A Summer of Psalms

A SUMMER OF PSALMS - 8-12 - BANNER

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This old lady is having a difficult time discerning true news from the fake news lately, especially on Facebook!  I see posts about how Pope Francis said this or that and I’m appalled at the idea that he could have possibly said any of it.  Well – good ol’ SNOPES.COM.  I should just check stuff out before sharing some of what I share.  I get all my friends in a tizzy and then find out none of what I’ve posted is even fact!  Ugh!  Lying lips and deceiving tongues!!!  When did people start getting their jollies by posting horrific lies about good people?  It’s horrible and I, for one, refuse to share it anymore.

I’m sure all my Facebook friends are very happy to hear that!  🙂

In this environment of fake news and made up stories, what are Christians to believe?  God’s word is clear – we are to believe the ever-loving and never-changing Book that has sustained us through the worst days of our lives – the Bible.  As we read His word and pray to Him, He is faithful to us even if we feel distressed about the lies and deceit that are all around us in this day and age.  We have to come to terms with the fact that there are people who mean to distract us from the truth – and God’s people need to pray to Almighty God for discernment!  There are fake news stories in media that at one time could be trusted because they only printed or reported the TRUTH.  That is no longer the case.

It blows my mind that there are people in the world who write false stories.  We had one thing drilled into our heads in journalism class, and that is you check sources and double-check them.  You make sure that what you are writing is real, true, factual.  Journalistic integrity is dead, folks!  We live in a society of fog now.  Nothing can be believed and everything has to be fact-checked before re-posting.  Take nothing at face value.  Their deceit means we need deliverance.  God is faithful!

The lesson for Christians today is to pray, pray, PRAY!!!  Ask God for discernment because you need it – and I need it!  It’s fairly benign in a social media setting – I mean if I share something that ends up to be false, I’ve had some conversation with my friends and end up deleting the post and saying NEVERMIND to everyone in embarrassment.  No harm, no foul (except I feel for the poor Pope.  Yikes!)  The reason I keep such a close eye on those stories is, I’m sure one of these days the story will not be fake news – and when that happens, I don’t want to be asleep at the wheel.  Does anyone else feel that way?  We know things will get worse – not to be all gloom and doom – but hey…  just speaking the truth.

The good news is, in the midst of our mess, our LORD has a message for us!  It’s our job to listen, stay alert and awake for HIS voice…  that’s the only voice that matters!  Got fake news?  Got fake friends?  Got fake anything else?  Got troubles???

Isn’t it amazing that a Psalm written so long ago can speak to our hearts and minds today?  That’s the awesomeness of God.  He was there, but He is here, and He will be there!  Omnipresent.  It blows my mind, but it comforts my mind at the same time.  Isn’t God great and good?  Yes, He is.  ALL the time!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I confess:  I am an ID (Investigation Discovery) addict – a closet addict – well, former closet addict.  Now the world knows!  Seriously, I see people make the worst decisions of their lives on this network – and end in ruin.  You don’t have to look very far to see examples of chattering fools who are living in the fast lane and crashing into brick walls at a young age!  When you live in the fast lane with no compass, it never ends well.  People who take the lives of other people always think they’ll get away with it – and they never do.

No fast lane for me, thank you!  It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but because I have chosen to listen to God through His Word.  He knows what I need and exactly when I need it.  We have choices to make in life – and I choose a slow, steady, joy-filled life – with God in the center of it.  I love His Word and His ways.  I’ve been teased about my beliefs by others, but so what?

When this verse says ACCEPT COMMANDS, does that mean we listen to anyone who gives a command?  I don’t believe it means that.  God gave us an ability to discern good from bad, and you can bet that there will come a time when you are commanded to do something that goes against God’s Word and His ways…  when that happens, choose God’s way.  I’m not going to jump off a cliff to my death if I’m commanded to do so.  Um…  nope.

Of course, the commands in God’s Word are there for us to obey.  If we are wise, we won’t balk at them, but work throughout our walk with God to embrace His ways.  We learn that His ways will keep us filled with His joy and we know that Jesus loves us and wants His best for us.  If we are wise, we want His best too.

In the end, remember that God’s going to prevail.  Why would we not love Him and His ways?  He wants to help us with every aspect of our lives – the big things and the small things.  God is love and He loves you so much.  His Son, Jesus, died on a cruel cross just for you.  His commands (not just the ten) are there to protect us.  I hear so many say that the Ten Commandments are there to keep us from having fun.  Not true – they’re there to help us stay out of trouble.  I need all the help I can get.  Just sayin’…  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I think we all agree that God gave us a brain to think for ourselves, right?  There are so many denominations and we need to look at the core values of the church and compare them with God’s Word.  There’s never going to be a perfect church – the church is people, and people are imperfect.  God is perfect – He is the standard by which we measure the place we go to worship Him.I’ve been in congregations that don’t believe exactly as I do – but there are times when a person has to make allowances and, while not adopting the parts that I disagree with, show respect for others because as long as the whole Bible is preached, I can be a part.

Not every minister preaches the whole Bible – they are known as false prophets and ear ticklers.  If every sermon you hear makes you smile and giggle, chances are you are listening to an ear tickler – which is not helping you grow in your faith.  Unless you are challenged a little along the way, you will stagnate and stay immature.  Some churches just want money, which is sad because the goal of those in God’s house should be to help one another spiritually, not bilk them of their finances.

It’s okay to tithe to your local church – but if you feel pressured to give until it hurts, you may want to rethink that.  Finances are such a personal thing, but we do know that all we have comes from God’s hand.  If the Lord had not given you the ability to work for what money you get, you wouldn’t be able to work and that would be bad.  We give our first fruits to God because we’re so thankful to Him for His provision.

We can’t expect to find a perfect church, but we need to hold the beliefs of the church up next to God’s Word and make sure it’s a Bible-believing congregation that has godly priorities and is focused on outreach in the community.  🙂

 

ESTHER 4:14 ON 4/14

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If at this time you say nothing, then help and salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, but you and your father’s family will come to destruction: and who is to say that you have not come to the kingdom even for such a time as this?  – Esther 4:14

As Christians in America, we have a few choices to make.  Oh yes, we can choose because God loves us enough to give us free will.  Are some of the choices easy to make?  No, they are not.  When we consider whether we should stay silent or speak out, it requires some soul searching and prayer beforehand.  These days being a Christian in America is more difficult than it was in years past.

GOD SEES EVERY HEART

Our own president said that America is no longer a Christian nation.  Was that wishful thinking on his part?  I believe it was his way of saying that the Christians will be given a run for their money and we should put our money where our mouth is.  If we are true Christians, prove it.  Would you die because you are a Christian?  Many Christians worldwide have already.  There seems to be no outrage in the Christian community over that and I wonder why.

Some of it is that we just don’t know what we can do about it.  We pray for Christians in foreign lands.  Not that prayer is a last resort – it always sounds like that is what we mean, but that’s not it.  We know that prayer is our first line of defense at all times.  We pray without ceasing – over every thought we think and every word we say.

We read Scripture and find out what God would have us do.  Then we read the book of Esther and we have to wonder if God has put us here – at this time – in this place – for such a time as this.  Some will be called to action while the rest of us remain in prayer for them.  Our military and hopefully eventually our government needs to be on board to protect the homeland.

May God bless Israel.  May God bless the United States of America.

For such a time as this.  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY

TL 11-22 NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY

11-22 AN ADOPTION STORY

I hear writers tell those who have not been writing very long (like me) that we should write about what we know.  Let me tell you, if there is a subject I could write about until next Tuesday, it is the subject of adoption! 

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Today we celebrate adoption with NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY!  The challenge I face is to share something with you today that I have not shared with you in the past – LOL!  I have let you know quite a bit about my childhood (because it was so amazing) but today I want to share my very first Thanksgiving with you – the one at Grandpa Frank and Granny LaVella’s farmhouse.  Oh, by the way, I was only 7 months old so I don’t remember a lot about it.  I’ll do the best I can with the narration.  Wink!  😉

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There is one word that quickly springs to my mind when I think about my life as an adopted kid – LOVE!  Yeah, I was an only child and maybe in some ways I was a little spoiled, but I knew the word no and I knew the checking account was not bottomless.   These people were hard-working folks and I learned to appreciate what I got.  I cherish my Granny’s homemade things more than a solid gold Cadillac.  Does anybody remember that song from 1961?  It was one of my mama’s favorite songs:

Given my mama’s love of R&B and my daddy’s love of Country – is it any wonder I am so messed up?  It was rhetorical, folks…  don’t answer that question!

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Even though they liked all kinds of music, my parents were pretty united in their beliefs and ideals.  They raised me to be comfortable and at ease around them.  I knew I could say anything on my mind without fear of judgment.  There is not a question I could ask that would make them “unlove” me.  They raised me to be a secure woman of faith.  How can I repay them?  I can’t, except to do my best to live up to the standards they set to honor them.

Now that mom and dad are gone, I’m left to live by the code of conduct they raised me with.  I never want to say or do anything to bring shame to them, but more importantly, I want to be the person God wants me to be.  I miss my folks and sometimes in the shadows, in the quiet of the evening – I think I hear them speaking to me.  I’ve had a few dreams about them and when I wake up, reality hits me in the face.

SOMETIMES IN THE SHADOWS

So…  was I spoiled???  Not so much – I was just loved.  Really really loved! 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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10-27 WHILE THEY WERE STONING HIM

 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  – Acts 7:59


On this day in 1659, two Quakers, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, were executed (hanged from an elm tree on Boston Common in Boston) in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their religious beliefs.  They were the first Quakers to be executed in America.   They came from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution – ironically.  The two had violated a law passed by the Massachusetts General Court the year before, banning Quakers from the colony under penalty of death.

The Christian movement known as The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, was founded by George Fox in England during the early 1650’s.  Quakers opposed central church authority, preferring to seek spiritual insight and consensus through egalitarian Quaker meetings.  They supported sexual equality and became some of the most outspoken opponents of slavery in early America.  Quakers found solace in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and other colonies, and Massachusetts’ anti-Quaker laws were later repealed.

By the mid 18th century, John Woolman, an abolitionist Quaker, was traveling the American colonies, preaching and advancing the anti-slavery cause.  He organized boycotts of products made by slave labor and was responsible for convincing many Quaker communities to publicly denounce slavery.  Other abolitionist Quaker was Lucretia Mott, who worked on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, helping lead fugitive slaves to freedom in the Northern states and Canada.  She was later a leader in the movement for women’s rights, including the right to vote.

 If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.   – American Quaker Saying

Seriously?  Can I have a minute to let that one sink in???  Um…  no – I’m squishing the spider.  😉

I’m not a Quaker – but I like movies like Friendly Persuasion and Angel and the Badman.  To be perfectly honest, I’ve always thought of Quakers as I do the Amish.  I was surprised when I read their history and how liberal their beliefs are.  They have no central church authority and believe in true equality.  They are peace-loving folk that won’t be a part of war.

Now that terrorists are running around beheading people I wonder if that will work – but that’s their belief.

Me – I want to learn how to shoot and carry.  Well – maybe not – but I’m tempted.

Christians in America have really not known persecution – yet.  So far, we certainly have not had to give our very lives for our faith.  I’m so thankful for the sacrifices of the past that ultimately affected changes for the good, aren’t you?  They stood strong so that future generations could enjoy freedom and equality and know real joy in the Lord.  😀