上。」 
          
Tapa a um mi peuhmah in nuntak tawntungna a nei hi; ahi hangin Tapa a nial peuhmah in nuntakna a mu kei ding hi; ahang in, Pasian thangpaihna ama tungah a om hi,” a ci hi.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Get 100 Comments on a Blog Post

I came across a blog post on how to get 100 comments on a single publication and was intrigued.  Would it really work?  So, I decided to try it.  The writer suggests leaving comments on other blogs and those bloggers will leave some comment love in return.  Makes sense so I set a goal of 100! However, given my current daily schedule I was only able to visit, read (yes, I did read each of them), and comment on twenty-five...though I must mention they are FABULOUS and recommend each of them!  They are as follows:    

1.  http://www.donnaperuginichildrensauthor.com
2.  http://www.youthguy07.blogspot.com
3.  http://www.Godblesskellyshome.blogspot.com
4.  http://www.homeschoolmomsworld.com
5.  http://www.newwifememoirs.com
6.  http://www.spottedsmiles.com
7.  http://www.whatbeautifulfeetyouhave.blogspot.com
8.  http://www.coolestfamilyontheblock.com
9.  http://www.bloggingbookshelf.com
10. http://www.learnchangegrow.wordpress.com
11. http://www.homeschool911.com
12. http://www.wonderwomanwannabe.com
13. http://www.mommyramblings.com
14. http://www.kristyblogs.com
15. http://www.mommybeewisdom.com
16. http://www.lonetater.blogspot.com
17. http://www.100routesacrossamerica.com
18. http://www.justapen.wordpress.com
19. http://www.traceepersiko.com
20. http://www.tsmith0095.wordpress.com
21. http://www.theworstpreacherswifeever.com
22. http://www.campfirecowboyministries.com
23. http://www.jasonbhuffman.wordpress.com
24. http://www.theadventurousfluteplayer.blogspot.com
25. http://www.fromrooftops.blogspot.com
(I also want to include http://www.scribblesfromemily.com/ because Emily is a faithful commenter on my blog. Thank you, Emily!)

This comment idea works in theory but I am skeptical since there was a time when I tried to comment on twenty blogs a day however received the rare one back...perhaps 1/4.  Yet, my thought is this...what I really want is more readers even if they do not leave their input. I suppose we shall see how it all pans out. Thank you for reading! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

15 Things You Might Not Know About Me

For this post I thought I would keep things light and on the surface. Below are 15 things you might not know about me.

1. I like to sew but do not own a sewing machine. We do have an embroidery machine though.

2. I am asthmatic and cannot do high cardio things like aerobics, running long distances, swimming, etc. because I just do not get enough oxygen to do them.

3. The longest I’ve lived anywhere is 20 years. I have lived on both the east and west coast of the United States (U.S.) and on both sides of the Pacific Ocean (west coast of the U.S., Asia (9 months), and Australia (9 months).

4. I only have one blog (which is faith based) but I am also on Twitter, Google+, and Linked In. I love technology yet find it to be both a blessing and a curse.

5. I tried my hand at selling things on eBay but did not do very well.

6. My favorite ice cream flavor is Cold Stone’s Strawberry Shortcake concoction (the one with sweet cream).

7. I’ve been a Florida Gator’s fan for as long as I can remember however I have never been a student at the University of FL. I have attended a football game at the swamp, a couple of classes as a guest, and two graduation ceremonies there.

8. I have hiked to and walked along a glacier in Alaska and have experienced “white thunder” in Glacier Bay.

9. I LOVE reading and enjoy hanging out at the local bookstore with my kiddos. When all of them were younger we would each get books or magazines, a drink (coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or smoothie), and sit in the café for hours reading together.

10. I’m ¼ Italian (I think…or is it half?) and it is rumored my great grandfather or great, great, grandfather had two families...one in America and one in Italy.

11. Japanese food is my favorite! Mexican and Indian are my least favorite.

12. One day I would like to travel over seas again. For now I am hoping to drive across country a second time but using a different, more northern route. I prefer to “show” my children things (like the Grand Canyon) as apposed to just reading about them.

13. I used to study web design in San Francisco (about 10 years ago) and hated the commute at that time. Now I do not mind the drive and like spending time on the Golden Gate Bridge side of the city, visiting the beach, and Japan town.

14. I trained in dance (with a focus on ballet) and gymnastics while growing up and played beach volleyball with friends while in high school. Currently I have started learning martial arts and fancy it so far.

15. I love living a Christ centered life. I find it so fulfilling, peaceful (beyond understanding), and most times absolutely indescribable. I feel there is nothing quite like it in all the world.

Before the Throne of God Above

I love these "Go Fish Guys" and cannot wait for them to come do a concert in our area so I can take the kiddos!


Before the Throne of God Above by The Go Fish Guys

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Walk by the Spirit

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:25. ESV.)

The Word of God and Cross References

One of my favorite tools for comprehending scripture is/are cross references.  I do not understand Greek or Hebrew so when I want to make sure I have something in its correct context I look up the corresponding passages (which I also usually post here as well when writing about God's word.  I hear a concordance is also helpful however I have yet to give it a try.)  I also like Grudem's book SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (as I have mentioned a bit before) to assist me in grasping God's character better (which in turn aids me in deciphering the bible).

Apart From God and Without Grace

 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 it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
   and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
 (Isaiah 55:10-11. ESV.)

The word of God never returns void, and thankfully so!  All the years I spent in Sunday school and church services while growing up were not all for nothing.  Though I was too naive to get a grip on what the pastor was teaching, God still took hold of my heart.  Even in my "while I am here I am going to check out the guys" phase, God was at work... Yet trying to apply the word to my life was futile until grace from faith alone (Ephesians 2:8).

26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 36:26. ESV.)

As I have mentioned before, I did not receive my new heart until I was 30.  Which, in a sense, I feel honored because Jesus did not begin his ministry until He was 30 years old.  On the other hand I feel sad because I perceive valuable years were wasted...but then I remind myself God's timing is perfect...and so is His orchestration of my vapor of a life.

Why I Love Attending "Church"

(First of all, my definition of "church" is the people who make up "the body of Christ".  Personally, I feel (in this season of my life) there is one "body", one "church" with many parts, numerous members, a lot of congregations.  But if each is doctrinally sound I conclude they are part of "the body".)  With that said, I enjoy "church":

1. To fellowship (talk about and hear about God and Christ).
2. To learn theology (bible study).
3. To get a break from worldly "stuff" (usually foolishness).

Some have stated they view attending church as an obligation or hypocritical act.  For me, I do not feel whether or not an individual goes to a church determines or accurately reflects if he/she is 1. a follower of Christ, 2. a recipient of God's grace, 3. a holder of the inheritance of eternal life and the Kingdom.  (Matthew 13:49, Ezekiel 34:17).  Though I do believe "grace" causes an individual to want to fellowship, praise and worship, and study God's word with other members of "the body".  Part of love is a desire to be with the object of that affection...a priority, an importance.  You know?  

Do Not Abandon the Love You Had at First

4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  (Revelation 2:4. ESV.)

Lord, I never, ever want my love for You to turn cold or lukewarm.  Please keep my eyes firmly focused on You!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Be Wise as Serpents and Innocent as Doves


Sheep, Wolves, Serpents, and Doves

16 "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16. ESV.)

It is my opinion persecution, bullying, and oppression on any level is ugly. But, sadly, it is a reality of this world. The wolf hunts its prey just as a tyrant tries to control and manipulate the meek and humble. The goal... domination.

When I think of the phrase, "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves," I think of the love God gave us that we are to exhibit to others and yet without being foolish to those who practice evil like deceitfulness, oppression, adultery, stealing, rage, violence, etc. And without engaging in sin like, "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies" (Galatians 5:19-21), etc.

Entrusted with Little Lambs of God

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
(Psalm 127:3. ESV.)

I am not, by any means, saying individuals without children are not "rewarded" by the Lord. I believe they are in other precious ways. What I am saying (just to be clear) is kiddos are a gift and need to be taken care of properly (Proverbs 22:6). I feel that includes educating them about wickedness and bullies.

Just recently, a woman in a nearby city was attacked by some teenagers. One of them had a knife and when the teen went to cut the strap of the woman's purse to take it, the woman was accidentally cut instead.

When I volunteered as a court appointed child advocate for six years I read case after case of innocent, loving children who were terribly harmed in unspeakable ways by people they thought they could trust... adults who were supposed to protect them.

Another incident about which I heard recently involved a seven year old child who was walking home from school when an adult grabbed him/her. The kiddo quickly executed a self defense move and left the adult incapacitated until the authorities showed up.

Shepherding the Flock

Spiritually, physically, emotionally, morally, and behaviorally God appoints parents to be the shepherds of their flock… even (of course) to the sheep that are sick or disabled and the ones that wander off, get lost, are defiant, disobedient, etc.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25. ESV.)

(Photo information.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Put to Death What is Earthly in You

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36. ESV.)

The Wrath of God

The line, "the wrath of God remains on him", makes me so thankful for God's amazing grace.

Romans 2:8: but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

John 5:24: Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 6:40: For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

1 John 5:12: Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

John 20:31: but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Ephesians 5:6: Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Colossians 3:5-7: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

His Voice was Like the Roar of Many Waters

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me,... 13and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest....His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters....and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
(Revelation 1:10-16. ESV.)

“His voice was like the roar of many waters.” I love the sound of the ocean as the waves crash upon the shore. Perhaps I find it so peaceful, relaxing, and calming because it is like His voice. And the flock knows the voice of their shepherd (John 10:5-6).

Endure to the End

Have you ever tried to talk a believer in Christ Jesus out of their faith or someone who does not believe into faith? It would be impossible, either way.

On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
(Psalm 62:7. ESV.)

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:9-13. ESV.)

The one who endures to the end will be saved!

(Photo Information.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

On God Rests My Salvation

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
   for my hope is from him.
6He only is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7On God rests my salvation and my glory;
   my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

8Trust in him at all times, O people;
   pour out your heart before him;
   God is a refuge for us.
(Psalm 62:5-8. ESV)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat


46And Mary said,

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;

53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

Photo information.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Does God Pervert Justice?

3 Does God pervert justice?
   Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
 (Job 8:3. ESV.)

I might be biting off more than I can chew with this one but I could not help but wonder about how our God is a just God.  Is it a cause and effect type thing, or what?  Because, to tell ya the truth, there are days when I feel I am reaping the consequences for some of my actions before I was given God's grace.

12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
   and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
(Job 34:12. ESV.)

Genesis 18:25: Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"

Deuteronomy 32:4: "The Rock, his work is perfect,
   for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
   just and upright is he.

Daniel 9:14: Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice.

Justice as a Consequence?  (Old Testament)

Adam and Eve were specifically told by God, himself (no less!), NOT to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  After doing so anyway, they were booted out of the Garden of Eden.  They sinned and were punished.  But this was before Jesus and the atonement, in a time when God's no tolerance policy was in full effect!

Justice in Response to Evil (New Testament)

6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,(2 Thessalonians 1:6. ESV.)

So, God's justice is in His vengeance?  "Repaying" the evil that is dished out by those who do not believe in Him?

Exodus 23:22: "But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

Joel 3:4: "What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily.

Joel 3:7: Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will return your payment on your own head.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Commit Your Work to the Lord

6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:6. ESV.)

Commit your work to the Lord, 
and your plans will be established.
 (Proverbs 16:3. ESV.)

I suppose I could be doing a great many things during the day (and night).  But what is most worth the time and energy?

Time

Revelation 1:7 tells me,
7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
 EVERY eye will see Him!  For me (who places faith and trust in God and His word) this is exciting encouragement to focus on things that are pleasing to God.  Further, Isaiah 51:6 says,
"Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
   and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens vanish like smoke,
   the earth will wear out like a garment,
   and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
   and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
 The things of this world will pass away, our earthly treasures and possessions will "wear out like a garment" (or be destroyed or stolen), but God, His Son, and His word are ours forever.

Effort

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.  (1 John 5:3. ESV.)

With GRACE "His commandments are not burdensome".

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do ALL to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31. ESV.  Emphasis added.)

Working in Relationships

Being in a relationship (of any sort) is work but one which is unequally yoked is exceptionally difficult (if not nearly impossible).  Like two oxen, if you will, linked up to pull the plow.  If one is using its strength and might and the other is barely moving, and acting more as a dead weight than anything else, the first is going to get tired, overwhelmed, perhaps even frustrated and resentful.    

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  (2 Corinthians 6:14. ESV.)

Deuteronomy 7:3: You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons,

Ephesians 5:11: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Acts 26:18: to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

So, what exactly is meant by all that?  I look to Christ Jesus (of course) as an example.  He went out and was friendly with (and taught) those who did not believe.  (Though He was firm with the proud like the Pharisees.)  But His closest, most intimate relationships were with His disciples, His mother, Mary Magdalene, etc.  All of whom had a heart for God! 

16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look,
   and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
   and find rest for your souls.
 (Jeremiah 6:16. ESV.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let the Mountains Move

Every time I hear this song I give a concert in my car. As we speak I am sitting here finishing up some work and listening to K-Love via the internet to find out the name of the artist and song so I can post it here. I'll also try looking it up by its lyrics but to be honest I cannot remember many of them at all...except "Alleluia". Does that narrow it down at all? I think not. The singer is a female. Does that help at all?

Ah, ha! I found out the information! I looked up the top Christian songs on K-Love and there it was at number eight. (Which reminds me of listening to Casey Kasem's countdown each weekend.)

"Waiting Here for You" by Christy Nockels

Friday, September 09, 2011

Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord: Part Two

Because I love Hymns so much, I am going to continue down this road and post a few each chance I get. Tonight I am going to begin with a FANTASTIC Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill version of "How Great Thou Art" guaranteed to get your heart meditating! Followed by a Steven Curtis Chapman rendition of "Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty", Kristin Chenoweth with "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee", then "A Mighty Fortress is our God" and "Father, I Adore You". I hope you enjoy.


"How Great Thou Art" performed by Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill


"Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty" performed by Steven Curtis Chapman


"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" performed by Kristin Chenoweth


"A Mighty Fortress is Our God" performed by Steve Green


"Father, I Adore You" performed by The Maranatha Singers

Thursday, September 08, 2011

As the Waters Cover the Sea

At church this past weekend, the pastor gave a fantastic illustration of contrast to the life of a follower of Christ.  He quoted lyrics to the Frank Sinatra song "My Way" which have been scrolling through my mind ever since as the weight and sadness of the words continue to wash over me like the pounding waves of the ocean.  The song goes like this:

And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way...

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

Yes, it was my way.

My heart is heavy and burdened for anyone who feels as Sinatra did on this matter and I beseech God that they may have eyes to see and ears to hear.  I pray they may be filled with the Holy Spirit to overflowing and turn away from all doubt and unbelief.

14 For the earth will be filled
   with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
   as the waters cover the sea.
(Habakkuk 2:14. ESV.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord, All the Earth

Church is like home to me...and one of my favorite memories from "home" while growing up were the hymns we used to sing. Some of my absolute favorites are listed below. Do you recognize any of them?

Holy, Holy, Holy!  Lord God Almighty
Father, I Adore You
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
How Great Thou Art
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
To God Be The Glory
God Is So Good
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Jesus, Name Above All Names
I Love You, Lord
O Come Let Us Adore Him
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Where You There?
In the Garden
He Lives
Sweet, Sweet Spirit
Standing on the Promises
Morning Has Broken
This is My Father's World
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death
Search Me, O God
There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
Jesus, Remember Me
Praise God from Whom All Blessings
Glory Be to the Father
This Is the Day
Let Us Break Bread Together
Bread of the World in Mercy Broken
Pass It On
Shine, Jesus, Shine
All the Way My Savior Leads Me
Precious Lord, Take My Hand
He Leadeth Me, O Blessed Thought
Sweet Hour of Prayer
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
God Will Take Care of You
How Firm a Foundation
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
I Surrender All
Lord, I Want to Be a Christian
I Need Thee Every Hour
Open Our Eyes, Lord
Lord, Be Glorified
'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
It Is Well with My Soul
He's Got the Whole World
The Solid Rock
Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine
O, How I Love Jesus
Amazing Grace!  How Sweet the Sound
I Love to Tell the Story
The Old Rugged Cross
We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Walk Humbly with Your God

10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  (1 Peter 4:10. ESV.)

When I look back on my life days, months, years from now, will I feel as though I have squandered that time away or been a good steward?  Will I look at each season and say (without doubt or hesitation), "I did my best.  I gave it all I had."  Will I see the strength of Christ where I am (was/have been) weak?

2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.  (1 Corinthians 4:2. ESV.)

While contemplating this, a dear friend of mine sent me an email (about something completely unrelated and without knowledge of my reflection) and included Micah 6:8 which says,
And what does the Lord require of you? 
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Do I do as God requires?  I look to Proverbs 31 (among other verses) when it comes to being a wife.  I preach the Proverb to myself that says to train up a child in the way he should go and he will never depart from it, when it comes to parenting.  (But, I suspect my kiddos will take from their childhood (and the rearing they received) and keep what they liked and discard that which they do not favor when it comes to the upbringing of their own family.)  Further, I know I am not favored by God because of anything I have done or continue to do but rather because of what Christ did for all of us!  I firmly believe when I stand before God, He will not see me but rather His perfect, beloved Son.

I feel it is impossible for me, in my own capacity, to ever live up to God's standards.  He has to mold me like a potter sculpts the clay.  But I am capable (and want to) live in a manner pleasing to God because of grace, the Holy Spirit (it is very uncomfortable when the Holy Spirit is offended), and out of love.  Someone gave me an excellent illustration last Sunday.  He said we do not care for our children because we are afraid of consequences (i.e. breaking the law or having CWS (Child Welfare Services) take away our children).  We do it out of a genuine love for them.  I do what I do out of a real and passionate love for my King and His Son, Christ Jesus.

So, am I being a good steward of all God gives me?

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Lord Gave, and the Lord Has Taken Away


21 And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
(Job 1:21. ESV.)

This post is of a more personal nature… though, admittedly, a relationship with God (about which I often blog) is very intimate.

Today my loved ones and I are celebrating a special occasion. But, last year at this time our festivities bombed pretty significantly. There were hurt feelings and a lack of understanding as to why God would “rain on our parade” and ordain something upsetting enough to still be felt (in moderation) a year later.

This time, though, is a very different story. A month (or so) ago I took my crew (my entourage) and a few of their friends to a popular restaurant chain. Usually we go to the one south of us but this particular time (as God would have it) we went to an older location west of us. (This was not my choice but rather the logical one based on other errands that had to be run and the other family that was with us. I point this out to show God’s orchestration despite my personal plans.) There we ran into a very lovely lady who knew one of us by acquaintance (in passing). Come to find out she is the General Manager (GM) of her branch.

When it came time to make our party plans for this month, the GM blessed us abundantly! She took care of making all the arrangements and within my limited budget. (This is an area in which I have been asking God for His blessing. I am an instructor and web designer however, as I am sure with many other fields, jobs are minimal and my income nearly nonexistent.) So, (hopefully) as you can see, God had it all covered. He guided me in a direction that lead to here… and this was just a smaller item. He takes care of all the HUGE mountains in our life as well! I guarantee it and attest to it! God truly is good all the time, even when we just don’t get it.

20He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20. ESV.)

(Photo Information.)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"  (Acts 20:35. ESV.)

As I continue learning about a mighty man of God, William Wilberforce, I cannot help but wonder if Wilberforce ever felt unequally yoked in his marriage.  In the Hollywood version of his life, his wife, Barbara, is portrayed as a handsome match, perfect (of course) in every way.  Infact, there is even a scene where they cannot find a single thing about which they disagree.  Piper, however, gives a slightly different glimpse into their relationship and dynamics.  He stated,
"Wilberforce and his wife Barbara were very different.  'While he was always cheerful, Barbara was often depressed and pessimistic.  She finally worried herself into very bad health which lasted the rest of her life.'"  (pg. 51.)

Peers spoke well of Wilberforce saying such things as,
"I never saw any other man who seemed to enjoy such a perpetual serenity and sunshine of spirit.  In conversing with him, you feel assured that there is no guile in him; that If ever there was a good man and happy man on earth, he was one." (Robert Southy.  Pg.58.)

And, "Though shattered in constitution and feeble in body he is as lively and animated as in the days of his youth." (Dorothy Wordsworth.  Pg.58.)

Joseph John Gurney, a Quaker, stayed a week with Wilberforce and recalled later, 'As he walked about the house he was generally humming the tune of a hymn or Psalm as if he could not contain his pleasurable feelings of thankfulness and devotion.'"

I do not blame him.  I LOVE hymns!  I especially adore the ones we used to sing in church when I was young.  I wish we sang more of them in worship service now days but sadly they have fallen by the wayside and have been replaced by more contemporary tunes.

When struggling with his own sin of fear, etc. he wrote the following in his "notebook of prayers",
"Lord, thou knowest that no strength, wisdom or contrivance of human power can signify, or relieve me.  It is in thy power alone to deliver me.  I fly to thee for succor and support, O Lord let it come speedily; give me full proof of thy Almighty power; I am in great troubles, insurmountable by me; but to thee slight and inconsiderable; look upon me O Lord with compassion and mercy, and restore me to rest, quietness, and comfort, in the world, or in another by removing me hence into a state of peace and happiness.  Amen.

Further, Wilberforce "counseled his readers to",
"rise on the wings of contemplation, until the praises and censures of men die away upon the ear, and the still small voice of conscience is no longer drowned by the din of this nether world." (pg.68.)

Guess I'll have to read Wilberforce's A PRACTICAL VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY.

10 Then he said to them, "Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."  (Nehemiah 8:10. ESV.)

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