Roots

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7 NLT (http://bible.com/116/col.2.7.NLT)

Growing up a “PK” – preacher’s kid – gave me the opportunity to grow roots deep into the scriptures. Many afternoons and weekends were spent with my parents and siblings at the church, preparing for the Sunday and Wednesday services. We “helped” by straightening classrooms and turning the crank on the mimeograph machine so we could help fold the bulletins. I expect we (the kids) spent more time playing than anything, but to me at least it’s always been a good memory to hold on to. There’s a distinct smell associated to older woodframed buildings and offices; a havemixture of wood and dust and warm sunlight, paper and inks. The sounds are uniquely theirs, too. A creaky floorboard, the squeak of a hinge, footsteps echoing down the empty hall; the silence – only it isn’t really silent after all. Sitting all alone in a hard wooden pew in a quiet sanctuary, watching as the dust motes dance in a sunbeam that is reflecting through the old imperfect glass promotes a reverence that is difficult to duplicate.

As viewed by some, I had a deprived childhood, but I don’t see it that way. For all of the sibling rivalry and lack of creature “comforts”, I don’t remember going without something to eat and a warm place to sleep every night. We did things as a family, even when it was a battle between my brother and I! My roots are deep in family and God.  ”

Some people (like me!) have to learn things the hard way. Why, when we grow up hearing and knowing the truth do we have to rebel? It’s all about that pesky free will God bestowed on us. Ever the gentleman, He refuses to force Himself on anyone who doesn’t choose Him. Too bad more men and women don’t follow His lead! I’m thankful for roots that were deep enough to keep me from getting swept away by the enemy during my rebellious years. Even today, I’m not a great conformist…. okay, I’m a lousy conformist who loves to argue and do things her way, sometimes to my detriment. The good news – the BEST news – is that God doesn’t give up on us easily. He loves us in spite of ourselves, and He is always waiting to give us a hand out of whatever mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us. 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. 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.” – Romans 8:37‭-‬39 NLT (http://bible.com/116/rom.8.37-39.NLT

AMEN.

O Our GOD 

​  “O our God, we thank You and praise Your Glorious Name!” – 1 Chronicles 29:13 NLT  (http://bible.com/116/1ch.29.13.NLT)

I have so much to be thankful for and to praise GOD for! Think about this: Following Jesus is an oxymoron at times. I thought for years that in order to follow Christ I had to give up something. I was right – I had to give up my life to Him. I thought I had to give up everything that was “fun”…and I did. Ironically, I didn’t give up anything, because I GAINED everything! I gave up my life, only to gain ultimate Life. I gave up partying and chaos, and I gained PEACE – the kind of Peace you’ll never understand without Him. I gave up control, and gained understanding that I was never in control in the first place! I gave up “fun”, and found better fun and enjoyment, the kind that isn’t fleeting, but lasts. 

  Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

Life can be as great as we can handle if we let God have the reins (or the wheel 😊). Nothing and no one can destroy us when we are in Christ. In this life, there will always be pressures and struggles of all kinds. That’s because the enemy has temporary control over the earth. He does NOT have control over me any longer. I slip and I fall constantly, like I’ve done all my life. I don’t have to struggle back to my feet, pulling myself up, any longer.  I just reach out my hand, and my Lord is waiting with outstretched hand to help me up again. He’s waiting for you to reach out for Him, too.
That’s a lot to be thankful for.

Beloved and Blessed

​Oh, I am Beloved!

  “Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not My people, I will now call My people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.” (Hosea 2:23) And, “Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not My people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the Living GOD.’” (Hosea 1:10) ” – Romans 9:25‭-‬26 NLT 

Do you consider yourself God’s Beloved? 

Sometimes I am just a little envious of the Jews, the Israelites. I mean, GOD chose them to be His people! Why the Israelites? And where did the split from being just “people” to being Israelites and Gentiles happen, exactly?

 Adam and Eve were the first humans, and as such are the founders of the human race. “This is the written account of the descendants of Adam. When God created human beings, he made them to be like himself. He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human.” ” – Genesis 5:1‭-‬2 NLT 

For generations, people were called by their tribe, which came from the founder of each tribe, such as the tribe, or sons, of Seth, and the tribe, or sons, of Enoch. Then came Noah and his family. Did you know that Noah was 500 years old before his 3 sons were born? Or that the Flood began when he was 600 years old? Perhaps we should be reconsidering how we treat our seniors……

  “From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.” … These are the clans that descended from Noah’s sons, arranged by nation according to their lines of descent. All the nations of the earth descended from these clans after the great flood.” – Genesis 9:19; 10:32 NLT

Can we please stop arguing about “race” now…. we are all the same!! God created a rainbow of colors in us, just as He did with animals and plants. Look for beauty instead of ugliness. Sometimes we put so much emphasis on the ugly that we even forget there ever was beauty. There are, unfortunately, people who thrive on the ugly – and that is exactly what the enemy wants to happen. By getting our attention off of God and onto Satan, it is easier to subvert our good intentions. Rather, we can show the world of our love for Jesus through the gifts of the Spirit.

  “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” – Galatians 5:22‭-‬23 NLT 

Be a positive influence today. If you are broken, it is so that God’s Light can show more brightly through the cracks! Never be ashamed of your brokenness. God doesn’t need perfect people, He needs us, the broken. 


( All scriptures quoted are from http://bible.com/NLT )

Thankfulness 

​  “O  LORD, I will honor and praise Your Name, for you are My God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now You have accomplished them.” – Isaiah 25:1 NLT (http://bible.com/116/isa.25.1.NLT)

We live in such a beautiful world! God gave us the earth for us to live our natural lives, yet we often don’t take the time to open our eyes and enjoy it. I know how blessed I have been to live in small towns and smallish cities, and for the travel I’ve been able to do. I confess that all I know of big city life is what I see on the TV and in the movies, and for the most part it doesn’t seem all that pleasant for the less than wealthy people. I’ve read that inner city kids can grow up without ever seeing a cow, and the most they see of nature is a random tree or potted plant. It’s almost incomprehensible to me that people have to live that way. To miss out on so much beauty….

How thankful are you for where you are; where you’ve been; who you are?

Fall, Falling, Fallen

🍃 Interesting word, Fall. It can be both a noun and a verb; a thing, or an action. “I love Fall”; “I will fall if I stand there.”

We use it to define the third season as the earth prepares for winter. Leaves fall from trees, creating an inviting cushion to walk on and play in. Seeds fall from plants to lie fallow on the ground until the time of renewal, and grains and fruits and nuts ripen to feed all manner of creatures. The sun moves lower in the sky and the nights grow longer as the earth rests before its renewal in the Spring. 🍁

In scripture, we read that Lucifer, whom God called  and the angels who rebel against God “fall” from heaven. “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.” – Isaiah 14:12 NLT (http://bible.com/116/isa.14.12.NLT)

Adam and Eve fell from God’s Grace when they sinned in the Garden. Because of their action, all humanity is banned from the garden and have fallen into sin. No matter how hard we try to be “good”, we constantly fall because of our imperfect nature. Because of their action, all of the earth has fallen from the perfection God created. 

  “But You, O LORD, are a Shield around me; You are my Glory, the One Who holds my head high.” – Psalms 3:3 NLT (http://bible.com/116/psa.3.3.NLT)

By ourselves; through our “goodness,” We are nothing. It is only through God by way of Jesus Christ that we are anything. “For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw His Majestic Splendor with our own eyes when He received Honor and Glory from GOD the Father. The Voice from the Majestic Glory of GOD said to Him, “This is my dearly loved Son, Who brings Me great joy.”  We ourselves heard that Voice from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,  or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” – 2 Peter 1:16‭-‬21 NLT (http://bible.com/116/2pe.1.16-21.NLT

Whether you choose to stay among the fallen star, satan, or stand up with Jesus, the Morning Star, is up to you. God gave us free will to make our choice. Have you made yours? It’s not too late! 

  “GOD raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now He {Jesus} is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s Right Hand. And the Father, as He had promised, gave Him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today…. Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to GOD, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts of the Apostles 2:32‭-‬33‭, ‬38 NLT (http://bible.com/116/act.2.32-38.NLT)

Trust

​  “You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible Joy. The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:8‭-‬9 NLT (http://bible.com/116/1pe.1.8-9.NLT)

Some people envy the disciples of Jesus; the men who got to spend time walking and talking with him. They could reach out and touch his shoulder or his hand, and He looked them in the eyes when He taught them. Remember His encounter with Thomas after Jesus rose from the tomb?

  “Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand into the wound in My side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.” ” – John 20:27‭-‬29 NLT (http://bible.com/116/jhn.20.27-29.NLT)

Because we believe without having seen Jesus in the flesh, we are especially blessed. Peter was right in his letter – we are blessed with an indescribable Joy through believing in Jesus, the Son of God, and that He conquered death and hell so that we could spend eternity with Him.

Do you believe in Him, trust Him? Is He right about sin and death and the Great White Throne Judgment, or are you willing to bet He’s wrong? I don’t just believe, I know it’s true. Not only did God created the universe (His ‘big bang!’), but He, as the triumvirate God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – sent His Son to serve us. That’s mind-boggling. Here’s what the Apostle John wrote about the ultimate judgment: 

  “And I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:11‭-‬15 NLT (http://bible.com/116/rev.20.11-15.NLT 

There really isn’t anything difficult here. So I will ask again. Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? Do you trust and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and that He came to earth to conquer death for you?

Start reading in the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 1. It’s not difficult to read. Think about it; do the right thing. In John 14:6-7 Jesus answered Thomas by saying, I Am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” – John 14:6‭-‬7 BOOKS (http://bible.com/31/jhn.14.6-7.BOOKS)

The time for debate is over. It is time to decide to believe. 

 

Election Day U. S. A. 2016

  [Daniel] said, “Praise the Name of GOD forever and ever, for He has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.” – Daniel 2:20‭-‬21 NLT (http://bible.com/116/dan.2.20-21.NLT
Whatever happens, whoever wins these elections today, no matter what the outcomes, GOD is still in control, and He still wins the war.


  “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT (http://bible.com/116/2ch.7.14.NLT