Forever and a day….

“However, those the Father has given Me will come to Me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the Will of GOD Who sent Me, not to do My own will. And this is the Will of GOD, that I should not lose even one of all those He has given Me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is My FATHER’s Will that all who see His Son and believe in Him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” – John 6:37‭-‬40 NLT

I often struggle with worry, and I know that worry comes from thinking I have to “fix” everything and provide for myself. I worry about being rejected, both by GOD, and by people. I worry about being alone the rest of my life. I worry if I will ever be financially stable, or if I will be able to meet my basic, everyday expenses each month. I worry my health will deteriorate. My day-to-day life may be a physical challenge, and I don’t understand how I will survive financially, but there is one thing I know and hold on to: I don’t need to worry! Jesus promises He will take care of us. Of ME. He also promises He will never reject one of His own. Just as the father says to Jesus in Mark 19, so I say to Him also: “I DO believe; help my unbelief!!”

Do YOU believe? Have you taken hold of the Promise of JESUS; do you hold on to that Promise to be risen up by JESUS CHRIST on the last day, to have Life with Him forever and a day, for eternity?

Listening to Matt Maher sing “Lord, I need You, O I need you, Every hour I need You – My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God how I need You!” ☝️

Living With Expectation

There’s a lot of expectation today. We expect to be financially successful, with a big fancy house and car before we hit 30. We expect to marry Mr. or Mrs. ‘Right’, and we expect that person to be with us for our entire life. We expect to have the perfect child – and we expect to have the right number of children. We expect others to like us as we are, and we expect our friends to never disappoint us or betray us …… and we expect that God will make sure all these things happen.

Those are some massive expectations!

I say this. We have skewed expectations. The only thing we can expect in this world; the only thing that we can be assured of happening is that we will be disappointed, betrayed, and hurt. Look at recorded history. Read the Bible. GOD warns us over and over that we will have trouble in this world. Doesn’t that seem to counter that this same GOD Loves us and wants us to be with Him?

Have you ever had a friend that you would do anything for? Best friends. Bosom buddies. Someone you’d go the extra mile for. One day, you find out they have another ‘best friend’! That hurts ….. and yet, that’s exactly what we do to GOD. We choose of our own free will that we would rather hang out with the world. We choose sin over perfection. (Sounds rather brutal like that …..)

Okay, so this is a little depressing so far. I’ve had plenty of expectations, and I have experienced heartache and heartbreak, disappointment and betrayal by people I care about deeply. What’s the point? Our focus has to be above all of these earthly things; otherwise, we become bitter and angry. Our Great Expectation, our one expectation that is Truth, is this:

“All Praise to GOD, the Father of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. It is by His Great Mercy that we have been born again, because GOD raised JESUS CHRIST from the dead. Now we live with Great Expectation, and we have a priceless Inheritance—an Inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, Pure and Undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And remember that the heavenly FATHER to Whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time here as “temporary residents.” ” – 1 Peter 1:3‭-‬4‭, ‬17 NLT

Listen to Shane and Shane’s new song “Is He Worthy?” from the 2019 album Hymns Live. (Authors Ben Shive and Andrew Peterson)

HE is Worthy!

Image from The First Fruits of Zion

Could It Be Any More Simple?

Jesus spoke quite plainly to the Samaritan woman and to the people who followed Him, saying,

“If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you Living Water.” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the Water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them Eternal Life.” Then Jesus told her, “ I Am the Messiah!” – John 4:10‭, ‬13‭-‬14‭, ‬26 NLT

“I tell you the Truth, you want to be with Me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the Eternal Life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given Me the Seal of His approval.” They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the One He has sent.” – John 6:26‭-‬29 NLT

The Bread of God. Living Water. What is Jesus talking about? How can I never be hungry or thirsty again? It’s too simple. There has to be a catch. “….. ask Me, and I would give you Living Water. Believe in the One He has sent.”

We are so conditioned to everything having a price. Nothing is freely given in this world. It might be not be much of a price in the overall scheme of life, but still a price – and it could take everything a person has left to pay it. Even the love of our earthly fathers and mothers isn’t unconditional. That’s why it’s so difficult for us to believe that a gift so huge can truly be free! There is nothing to give up in order to receive this gift. All we have to do is open our hands and accept it. Freely given.

“The True Bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives Life to the world.” – John 6:33 NLT

Painting “Christ and the Samaritan Woman” – Henryk Siemiradzki, 1890.

Have Patience – Be Blessed!

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the Crown of Life that God has promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12 NLT

Do you believe it? Are you living it? A favorite mem of mine (all the way from the 70’s) is of two vultures sitting on a limb, with this caption: “Patience my a**, I want to kill something!” Patience is not a virtue of mine. Never has been. My little brown boy (he’s a dog – don’t go all PC on me) has much more patience than me. I can scoop him up and hug on him, and when I (finally) let him go, he just lets out this big sigh. He’s perfectly content to let me carry him around, and if he can spend his day in my lap – he’s good.

The little black boy (again, don’t judge!) is more like me – I want it now, and I’m willing to growl and climb all over you to get to whatever it is I’m trying to reach. Don’t try to hold him or keep him from doing his thing, because he’ll squirm and wiggle and express his displeasure over being kept from doing his thing over what I want him to do. Oh, he’ll mind me if I’m forceful, but he has a very strong will of his own.

I’m getting better. I can sit and wait for traffic to clear so I can pull into the road or turn, and rude drivers don’t cause me to go all road rage anymore. I do talk to them (like they can hear me – lol!), and ask them if they are setting a good example for their kids or if they are paying attention …… If I am waiting for an appointment or for a waitperson or a cashier or I’m on hold – as long as there isn’t an emergency – it’s not such a big deal anymore, because things often happen that are out of our control. Things don’t always get done in the timeframes I have set in my mind. Sometimes it’s because of my own physical limitations, sometimes because I have to wait on the availability of another person, and sometimes it’s a financial limitation.

God is in control. I’ve been reminded several times over the past week that His timing is not my timing. He doesn’t always say yes. Sometimes He says no, and sometimes He says wait. He allows temptation, and He allows testing. He gives us consequences when we don’t listen and when we disobey Him. Am I patient? No, not at all! Do I strive to be? I do, because I do love the LORD and I want Him to be proud of me, and I hope to show that love for Him in my life.

How patient and perservering are you? Give it to the LORD! He is all the help you need!

Honor – and Ruin: NOT PC

Honor – and Ruin: NOT PC
Define hon·ornoun
  1. high respect; great esteem. “His portrait hangs in the place of honor”
  2. adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct. “I must as a matter of honor avoid any taint of dishonesty”

What has happened to honor? Aren’t we supposed to honor our government officials – if not the person, then the office? That’s how I was raised…. Unfortunately, politicians are making such a laughing stock of their positions and their office, and straying so far from our constitution and our laws, it’s becoming more and more difficult. So many think they are above the law. They can hold a position, an ideology, that they present as what we the people need – but it doesn’t apply to them.

I “should be” grateful that they want to oversee and control my life, providing me with what they think I need. Since when is that even remotely okay? I live in America. The United States of America. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Some of my ancestors migrated here in the 1800’s and early 1900’s – and some were born here. We (almost) all have ancestors who came here to escape poverty and/or lack of freedom, and they came legally as immigrants. Some came as indentured servants, and some came as slaves – of all colors. When my ancestors arrived, they did several things: find jobs (not welfare), and learned the common – English – language.

Some became well-off financially, and some struggled, but I believe that regardless of their financial circumstances, they came and stayed because of the freedom afforded them. Freedom of speech, freedom to protect themselves instead of having to rely on the police or a police-state. Freedom to move around the country without governmental restrictions. These are all reasons that I choose to stay and protect my country.

You see, true immigrants don’t move to another country to make into a mirror of where they come from. We don’t move from one community to another in order to change it to what is familiar. We move so that we can find like-minded people whose ideas and beliefs mesh with our own.

Why do people come to America today? The majority, the ones who do it legally, do it because of the promise of freedom. They leave their country of origin because of oppression; because they believe they can have a better life here. They learn English and they find work.

I believe that we the people had better get a grip! Honor isn’t being taught in our homes or our schools, and it isn’t even up to our schools! We aren’t teaching our kids to honor their parents or other adults. We aren’t teaching them to honor our country, or our Constitution. We aren’t teaching them the principles this country was founded on – freedom and honor.

Without those, we are ruined.

The GLORY

“The heavens proclaim the GLORY of GOD. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” – Psalms 9:1‭-‬4a NLT

WOW.

Verse 3: “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” The heavens, the skies, the sun and the moon and the stars; the planets …. the clouds all display the Majesty and the Glory of GOD! It isn’t just the heavens, either.

“Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens! Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for He is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with His Truth.” – Psalms 96:1‭, ‬5‭-‬5‭, ‬11‭-‬13 NLT

Throughout scriptures, everything that we (humans) see as inanimate comes alive in praising the Creator. Picture a black night sky positively bursting with stars, or an impossibly blue sky full of dancing clouds! Can you see the fields and valleys literally glowing with new grasses and flowers and leaves, rejoicing in the breezes? The sea, as the whales and dolphins leap and the fish fly threw the air? Smell the scents of the forest, dirt and pine and newness of life. How can you look at new life, animal or human, and not see the Hand of the Creator GOD?

It just happened?? Who in their right mind could believe it?

Kiss of Friendship

“A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them. An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!” ” – Proverbs 24:24‭-‬26‭, ‬28‭-‬29 NLT

I can’t think of anything that bothers me more than finding out a friend/family member gave me an answer to a question that wasn’t honest. Telling me what you think I want to hear isn’t being honest! Telling someone else that you think I’ve made a bad decision and not telling me, or getting frustrated with me and not telling me ….. that’s not being honest with me, either. I would rather hear the truth, even if it is upsetting to me, and know that you said it because you care.

Really.

I’ve been reading through social media posts (again), then I read the verses (above) from Proverbs. I wish that every commentator, every blogger, every politician, every news person, would read them, then apply them.

Just my 2 cents.