Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 verses

These were the verses that I believe God gave me to hold on to for 2017.

3 of them started off by saying "don't be afraid" & the other one started off by saying "don't worry"...

I always found that interesting.

Here they are...

Don't be afraid,

for I am with you. 

Don't 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 41:10

Don't be afraid or discouraged,

for the Lord is the One who goes before you.

He will be with you.

He will neither fail you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Don't be afraid. 

Just trust me.

Luke 8:50b

Psalm 37

1 Don't worry about the wicked
  or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
  Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good.
  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
  and he will give you your heart's desires.

5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.
  Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
  and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

7 Be still in the presence of the LORD,
  and wait patiently for him to act.
Don't worry about evil people who prosper
  or fret about their wicked schemes.

8 Stop being angry!
  Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
  it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
  but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
  Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land
  and will live in peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the godly;
  they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs,
  for he sees their day of judgment coming.

14 The wicked draw their swords
  and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
  to slaughter those who do right.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,
  and their bows will be broken.

16 It is better to be godly and have little
  than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
  but the LORD takes care of the godly.

18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent,
  and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;
  even in famine they will have more than enough.

20 But the wicked will die.
  The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field—
  they will disappear like smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
  but the godly are generous givers.
22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land,
  but those he curses will die.

23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
  He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
  for the LORD holds them by the hand.

25 Once I was young, and now I am old.
  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
  or their children begging for bread.
26 The godly always give generous loans to others,
  and their children are a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good,
  and you will live in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice,
  and he will never abandon the godly.

He will keep them safe forever,
  but the children of the wicked will die.
29 The godly will possess the land
  and will live there forever.

30 The godly offer good counsel;
  they teach right from wrong.
31 They have made God's law their own,
  so they will never slip from his path.

32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
  looking for an excuse to kill them.
33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed
  or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

34 Put your hope in the LORD.
  Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
  You will see the wicked destroyed.

35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people
  flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
36 But when I looked again, they were gone!
  Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

37 Look at those who are honest and good,
  for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
38 But the rebellious will be destroyed;
  they have no future.

39 The LORD rescues the godly;
  he is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them,
  rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
  and they find shelter in him.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

He is who He says He is

Jesus told (Martha, Lazarus' sister), 

"I am the resurrection and the life. 

Those who believe in me, 

even though they die like everyone else, 

will live again. 

They are given eternal life for believing in me 

& will never perish. 

John 11:25-26a (NLT 1st ed.)

Jesus made a simple statement, confirming life after death.

Jesus either was who He claimed to be & spoke with authority from that identity...

Or He was a mad man.

I choose to believe He is the Son of God.

I'm sorry, for you, if that doesn't fit into your narrative.

I've lived too long & see too much.

No matter what anyone says, 

or whatever new enlightenment anyone thinks they may have received, 

faith in Jesus is the only thing that really makes any sense, at all.

I've heard an awful lot of thoughts & arguments to the contrary all of my adult life...

some of them aren't very original...

but in the end, these contrary thoughts & arguments all take as much or more faith than simply believing what I believe is the truth...

Jesus is the Son of God, & believing in Him is the manner in which God provided a way of connection with Himself.

I'm not trying to be a hard tail.

It's simply what I've come to believe as I've watched life unfold.

He is who He says He is.

Friday, December 29, 2017

the wicked prosper

These days, it seems that people who live wicked, sinful lives are getting away with it.

And then there's the thinking expressed in this psalm... 

Psalm 73

1 Truly God is good to Israel,
  to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
  My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
  when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
  their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don't have troubles like other people;
  they're not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
  and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything
  their hearts could ever wish for!
8 They scoff and speak only evil;
  in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
  and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,
  drinking in all their words.
11 "What does God know?" they ask.
  "Does the Most High even know what's happening?"
12 Look at these wicked people—
  enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
  Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;
  every morning brings me pain.

15 If I had really spoken this way to others,
  I would have been a traitor to your people.
16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
  But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
  and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path
  and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed,
  completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord,
  you will laugh at their silly ideas
  as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
  and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
  I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
  you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
  leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
  I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
  but God remains the strength of my heart;
  he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,
  for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
  I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,
  and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

amazing words

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have examined my heart
  and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
3 You see me when I travel
  and when I rest at home.
  You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
  even before I say it, LORD.
5 You go before me and follow me.
  You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
  too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
  I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
  if I go down to the grave,* you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
  if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
  and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
  and the light around me to become night—
12   but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
  Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
  and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
  before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,* O God.
  They cannot be numbered!
18 I can't even count them;
  they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
  you are still with me!

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
  Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
  your enemies misuse your name.
21 O LORD, shouldn't I hate those who hate you?
  Shouldn't I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
  for your enemies are my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
  test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
  and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

it's all about love

From Paul's letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome, he reiterates the basic job we have... love...

...not to judge, police, convict, or convert... is to simply love...

Romans 13

8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. 

If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law.

9 For the commandments say, 

"You must not commit adultery. 

You must not murder. 

You must not steal. 

You must not covet." 

These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: 

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

10 Love does no wrong to others, 

so love fulfills the requirements of God's law.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Sometimes I just want to share with you a passage with no comment.

This is one of them...

There's just SO MUCH in these few verses...

Chapter 12 of Paul's letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome...

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.