Saturday, June 30, 2012

sometimes, I need a little propping up

Isaiah 41:9b For I have chosen you & will not throw you away.

10 Don't be afraid , for I with you.

Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you.

I will help you.

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 46:3b I created you & have cared for you since before you were born.

4 I will be your God throughout your lifetime - until your hair is white with age.

I made you, & I will care for you.

I will carry you along & save you.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

read it all

sorry, but I couldn't cut anything from this chapter this morning. there's just SO MUCH in this chapter about SO MANY things. read it & think about it, will ya? I am...

Matthew 19
1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.

  3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?"

  4 "Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' 5 And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."

  7 "Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?" they asked.

  8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful."

  10 Jesus' disciples then said to him, "If this is the case, it is better not to marry!"

  11 "Not everyone can accept this statement," Jesus said. "Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

  14 But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"

  17 "Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments."

  18 "Which ones?" the man asked.

  And Jesus replied: "'You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

  20 "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?"

  21 Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

  22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

  23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I'll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

  25 The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked.

  26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."

  27 Then Peter said to him, "We've given up everything to follow you. What will we get?"

  28 Jesus replied, "I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

an old ENglish nun's prayer

no, I'm not a nun. yes, English is part of my ancestry. am i old? well...

no author is indicated for this. It's a caligraphy piece that's been hanging in our bedroom for over a decade, a reminder as we age.

I just thought it could be helpful for those like me in the autumn of their lives, & those who one day will be.

An Old English Nun's Prayer - Author Unknown

Lord, Thou knowest better that I know myself that I am growing older & will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject & on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bosy.
With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches & pains. They are increasing & love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare no ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory but for a growing humility & a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet;
I do not want to be a Saint - some of them are so hard to tp live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in the unexpected places, & talents in unexpected people.
And give me the grace to tell them so.


2 or 3

Matthew 18:19 I tell you this: if 2 of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.

vs 20 where 2 or 3 are gathered together because they are mine, gathered together in my name, I am there among them.

i'm not trying to make God a vending machine of things we ask for, but if we really believed verse 19, how would that impact the way we live?

And if we  really believed verse 20, how would our worship be impacted - in what we did, what we didn't do, what we thought about during it, how we acted, how we plugged in?

And I'm not talking about just Sunday morning - I'm talking about ANY time we get together for worship - like when a few of us sit around w/ a guitar in someone's living room or back deck, singing & worshiping together.

Think about that the next time it's just you & someone else, or 3 or 4.

It's kinda amazing, miraculous maybe, but our God promises to be there when we worship Him, or when we get together with people who belong to Him, whether worshiping or not.


just an fyi - I've always wanted to name a worship ministry "18:20"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Matthew 17:20 "You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them.

     "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain,

           'Move from here to there,'

        and it would move.

Nothing would be impossible."

Is Jesus talking literally about moving mountains here?

Or is He really saying that we just don't believe God can do anything that may seem big to us, let alone the big stupendous things?

What big thing do we have trouble believing God can or will do?

Help us find a job?

Bring that person into our life to marry?

Help us get over our issues, hurts, hangups, or dysfunctions?

Heal our marriage?

Show us how to put behind us the abuses heaped on us by others?

Heal our relationships?

Show us how to quit abusing?

Help us face another day w/o fear, worry, or despair?

Release us from the addictions in our lives, from food, material goods, the perfect body, power, prestige, approval, hating, gossiping, to porn, sex, & drugs (including alcohol & nicotine)?

What's the thing or things we can't really believe God can help us with?

Isn't Jesus saying here if our faith is a small as a mustard seed, nothing is impossible.

I grew up on a farm. We had mustard plants. They grow to be over 6' tall & about 4' wide. But their seeds are about the size of the head of a needle, about the size of the point on a ballpoint pen.

Iow, tiny.

And it's from this tiny,tiny seed grows a HUGE (in comparison) plant producing thousands & thousands of seeds.

Iow, if we believe just a little bitty bit, that sets in motion all kinds of power from Him.

Think about it - what's the thing or things in your life, if we will be truthful & admit it, we just don't believe God can, or willl, do anything about?

I know what mine is.

THAT'S the very thing in our lives that Jesus was talking about in this verse.

And THAT'S the thing Jesus was talking about when He said "nothing would be impossible."

I'll believe just a little bitty bit for my thing today if you'll believe for yours

Monday, June 25, 2012


Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples,

"If any of you wants to be my follower, you must

     turn from your selfish ways & ambitions,

     take up your cross,

     and follow me.

25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

         Is anything worth more than your soul?

A lot of the time, all we see is the fact we have to give up & let go of what we want, what we've dreamed about & for, & everything we hold dear.

What we don't see is we will get the life the God of the universes dreamed for us a gajillion years ago.

I guess it all comes down to do we trust Him or not.

(It seems that's what it's all about in my life these days!)

Do we trust that the life He dreamed for us is preferable to the life we've dreamed?

I guess it may be all about who's in charge here - Him, or us.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Just watched Jeff Bethke's newest vid. Here's the scripture that he uses.

If this scripture is true, how should this impact the way we live today?

Matthew 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

  34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'

  37 "Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

  40 "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

  41 "Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn't give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

  44 "Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?'

  45 "And he will answer, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

  46 "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life."

2 sections I read this morning

Sometimes, I feel I'm being prompted by the Holy Spirit to put some of the stuff I've read that morning in these notes. Lots of times I don't ever hear from anyone. Sometimes I do.

This morning I feel like someone needs to read Psalm 130, so hear it is. Verse 5 especially came up off the page for me this morning. During these last 9+ years as I've gotten up early every morning & read in the Bible & listened out for what He might have to say, I've come to depend on hearing from Him through His word - no, that's not strong enough - lots of the time, the way He speaks to me through His word that day is the only thing that keeps me going.

I also feel like someone needs to read the feeding of the 4000 found in Matthew 15. Maybe someone needs to read about how God came through with a pretty stupendous miracle using just a very little stuff to begin with.

Anyway, here they both are...

Psalm 130
1 From the depths of despair, O LORD,
  I call for your help.
2 Hear my cry, O Lord.
  Pay attention to my prayer.

3 LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
  who, O Lord, could ever survive?
4 But you offer forgiveness,
  that we might learn to fear you.

5 I am counting on the LORD;
  yes, I am counting on him.
  I have put my hope in his word.
6 I long for the Lord
  more than sentries long for the dawn,
  yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
  for with the LORD there is unfailing love.
  His redemption overflows.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
  from every kind of sin.

Matthew 15
32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way."

  33 The disciples replied, "Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?"

  34 Jesus asked, "How much bread do you have?"

  They replied, "Seven loaves, and a few small fish."

  35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.

  37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. 39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

looking ahead

2 Corinthians 4:16 That is why we never give up.

Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

17 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long.

Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now;

rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.

For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

who's doin' this?

People ask why we wait upon the Lord here in Blairsville & try to keep abiding in Him. Why don't we just do something, anything.

Here's why...

Psalm 127:1a Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless.

Enough said?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Matthew 11

28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me,

         all of you who are weary

            and carry heavy burdens,

  and I will give you


29 Take my yoke upon you.

          Let me teach you,

    because I am


         and gentle at heart,

   and you will find rest for your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy to bear,

          and the burden I give you is light."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

don't give up

Galatians 6:9

 So don't get tired of doing what is good.

Don't get discouraged

     & give up

 for we will reap a harvest of blessing

      at the appropriate time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

pay attention

Psalm 123:2 We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy,
  just as servants keep their eyes on their master,
  as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

So much of the time we make our plans & hope God will bless them.

I wonder why we don't just ask Him what He wants us to be & do, & then be & do that?

Is it about control?

Is it about me wanting to be & do what I want to be & do?

Is it bc I think (or know) that what He wants I won't like?

Or by not following the God of the universes, are we just being stupid?

These days, I'm living as the servants in this verse - I don't care what the next thing is from Him - I just wanna know - it beats being clueless.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

more stuff

one of the most pivotal things Jesus did while here on earth happened the day He sat down & talked for prolly a LONG time on the side of a mountain. It's found in Matthew 5 - 7. This talk is called "The Sermon on the Mount". (it should always be said in a deep & ponderous tone ;-)

read all of this - it's great stuff

Matthew 7

1 "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

  3 "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.

  6 "Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

7 "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

  9 "You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

12 "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

13 "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

15 "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

21 "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' 23 But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.'

24 "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."

Friday, June 15, 2012


What would our lives be like if we REALLY believe these verses?!

Matthew 6
25 "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life...

           ...whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.

Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds.

       They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.

And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?

27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

  28 "And why worry about your clothing?

              Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.
              They don't work or make their clothing,

29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow,

          he will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith?

  31 "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'

32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers,

        but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously,

           and he will give you everything you need.

34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.

           Today's trouble is enough for today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

read it all

Matthew 5
1 One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him,2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
3 "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
  for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn,
  for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
  for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
  for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
  for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
  for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
  for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
  for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

  11 "God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Teaching about Salt and Light
13 "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
  14 "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Teaching about the Law
17 "Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  20 "But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Teaching about Anger
21 "You have heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.'22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
  23 "So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
  25 "When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.26 And if that happens, you surely won't be free again until you have paid the last penny.

Teaching about Adultery
27 "You have heard the commandment that says, 'You must not commit adultery.'28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29 So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Teaching about Divorce
31 "You have heard the law that says, 'A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.'32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Teaching about Vows
33 "You have also heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.'34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, 'By heaven!' because heaven is God's throne.35 And do not say, 'By the earth!' because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, 'By Jerusalem!' for Jerusalem is the city of the great King.36 Do not even say, 'By my head!' for you can't turn one hair white or black.37 Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Teaching about Revenge
38 "You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.42 Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 "You have heard the law that says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Lamentations (yes, Lamentations!) 3:22 The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.

23 Great is His faithfulness;

         His mercies begin afresh each day.

24 I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance;

      therefore I will hope in Him.

25 The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for Him & seek Him.

26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

Yeah, I know - Lamentations is the last place you'd think to find such encouraging words.

But there they are - I plugged into the stuff about waiting - that's where I & we are up here - waiting.

"The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for Him & seek Him."


Let's hold on to that one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a couple of things

Psalm 119:73 You made me; You created me. Now give me the sense to follow Your commands.

This verse always makes me chuckle, mostly bc it really describes me. I read the Bile all the time, every day. But how often do I read something but do trust what I read or don't completely implement it? All I have to be & do is follow what I read. Sometimes I don't have the good sense to do so.

Psalm 119:75 I know, O Lord, that Your decisions are fair; You disciplined me because I needed it.

No one likes discipline. But that's where I've been these last 20+ months. God's pruned me back to a nub, again. He's revealed all kinds of stuff, all kinds of areas of my life, all kinds of ways of thinking, all kinds of sins & sinning.

Do I like it? No. Did I need it? I guess so. He's doing it.

I keep trying to remember that pruningis preparation for what is ahead & for greater fruit bearing.

It doesn't make it any easier.

Monday, June 11, 2012

hiding His Word

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden You word in my heart that I might not sin against You.

I used to wonder about that verse - that is, until I started reading the Bible each & every day without fail.

I thought to "hide His Word" meant I had to memorize scripture verses - this wasn't a task that sounded all that Memorizing anything has never been one of my stronger spiritual gifts - boy howdy!

But what I've found out that it isn't about memorizing - it's all about familiarity.

Don't you know people who can quote the dialog of a movie because they've seen it so much?

Or don't you know people that can sing the words to every son a certain artist has ever written?

THAT'S familiarity.

Over the last 9 1/2 years as I've read & reread the Psalms, the Gospels, Paul's letters, Genesis, 1 & 2 Kings, the minor prophets, the major prophets, the Old Testament, the New Testament, I've become familiar with what's in the Bible.

And I simply remember things in the Bible because I've been exposed, by choice, to them over & over again, like our friends who can quote movies verbatim or songs verse after verse.

It wasn't something I determined to do - I'm embarrassed to say. It just happened.

Now the Bible is a book that has filled me chock full of all kinds of things that God wants each of us to know & live by.

And I feel like I've just scratched the surface.

So, have I told you this so you might say yippee for me?

Well, no.

What I'm saying is the smartest thing I ever did in my life was to get up & read the Bible every morning - truly, the smartest thing I've ever done. What God has revealed to me, said to me in moments when I REALLY needed a word from Him, or when He just wanted to share something intimate about Himself in relation to me, all have been something that has enriched me life in way I cannot completely express - that the understatement of the morning!

The dumbest thing I've EVER done is waiting until I was 52 1/2 yrs old before I started reading EVERY day.

Btw, I will warn you - if you read the Bible, GOD WILL MESS WITH YOU!

He will mess with you in the very places you don't want Him to mess around in.

God loves you enough to not leave you the way you are - you are the project - changing you back into the person He created before you messed it up with all that sinning is what He's all about.

Become so familiar with His Word - it will pop into your thinking when you least expect it,& when you need it most.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

some stuff

Here's some stuff that I found interesting this morning as I read the Bible...

Psalm 118:6 The Lord is for me, so I will not be afraid.

     What can mere mortals do to me?

vs 8 It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people.

vs 9 It is better to trust the Lord that to put confidence in princes.

So, it's a smarter thing to trust the Lord (the God of the universes) than to put our trust & security people or government officials?

Iow, we shouldn't place our trust in the ultimate working out of God's plan for ourselves, this country, or the world in the elected officials,no matter which side of the aisle they sit on? That kind of trust only belongs to the Lord, & only in Him?

vs 22 The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone.

Jesus quoted this scripture in Matthew, Mark, & Luke, Luke quoted it in Acts, & Peter did in 1 Peter. Here's where it came from.

vs 24 This is the day the Lord has made - we will rejoice & be glad in it.

How many times have we all heard this quoted? Well, this is where it comes from.

I read through Chapter 1 of Matthew, which is all the ancestry of Jesus, plus God speaking to Joseph about not getting rid of Mary when she gets pregnant.

There are 5 women mentioned in the list - Tamar & Ruth, who were not Jewish women - Tamar was of questionable morals & Ruth had been a Moabite idolator; Rahab was someone who's ethnic persuasion & character has been questioned; Bathsheba committed adultery with David;

And then there's Mary, who many at the time always wondered about where & how Jesus came into being.

It's just interesting to me that the women mentioned in the Bible who were in Jesus family tree were not people most folks would associate as part of the ancestry of the Messiah. Don't you find that curious? I would think if we were writing an account of Jesus today, I would want to mention women who were a little less questionable - unless we wanted to sell it to the National Enquirer!

Maybe God was simply pointing out through these Gospel writers that He can use anyone of any background as a part of His plan as long as they are surrendered to Him & have turned from their old lives & are following Him?

Btw, I FINALLY finished reading Jeremiah - feel like I've been there FOREVER! Now, on to Lamentations, another warm & fuzzy Old Testament book!

For those of you who haven't read the end of it, I won't tell you how it all ends up - suffice it to say things didn't go well for King Zedekiah or Jerusalem.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Romans 16:25a  God is able to make you strong...

I went to & checked their 32 different English translation of this verse. Sometimes there can be an interesting difference in what each translation from the Greek. Each one basically said the same thing...

     1) God is able...
            In a world where EVERYTHING has its limits, its weaknesses, there is One person to which that does not apply.
            Iow, He is capable of anything.

     2) we don't have to live our lives defeated & weak...

            God has the ability to so infuse our lives that we will have what it takes to be & do what He dreams us to be & do.

It's interesting, after writing this towering treatise one the personhood of God & how we fit into it, Paul just slips this earthshaking little verse. It's easy to miss.

And depending on how you read it, it has something very strong to say to you & me.

GOD is able to make you strong.

God is able to make YOU strong.

God IS ABLE to make you strong.

God is able to make you STRONG.

God is able to MAKE you strong.

So as we sometimes limp along in our live, we can remember that as we face life each day there is Someone who can give us what is necessary to face it. We don't need to live defeated lives, blown about by the winds of stress, worry, fear, or hurt. We can be strong because there is One who can place in us some of His strength.

God is able to make you (& me) strong.

Friday, June 8, 2012

knowing, not feeling

Sometimes,ya gotta go with what you know, not what you're feelin'...

Isaiah 46:3b I (the Lord) created you & have cared for you since before you were born.

4 I will be your God throughout your lifetime

         until your hair is white with age.

I made you,

     & I will care for you.

I will carry you along

   & save you

2 Corinthians 4:8 we are pressed on every side by troubles,

     but we are not crushed & broken.

We are perplexed,

        but we don't give up & quit.

9 We are hunted down,

     but God never abandons us.

We get knocked down,

        but we get up again & keep going.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

in life & in death

Don't know who this is for this morning, but I felt like I was supposed to put this up for you. It comes from the chapter I read this morning in Paul's book / letter to the Romans.

Romans 14:7 we are not our own masters when we live or when we die.

8 While we live to please the Lord.

And when we die, we go to be with the Lord.

So in life & in death, we belong to the Lord.

9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose,

        so that He might be Lord of those who are alive & of those who have died.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Romans 13:14a ...let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you...

what would that mean if we did that?

well, probably He'd put His finger on a part or on parts of our lives that we would least want Him to.

iow, He'd address a LOT of things in our lives, particularly sin & repetitive individual sins.

He'd probably then move on to our hurts, hangups, & issues.

Those would probably be the things He address for starters.

But don't forget that on one hand He's cleaning out a lot of junk, He would also be lavishing His love on us.

After the initial "house cleaning" then He'd probably start addressing areas of our life in which we still retain control. (there's usually a LOT of these)

Relinquishing control of our selves to Him is a pretty BIG thing.

That means we would let go of our hopes, dreams, & desires, & start wanting the things in our lives that He wants.

Now many of our hope, dreams, & desires may be analogous to what He created us to be. At the same time,Jesus is a bigger thinker than we are. He sees the whole picture, not just right now.

I guess it's all about trust (what isn't?!). Either we trust Him to shape,mold, & make us into something beautiful in the Kingdom,or we don't. Doesn't it make sense to let the God of the universes (who dreamed a life for each of us a gajillion years ago) than to trust our own finite thinking that's been around in less than an eye blink of history?

Letting Him control means we are, become, & do things that may not seem to make any sense. I'm livin' that right now. But either we trust Him with our lives, or we don't.

So why do we let Him take control.

Well, He died for us so we as sinful peeps could have a connection with God.

He loves us in ways that after 45+ yrs of following Him I'm just beginning to begin to begin to begin to fathom,let alone understand.

And of course, another reason is obvious - He's God. We not talking about some "grandfather in the sky" or some "celestial killjoy". We're talking Someone who is so much more than we can imagine that just thinking about how BIG He really is makes my head hurt.

There are so few peeps you & I know who REALLY let Jesus control them. So few of us REALLY trust what He says He is, does, & will do, what He promises for each of us.

I wonder what our lives would be if we let Jesus Christ REALLY control them?

Think about someone, living or dead, that you think REALLY lets Jesus control them. THAT'S probably a little of something like what our life would be like, although He expresses Himself in each of our lives uniquely to who & what each of us is.

Here's something about what God said to me on March 31 of this year about letting Him be in control, about me trust Him...

Isaiah 46:3b I created you & have cared for you since before you were born 4 I will be your God throughout your lifetime - until your hair is white w/ age. I made you,& I will care for you. I will carry you along & save you.


think about all that I just wrote.

let Jesus Christ take control you

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

read it all

Sorry, I cull anything out of this - just read it all,slowly...

Romans 12
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable.

     This is truly the way to worship him.

2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world,

     but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

  3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning:

        Don't think you are better than you really are.
       Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves,
         measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ's body.

            We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

  6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.

        So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.
          7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well.
        If you are a teacher, teach well.
         8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.
       If it is giving, give generously.
       If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.
       And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

  9 Don't just pretend to love others.

         Really love them.

Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

13 When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

  14 Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them; pray that God will bless them.

15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

16 Live in harmony with each other.

        Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.

       And don't think you know it all!

  17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

  19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

"I will take revenge;
  I will pay them back,"
  says the LORD.

20 Instead,

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
  burning coals of shame on their heads."

21 Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Romans 11

29 For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

34 For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
    Who knows enough to give him advice?[l]
35 And who has given him so much
    that he needs to pay it back?[m]
36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

So, iow, God's call on the life of each of us remains, no matter what we do about it?

Think about that.

Think about the things God has called you to be & do. (me too!)

No matter where we are, no matter what we are becoming in our life, no matter what we're doing, that call never goes away.

And what if we don't answer that call? What then?

What if we don't allow Him to shape & mold us into the person He created us to become, & do the things He planned for us to do?



Sunday, June 3, 2012


Romans 10
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

11 As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."

12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."

  14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?

          And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?

            And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

        15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?

That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"

God wants us to "go" - iow, obey His leading.

Success as we (& the world) see it is not guaranteed.

All that is guaranteed is that He will be with us.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

keeping on

2 Corinthians 4:8 we are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed & broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up & quit.

Sometimes life is about putting one foot in front of the other - iow, just keeping on keeping on.

Sometimes it's just about abiding in Him & being ok w/ being clueless about what He's up to, or where you're headed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

a "wow"

Every once in a while, there is a chapter in the Bible that has SO MUCH in it, it will just blow our socks off. Romans 8 is a supreme example of one of those.

Just sit & soak in what all this says...

Romans 8
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

  5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. 8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

  9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

  12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

  15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

  26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.

  35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.