Friday, September 25, 2009

Of Possums and God…

Hubby and I went to the $2 show last weekend to see Ice Age 3… Yes, we are big children at heart. Anyway, it was pretty good, too, but not quite as good as the first two… almost, though, and well worth the $4. Actually, the second one will probably always be my favorite to look back at because of what happened with my 4 year old Grand-niece while we watched it.

During the movie, they were talking about a girl Mammoth that had been raised with Possums, and thought that she WAS a Possum. The boy Mammoth spent a lot of the movie trying to convince her that she was a Mammoth and NOT a possum because they were (they thought) the last mammoths left. Toward the end of the movie, a big cataclysm happened that broke open one end of their glacier enclosed valley, and a whole herd of Mammoths came lumbering over the hill. It was a VERY touching moment…

My little Grand-niece piped up, quite loudly… “Oooo… Look at all the POSSUMS!!!” It about broke up the house!

“Look at all the Possums….” Sometimes, we THINK we know about what/who God is because we have been taught various things, but do we really? The only way that I can REALLY know who God is and some of the way He thinks is to read my Bible. It is His love letter to me to help me understand the way He is, the way He thinks, and the way HE created the world to work…

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Father, Forgive them...

“Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do…” I have heard these words that Christ spoke, taught on many times before. I’ve always heard it said that Jesus was speaking of the people that crucified him when he spoke those words. My son and I were talking about this today, and he said that he wonders if maybe Christ, who the Bible says died for ALL men’s sins, wasn’t thinking about ALL men at that moment. (You may have heard or thought of this before but I hadn't)

As I thought about that, I occurred to me that it would make sense. When He said those words, THEN, He was thinking about each of US… those He knew that would be born and accept Him and what He was doing for us. God says that “while we were still sinners, Christ loved us enough to die for us.”

Before we REALIZED that we were sinning, and before we repented and asked for His forgiveness and accepted His free gift of life, He prayed to the Father… “Forgive them… For THEY know NOT what they do.” There will never be a GREATER love for each of us! Thank You, Lord, for Your sacrifice, and Thank You, God, for your love for me, and for those I love.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Depression and Praise…

I used to have a problem with depression, and sometimes, it still tries to sneak up and grab me, especially around this time of year, but I have learned a few ways to fight it that work very well for me. They work fastest if I activate them before I get down to far because then I don’t have to climb very far to get back out of the hole.

I try, whenever I feel it coming on, to find funny things to watch or listen too, preferably Christian comedians like Ken Davis or Chonda Pierce. If you haven’t heard of either of these, you are really missing out on some GREAT stuff. They are really funny, but they also help you to see how God can work in any situation… they build your faith and give you hope. Laughter truly IS medicine for me. (Proverbs. 17:22)

I also listen to Praise Music and let it just wash over my soul. Sometimes, I NEED to be able to cry to let out my emotions, and just knowing (being reminded by the music) that God loves me even in the hardest times, gives me that “rope of hope” that helps me to be able to start climbing up. (Ps. 45:8)

God, in the Bible, speaks of the “sacrifice of praise…” and sometimes, when I’m really down, it IS hard to force myself to turn to God and search for things that I can praise Him for. Even if it doesn’t seem to be much at the moment, I can praise Him for things in the past that He has done for me, and I can praise Him that He paid the price of sin for me and THAT will eventually get me into heaven.

The music will often lead me to a place where my soul comes to an oasis of peace, and I can grow stronger in faith, which also helps me to climb further out of the pit. (Heb. 13:15 & 20-21 AND James 5: 13-16)

Sometimes, I read in Psalms and His Word seeps into my soul and brings peace. I also speak scripture verses and stand on God’s promises for I’m told that if I resist Satan, he has to flee from Christ who is in me… (Examples: “Greater is He that is in me, than he who is in the world…” I John 4:4 AND “God has NOT given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind…” 2 Tim. 1:7)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11 and My Mama…

Today, this country should stop, and take time to remember the tragedy of 9/11 AND it's hope! It is something that we should never forget. We, as Americans, are NOT invulnerable to terrorist attacks, and we should be praying for this country, and its leaders, everyday!
I also want to keep in mind the wonderful way that so many people became heroes that day, just by showing love and care to those around them.

So many risked their lives for people they didn’t even know, and for so long afterward, so many “linked arms” and worked together to support each other in their times of sorrow and suffering.

9/11, for me, was also the day I knew my Mama (or Nana, as everyone called her) was going to die VERY soon. She had been fighting cancer for quite a while, and that day, when she saw the horrifying start of what I know she thought would be World War III, instead of fighting back, by praying as she had always done in every trial, she told me to turn off the TV because she was just too tired… Her body lasted another 5 days, but she finally let go and went home to her rest in Heaven with all of her loved ones here on earth to say good-bye, for a time, around her. I know, at that same time, that all of her loved ones up in Heaven were there to meet her and have a glad reunion the second after her spirit left here… her sister, her brothers, my dad, my brother… so many that had left ahead of her that she loved.

I have a hard time, at this time of year, remembering, but I also try to remember that here on earth, all things have an end except the love that has been shared. I know that she is just one more of those precious treasures that are laid up in Heaven for me to see when I get there. I am so thankful for the time I had with her and for the lessons in love that she taught me.

Nana wasn’t perfect, and neither was my Daddy, but that was because they were human. They did the best they could and they ALWAYS tried to do things out of love for us and others. They didn’t “preach” but just lived lives that showed their love and faith. My Ma would answer questions if I asked for advice, but she didn’t tell me how to run my life... she showed me, through hers.

When I was young and went my own way for a time, she let me, but I always knew I could come back and that she would love me, and she did. I know, now, the tears that she shed for me and the prayers that she said for me, for I am a mother now, with children that have gone on to lives of their own away from my area.

I was truly blessed by the gift of my wonderful parents that God gave me, as well as the gift of having had the chance to live in this country. Though things are bad and in many cases, getting worse, there are still a lot of good, wonderful, loving people in this country, and I need to do my part, whenever possible, to be a servant that shows the Master’s love to those I am brought in contact with.

Thank You, Lord, for the life You’ve given me… for my parents, and other loved ones, and for this country. Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have misused the privileges you provided, and help me to walk in your steps, daily, so that others see You in me, like I saw You through my Mama. Amen.

Here are the words to a song that helps me when I need encouragement. God truly does "Raise Me Up..."

If you click on the link and turn on your sound, you will be able to hear that is wonderful, uplifting song. Enjoy… and get out the hanky…

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don’t straddle a barbed-wire fence...

“Don’t straddle a barbed-wire fence…” Matthew Hagee

I heard this from a preacher that was talking about today’s world and how so many are trying to straddle the fence on so many issues. He went on to say that out where he lives, most of the fences were made of barbed wire, so he had learned, early, that it isn’t wise to straddle the fence.

I thought about that and have noticed that over the past several years, as I’ve gotten closer to God, that things have gotten more Black & White in a lot of areas as I’ve held them up to God’s Word. I think, as we get closer to the time when Jesus returns, that those that are really seeking God and His ways AND searching out the real God from the Bible and not a god that they have made up in their minds from things they’ve heard, will also see things in a clearer light.

It doesn’t matter if Jesus’ return is tomorrow or 50 years from now, each day IS closer, and we need to be ready for when that time comes. He’s kept ALL His other promises, and I believe He will keep this one, too!

Back to straddling the fence… we need to be very careful which side we get off on, though, for BOTH sides may look, on the surface, to be beautiful pastureland, and if we don’t read the posted signs, we can get ourselves in trouble.

For example, if the sign says “Beware of Bull,” and we don’t SEE the bull ourselves, so decide to cut across that beautiful pasture to fish in that beautiful stream, we could find ourselves in some major problems. If, though, we follow the sign that says “Good fishing” on THIS side of the fence, we will find a wonderful place of blessing, rest and abundance.

As a Christian, God’s Word needs to be my sign post, or map of the area, and I need to believe it AND act on it. I need to get off the barbed wire fence where I can also end up getting hurt, and be sure that I get off on God’s side!

This Little Light of Mine...

While studying for my Proverbs blog today (Proverbs 11: 10 & 11), which was about the effects of people and their way of life on their towns and cities, I thought about the verses and what they had to say.

I took a break, in the middle of my research, to listen to the President speak about his healthcare program. One thing he said really caught my attention, in light of what I had just studied. He mentioned that the healthcare programs in Utah and in Pennsylvania were doing so well and he felt they needed to be studied to find out why.

I thought about that and the fact that so much of Utah is strongly of the Mormon faith, and many of them LIVE a Godly faith in most of what they do and in the way they run their cities and healthcare systems. The area of Pennsylvania that was mentioned is strongly Quaker, and they, too, life their faith. I hope that they DO research the reasons these places have wise healthcare systems that work, but it really made it clear to me that God’s Word has so much to say for every area of our lives.

Those verses say that if I am living righteously and following Godly ways, then I will be blessed, and be able to bless those (even my town/city) around me. It reminded me of that little song I sang in Sunday School… This little light of mine…I’m going to let it shine!

One of the verses said, “Shine all over my neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine…” I think that I need to remember that this is exactly what I can do in my words, my smiles, my service to others… I think that this would make my God happy, and after all He has done for me, I want to do whatever I can for Him that will bring Him happiness and joy. I want to remember, each day, that ALL I do, should be done to HIS glory

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some Thoughts on Wisdom, Wealth and Riches...

I have been praying about wisdom on money matters, and these things came into my mind...

Close your eyes and think for a minute what you would do if you were given $100,000 dollars today. Now take a piece of paper and write a list down the side of the paper of what you would do with it. Don’t show it to anyone… it is just for you to see.

As Christians, who really "needs" riches and wealth? In our life here on earth, we need “money” only as a means of bartering with others to care for our own needs or the needs of others… ALL else will eventually go to dust.

So many people spend so much money to keep themselves “looking younger,” but even our own bodies can’t go with us and “human beauty” is so fleeting when you look at it based on the knowledge of eternity.

Think of what most people spend money on—Check with God’s heart on the matter. Is that “object/service” one that will ultimately bring GOD glory or is it for your own pleasure and/or prestige?

Taking care of what GOD has given you (not what you’ve gone and gotten because of your “wants”) is good use for money. Being blessed by God is a way that He sometimes (with people He knows can handle it without the money taking over their lives) uses to draw others to us so that His message of love can be heard.

Money can be used to purchase the tools of a trade or to build and/or repair things that are NEEDED. Money or riches should never be the end reason for doing anything.

When we get to Heaven, the roads and building materials will be what many call “riches” down here, but up there, they are simply more beauty that surrounds us to bring joy/delight to our souls.

We need to learn to look at money through God’s eyes… what would He have us use it for? Sure He loves us and gives us some “stuff” because He loves to bring joy to His children, but He knows our hearts and as we grow in Him, we need to learn to weigh our motives for each purchase that WE are chosing to make… is this bought to impress others or simply to fulfill a “lust of the flesh?” OR, is it something God can ultimately use?

Example: One person buys a boat to be able to join a group of people they like/get along with, etc. so that they can eventually share God’s love, while another buys a boat purely for satisfying the “lusts of the flesh”—drinking, carousing, etc. with a specific “crowd,” to show off what they have.

Sometimes, it is a very thin line and we MUST examine our TRUE motives so that we don’t rationalize ourselves into getting something with “good intentions” but no true “call of God.” We need to ask God for wisdom to show us our true motives, and take the time to listen to His response to our request. If we don’t, the "things" can eventually take over our souls and become an idol, coming between us and God.
Now, go back and check your list. Evaluate where you think you are, compared to where God would want your heart...

Lord, help me to learn, each day, to turn to You for wisdom in each step that I take in ALL areas of my life. As Your child, I need to grow up, take more and more responsibility to follow You closer and closer, and then You will be able to entrust more to me, knowing that I will use Your gifts wisely and for YOUR purposes. Continue to give me only the things YOU know I can handle...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More Pithy Quotes…

“If you are called to preach, DO NOT stoop down along the way to become a King or a Queen…” Charles Spurgeon

“Every man dies – Not every man REALLY lives!” Mel Gibson

“Christians were not made to ‘FIT IN.’ They were made to STAND OUT!” Jim Caviezel (played Jesus in the Movie production, The Passion of the Christ)

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
9. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Some Pithy Quotes:

I’ve heard some very interesting quotes lately, and I thought I would share a few with you. These each have some good things to think about…

“Trust, MORE, the threats of the enemy, than the promises of a friend.” Elie Wiesel (Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, Author, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, etc.)
This man knows and has lived this quote. Hitler started out making a lot of "good" promises...

“No one needs to go through life, STUPID!” Dr. Barry Black, 62nd Chaplin of U.S. Senate. He went on to explain that God promises that if we ASK for wisdom, He will give it!

Lord, help me to learn to ask for wisdom everyday...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


God provided Manna for the Children of Israel for the entire time they were wandering in the desert. This was “food from Heaven.” When they finished their wandering, just after crossing the Jordan River (which had been parted during its flood stage like the Red Sea had been parted) the Manna stopped. They had come to a place where there was food for them and, like the poem "Footprints in the Sand," God no longer needed to "carry" them.

During the desert wandering, they received a wonderful gift that tasted sweet… almost like a dessert, and they had it so much that they grew tired of it and grumbled. How often are we given wonderful things that we get so used to having, that we want something MORE, and grumble, instead of asking in praise, when we don’t get the “More.”

It is possible that we would be blessed with the “more” if we just asked in praise and appreciation for the gifts He HAS given us. He says that we don't "have" because we don't ask, or we ask amiss...

Often, I don’t think we even know what the “more” is that we want, BECAUSE our eyes aren’t on the blessings that God is giving us today… Tomorrow is NOT promised. Smell the roses that are around you today! Look at the glistening diamonds shining in tiny rainbows of color in the dew, or laying on the blades of just watered grass…

Even IF we are traveling in the desert at the moment, with oasis’ few and far between, if we just look, we will find that there ARE blessings around us that God has given.

Is the desert there because we didn’t trust and follow God’s leading in the first place? If this is the case, He is waiting for us to ask, and He will guide us back to the blessed path that He has planned for us if we will just follow Him.