A SUMMER OF PSALMS

Someone asked me if this verse means that we are supposed to have our devotion time early in the morning.  Well, I’m not big on mornings, which explains my dependence on massive amounts of caffeine.  I don’t think the Lord minds if we do our devotions at night.  Often I enjoy devotions at night when I have the house to myself.  I like to have it quiet when I read and write.  During the morning hours it’s too hectic most of the time, and I’m often interrupted with other things.

I believe that “Early will I seek You” means that we acknowledge God and His Lordship in our lives first thing when we wake up.  That, of course, does not take the place of our alone time with God.  That’s also the time when we sit down with our Bibles and a cup of tea or coffee, and God speaks to our spirits.  It’s a time to study God’s Word and pray.

The thing is, we say Good Morning to God, right?  We pray when we get up in the morning, thankful that God woke us up and we were able to get out of bed.  From there our day progresses, but we still pray without ceasing in our minds.  God has our attention while we do whatever we are obligated to do in this life on earth.

This world is a dry and thirsty land.  We face all sorts of adversity from people who don’t understand Christians or their beliefs – and usually don’t want to.  Even our Vice President was labeled insane for praying.  I’m still praying that God will save Joy’s soul in a Damascus-like conversion (like the Apostle Paul), because if God got ahold of Joy, can you imagine what a force she’d be for the right?  It’d be quite a sight to see.  She’s such a strong-willed person.  It’d be so great!  Right now she’s gained the whole world but lost her soul.  I’m praying that she will gain Christ and win others for Him.

Since we live in a desert land on earth, God knows we need to spend some time alone with Him every day.  I don’t feel as strong or confident if I miss my time with the Lord, do you?  He wants us to study His Word and pray, but that is for our benefit, not His.  He’s just as strong whether we show up or not.  We are the ones who need that time with Him.  It’s a gift we give ourselves.  🙂

 

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A SUMMER OF PSALMS

America is about to celebrate another birthday!  Time and again throughout Scripture we are reminded that God is strong and we are not.  We are constantly urged to lean on Him, not only when we feel weak, but at all times.  Our Lord is not to be a last resort, but a first resource!  May we always turn to Him first instead of waiting for a situation to reach a breaking point or a crisis level.

Sometimes we think we’re just pluggin’ right along on our own, don’t we?  It seems like we have a pretty good handle on everything – but then WHAM!  Life has a way of turning very quickly.

We’re told to glory in the Lord and rejoice as we seek Him!  If you are doing that, then you won’t be stressed out about how to deal with this problem or that one.  You’re trusting in God because you know that He will work your problems out for you.  I know that God’s solution will be much more creative than any idea you would come up with.

This seeking must never cease–the more we know the more we must seek to know.  – C.H. Spurgeon

It seems as though we’re to pray without ceasing and seek without ceasing, doesn’t it?  Actually, the two go together.  You can’t really be in constant communication with the Lord without a desire to know Him.  I just want everything that God has for me.  If He wants me to have something, I want it too.

Here in Kansas, we’ve prayed for rain!  It’s been so hot and dry all summer.  Our prayers were answered last night.  My friend John caught some footage of the beautiful rainbow that followed the stormy weather.

Isn’t God good???  He still promises not to flood the earth ever again – and has kept that promise for a very long time!  He’s good to His people.  May we seek His presence continually!  May we bless Him at all times!

A wise teacher once told me that we make time for the ones we care most for.  How can we claim to belong to God and want Him to be the Lord of our lives and not carve out any time for Him?  For some reason, we just put God on a little shelf and tell Him to sit there while we go off to do other things.  I guess those other things mean more to us than our Heavenly Father does.

We need to hear His voice in ways He tries to communicate with us.

He is there with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.

God will be the Lord of all or He will not be Lord at all.  There is no gray area.  It’s an all or nothing choice.  Bless God, America!  🙂

 

Father May I?

In this portion of Scripture, we’re told to do three things:  ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK!  Isn’t it interesting that ASK comes before the other two?  I wonder why?  Let’s find out.

Some of you are parents, right?  Who am I kidding – all of you are parents – I’m the weirdo with no kids.  Sigh.  Anyway, let’s say your child wanted something from the ice cream truck.  The music sounds as if it’s getting closer and closer…  the pressure’s on to grab a dime – or, probably a dollar these days!  But – you’d like for your child to actually ASK PERMISSION for the ice cream before going out to see how close the truck is to the house – wouldn’t you?  It’s at the very least common courtesy and respectful to parents.

God’s our Parent…  He’s our Heavenly Father.  Apply the same scenario to Him.  Well of course we’re not going to ask for ice cream.  At least I don’t think we will.  But before we seek anything in this life, we should pray about it.  We may seek a job, a spouse, a house, a mouse or a new car.  God cares about where you are and what you want in life.  He wants to be included in your decision-making.  Actually, He wants to be instrumental in your decision-making!  He can straighten paths…  I mean – He is so creative that way!  He’s the Creator of the universe and everything – so yeah – He is creative!

Once we have ASKED, we SEEK.  That is when God does such cool stuff.  I don’t want to make it sound like a name and claim because I don’t believe that way.  I just mean that circumstances can turn on a dime and you know without a doubt it’s because you ASKED before you SOUGHT.  God is God and if the desire of your heart is within His sovereign will – He wants it for you.  He works on my behalf.  He works on your behalf.  If God is for us, who can be against us!  Amen!!!

So we have SOUGHT.  Now it’s time to KNOCK!!!  Don’t knock like a timid little door-to-door sales rep his first day on the job.  Knock like a BOSS and radiate with confidence!  Why are you confident?  Because you have ASKED and SOUGHT.  You know in your heart that God is already where you are and preparing everything to work for your good!  You serve a God who not only knows the past and the present – He knows your FUTURE as well.  What calm assurance and confidence that gives me!  I’ve gotten through many job interviews by reviewing all these facts in my mind.

When we knock…  the door will be opened!  Now, sometimes things don’t go exactly the way we imagine.  But keep in mind that just because I didn’t get that particular job…  God is already in my future – so He knows which job I should have!  HE knows!  That’s good enough for me!

 

Last week we started making spiritual cookies.  I’m not going to explain it all again – if you want to refresh your memory, take a look at last week’s post.  We used God’s special sifter to sift the special flour of strength into the dough.  Today we’re going to add a few chocolate chips to make our cookies sweet!

Dear Lord, We know that Martin Luther advises us to use fewer words for a better prayer, so today we simply ask “Father, may I?”  May I please have sincerity that comes from You?  May I please have some chocolate chips in my spiritual cookies to make me sweeter?  We ASK for this most important of ingredients in Jesus’ precious and matchless name, Amen.

We’ve ASKED.  Now we SEEK then KNOCK.  Don’t be scared.  God’s already there!

I have a special treat for you today.  My friend and Christian brother, John Minton, just made a new You Tube video!  Yay!  Just in time for Mother’s Day!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FyYVARhoGQqY&h=ATPel3zJVEL-dffn-NOCtd1IA3eUy-xNImhvJIf4-HN4rmdCcZpVzm1pPDAtDjsFeQ_C1iyDHtFu2jRCKAFTD5m9SFRoMWaBH54fmVPZL17pObDK5Gw2n72tNdh5gyFC3oWs

Have a BLESSED week!   🙂

 

LUKE 11:10 ON 11/10

TL LUKE 11 10 ON 11 10

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  – Luke 11:10

What exactly is it that Dr. Luke means here?  I understand the word EVERYONE – and that’s a good start, right?  It means that includes you and me!  But I want to know more about the asking, seeking and knocking…  don’t you?

https://youtu.be/4vn5QAkoNoM

Click image to enlarge

Dr. Luke wants us to know that God’s favor is ours if we will humbly ask, diligently seek and persistently knock.  It’s not a case where we can approach the throne of God and blurt out OPEN SESAME!  It doesn’t work that way… and it shouldn’t.

I’ve taken His precious grace for granted – but by the same token, I’ve forgotten the immeasurable POWER that God has – and it’s mine if I seek Him with my heart, soul, mind and strength.  I have such confidence and hope when I remember where my help comes from!

I believe David caught the essence of true discipleship in this poem.  We must travel the road of prayer every day.  Prayer is the way we stay on course in our daily lives.

Dr. Luke encourages us to ask, seek and knock – in that order.  

Click image to enlarge

Does it bring you comfort to know that Jesus walked where we walk – that He’s not just a Lord that can’t relate to being one of us?  He was part human – but He’s also divine.

It’s easier for me to ask, seek and knock when I remember that Jesus was part human while He was here.  Can He possibly relate – and care about one such as I?  He does.   He is our LORD and SAVIOR – but He’s also our very BEST FRIEND.

What are we waiting for, because surely God is there to answer when we ask, find us as we seek Him and come to the proverbial door when we knock.  It’s an act of humility, not pride – for we know without Him, we are nothing.  With Him, we are what we are supposed to be – what He wants us to be.  Let’s ask, seek and knock every day.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

 

DON'T TRY TO SPIN GOD'S WORD

Well – I have to admit when I first heard this I thought, “Oh, he’s quoting from the Billy Joel version of the Bible.”  Back in the day, the famous album GLASS HOUSES was one of my favorites.  It was the seventh studio album by Billy Joel, released on March 10, 1980.

Look, the bottom line is…  Christians have to be very careful when quoting Scripture from God’s Holy Word.  There is a passage in Revelation that says it all very clearly:

 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.  And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.  – Revelation 22:18-19

We need to take God’s Word very seriously and believe every bit of it.  When we think we know what “The Good Book” says, we had better look it up to be sure the passage says what we think it says.  This is an example of a failed attempt to quote Scripture that was not in the Bible, but is really an old saying – (and provided inspiration for Billy Joel in 1980 as well, apparently).

So who first used that proverb?

The proverb has been traced back to Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Criseyde’ (1385). George Herbert wrote in 1651: ‘Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.‘ This saying is first cited in the United States in ‘William & Mary College Quarterly’ (1710). Twenty-six later Benjamin Franklin wrote, ‘Don’t throw stones at your neighbors’, if your own windows are glass.’ ‘To live in a glass house’ is used as a figure of speech referring to vulnerability.” From “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

Now the log in my eye…  I’ve always heard it referred to as a beam, but yes that passage explaining judging and fruit inspection (they are not the same thing) is in Matthew 7:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:  and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Of if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:  for this is the law and the prophets.  Enter ye in at the strait gate:  for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in the day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not:  for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell:  and great was the fall of it.  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.    – The Book of Matthew Chapter 7

Are we to judge if we are in sin ourselves?  No.  God alone is the JUDGE of all of us.  Are we to be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing and observe the fruit that other people bear?  Yes!  Yes we are!   I’m thankful for the reminder that people in glass houses should not throw stones.  Thank you for reminding me that my brother’s eye has a tiny speck in it and my eye has a huge log in it.

Although we are not to JUDGE anyone, this passage of Scripture warns us to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing and inspect fruit trees so we don’t get duped.  God gives the gift of discernment to His children.  If we are wise, we will use that precious gift.  Just make sure that log or beam or whatever is out of your eye first.  My Bible tells me that I am to be aware and alert to the wolves in sheep’s clothing that will come along and try to push me off the narrow path that I’m on.  That is NOT judging!  I will vote for a Christian Republican candidate in 2016.  This is nuts.  He can nearly break our Constitution with executive action and break all sorts of laws, but we’re not supposed to judge?  🙂

Let’s recap:

Billy Joel – ALBUM – GLASS HOUSES

Released March 1980 and will eventually be forgotten.

God’s Holy Word – THE HOLY BIBLE

Timeless and unchanging – will never be forgotten.

********************************************

Any questions?  ❤

 

 
 
 

CELEBRATE YOUR UNIQUE TALENT DAY

TL 11-24 CELEBRATE YOUR UNIQUE TALENT DAY

Let’s celebrate!!!  – Unknown

11-24 THE GOD-GIVEN QUIRK

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Who is the unique person God created you to be?

Don’t dismiss the question (it took me all day to come up with it – for one reason).  But really – think about it – God made you – but who are you???  What makes you uniquely you?

I refer to the uniqueness of each person as THE GOD-GIVEN QUIRK.  I mean, inside each of us is something – some trait; a spark that defines us and marks us uniquely – and it comes from our Maker.   – Linda Palmer

These are wonderful parents because they are helping their kids develop and build on their God-given quirks.

 All my life I have been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself.   – Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”

God made you to serve Him in a unique fashion.  To try to copy someone else is to diminish your own talent.  God doesn’t want you to be a carbon copy of anyone – if that is what He wanted, He would have made robots, but He obviously did not create cookie-cutter humans.  Don’t spend your whole life trying to fit into anyone else’s mold – and refuse to fit into a mold that anyone else holds in front of you!

http://youtu.be/24eUf3ZAGDE

I’ve heard people say that God did not give them a talent.  It’s not true.  Don’t believe that lie from the pit – the enemy of your soul does not want you to believe you have a unique talent.  Sometimes he even whispers in your ear that you are worthless in this life.  If that sounds like something you’re going through, pray and ask God to show you what He wants you to do.  You’ll be surprised at the answer.  Maybe He wants you to be a prayer warrior.  No matter what kind of health you are in or what restrictions and challenges you face, you can pray!

Some of you are prayer warriors – and I’d sure appreciate it if you’d add my name to your daily prayer list.  Thank you!  ❤

There’s a rebel lying deep in my soul.  Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction.  I hate the idea of trends.  I hate imitation; I have a reverence for individuality.  – Clint Eastwood

That is exactly the attitude that has made him such a great actor and film maker!  He can spot individuality and recognizes that it will get attention from the masses.

God gave each of us a quirk and it’s our job to figure out what it is and how to use it for His glory and honor.  We should all have a reverence for individuality – and respect one another for it.  🙂

 

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

 JOHN 3 16 ON 3 16

FIND

I was looking around in an antique store not long ago and spotted a cute little sign that said SIMPLIFY. I smiled and thought about the simple life I live. I help when I can, back off when I should and try to stay tuned in to what my Lord wants me to do. Nothing is more simple than the Christian life.

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TL 3-16 JOHN 3-16

When I see atheists groups and other Christ haters and obstructionists talk about their rights for this and they need to be recognized for that, I wonder if they have any peace of mind. If they do have peace of mind, from what source? It’s not from God because they do not recognize there is a God. If they depend on themselves for peace of mind then it will not be a lasting peace, rather a fake peace, or a peace look-alike. It will crumble at the first sign of trouble.

There’s a famous line in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest is asked if he has found Jesus and he replies, “I did not know He was lost, sir.” The first time I heard that it resonated with me. Is God lost? Well of course He’s not lost, but we sure are! It seems to me that finding the Lord would be of great benefit to we mere humans here on planet earth. Why do some fight the process so much?

Some of it has to do with the way we are raised, I think. Maybe some of it is because people still think that believing in a just and Holy God means you have to clean up your act. That’s backward thinking. You don’t clean up your act to approach God. You approach God and He helps you clean up your act. But let’s be honest; a lot of people don’t want their act messed with. They like the mud hole they’re rolling around in. It’s warm and cozy and familiar. They don’t want the God of the universe telling them what to do. They don’t want to hear what His Word, The Holy Bible has to say. They don’t want to find Him…

Then one day something bad happens. It’s amazing how quickly they find a Christian and ask for prayers. Don’t wait until that time to find Him. Begin seeking Him now. You will find Him.