Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Down the road from my house is a business with this painted on the side of their business, only it looks like this:






B-I-B-L-E. God knew that we would need something to guide us. Because of Adam and Eve’s choice to eat of the Tree of Life, we became more like God – but since we aren’t God, with His knowlege of the past and the future, we need help living life. I like going by the sign because I am reminded that I am not in this alone. There are other followers of God nearby; people who believe that the Bible is our instruction manual for living the life God wants us to live. It stands as a reminder that God is with me, too. No matter how down I feel, or depressed or frustrated or fearful, my God stands with me. With Him in my life, I am never alone. That leads me to ask myself, am I going through life reflecting that knowledge? Am I even using the instruction manual? Is He the God (big G) of my every day, or is He just the god (little g) I use to ask for things? Moses was an amazing man, one who God used to perform miracles, and to lead His – God’s – people out of slavery and into freedom, but even Moses needed guidance.

God spoke to Joshua after Moses died, and Joshua became the leader of the Jewish people. God told Joshua to follow His instructions, even though he was a great general of the army and the recognized leader of his people. We are never to good or too great to need God’s instructions and guidance!

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is My Command—be Strong and Courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your GOD is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8‭-‬9 NLT

Those of us living since Jesus’s time have a distinct advantage over the people in Moses’ and Joshua’s time. We are no longer required to go to the temple and bring sacrificial animals in order to cover ours sins. We are exceedingly blessed that Jesus came to earth and became the ultimate sacrifice. His blood covers all of our sins (when we ask Him). All we need is Jesus. He gave us the ultimate instructions, too. No more animal sacrifices, and no more strict adherence to the old rules and regulations and laws. A Pharisee asked Jesus which commandment was the most important, and this is what He said:

“‘You must love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37‭-‬40 NLT

Through Jesus, we have the Salvation we crave. We have Freedom and Peace such as the world can’t imagine. Think! Because of Jesus, we are FREE. Pray for me, as I pray for you, that we will avail ourselves of the JOY we can find through reading and practicing God’s Words in His Book, the Bible. Amen!

Patience. Not My Virtue

Ever feel this way? I’ve often said I have about this much [ ] patience….. and yes, I am serious. Patience is not a virtue of mine. I am impatient; I get frustrated when things don’t happen quickly enough to suit me. Basically, LIFE / PEOPLE irritate me with their slowness, and I am tired. Tired of people taking advantage of me and others. Tired of broken promises; tired of being lied to. I’m tired of the struggle to just survive. BUT, I believe in GOD, Who is the Creator, Almighty and Omniscient, and I believe His promises.

“Then call on Me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me Glory….. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me. If you keep to My path, I will reveal to you the Salvation of God.” – Psalms 50:15‭, ‬23 NLT

I believe in GOD the Father, GOD the Son, and GOD the Holy Spirit. I believe that just as He cares for the birds of the air and the creatures on the ground and the fishes in the sea, so He cares for me. I am so thankful for the many blessings He has poured out on me. So WHY is it so difficult to trust in His timing? I literally have no way to pay my mortgage or utilities or car right now, as I write this, and no prospects for a job, despite the dozens – hundreds, even, of applications I have sent out. Today I woke up and finally dragged myself out of bed, weighed down with hopelessness and despair, and this is the verse that greeted me:

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think.” – 2 Peter 3:9a NLT

If He isn’t being slow, then what is the next step I should take? Most of my furniture is on several online ‘for sale’ boards; I continue to seek adequate employment. Do I start packing? Should I put my house on the market? On my knees in prayer, I beseech the Holy God of the universe to have pity on me; to open an opportunity, to provide enough; to show me His will and what direction He wants me to go. As I write, on the radio Crowder is singing “All my Hope is in Jesus…..” Yes, I believe, LORD. Show me how to get through this dark, dark valley! (And please don’t give me more opportunities to learn patience, LORD!) Amen.

Trust and Believe

Trust and believe. These two words are different, but I find them used interchangeably in the English language. To trust someone, we must believe that person, and to believe in that person, we must trust them. I found this quote while researching these words and their meanings at

“If someone gives you an [sic] information and [you] find out that the information is true, then you will believe. Belief is to accept something as being TRUE …

On, Trust is defined as a “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something,” while Belief is defined as “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.” Interesting how they overlap. Can trust exist without belief? Can you believe without trust? In scriptures, especially in the Gospels of the New Testament, we are admonished alternately to trust in God and to believe in God. Example: Jesus is speaking with His disciples at their last Passover meal together, and He answers Peter with these words:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in GOD, and trust also in Me.” – John 14:1 NLT

Trust. But in the ESV, NIV, and the KJV, the word believe is used in place of trust. “Believe in GOD, and Believe in Me.” I don’t see how it is possible to have the one without the other. You have to trust God to believe Him, and you must believe in Him to trust in Him. Maybe, it is easier to unstand it this way:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Believe and Trust in GOD, trust and believe also in Me.”

I believe that GOD is Real. I mean, look around you. Do you seriously believe this world and the stars and planets evolved from nothing? (If you say “space dust,” I reply, “And where did the space dust come from?” I could go on all day! 😎 ) Like l said, REAL. See, easy to believe. I trust God; I trust in GOD. Sometimes my trust waivers, because of all the ugliness and hopelessness I see and experience in the world….. but my belief holds firm. Maybe, just maybe, the scholars who worked so hard to translate the scriptures in English under King James had it right when they used believe, rather than trust. With GOD, belief for me comes easy. Trust, on the other hand, is difficult at times because man (men) has broken trust with me so many, many, times.

“Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the Eternal Rock.” – Isaiah 26:4 NLT

“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.” – Psalms 118:8‭-‬9 NLT

The LORD is the Rock. Man will always fail us and hurt us and disappoint us. The LORD will not abuse your trust, but you must believe Him, believe in His Son, and believe His Words in order to gain that trust. Sometimes, like the father whose son was desperately ill, we just have to say, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24 NLT

It is our choice to stay in our state of not trusting anyone, or we can open our hearts and arms to the only One Who will NEVER hurt us or stab us in the back….. don’t blame me for my trust issues, just show me the One to Trust.

WHY Do Christians Act This Way?

Listen to these words from Paul to the church in Corinth, and his plea to God to remove the “thorn” in his flesh:

“Each time {God} said, “My Grace is all you need. My Power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me….. For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9‭, ‬20‭-‬21 NLT

In verse 9, Paul is admitting to his weakness. We don’t know if it was a physical condition or perhaps it was pride, or arrogance? Whatever it was, God uses Paul’s weakness in his ministry. I love that sentence, “My Grace is all you need.” God’s Grace is all I need. Many times in his letters, Paul pleaded with the people to pray for. In many ways today, we do the same thing in prayer requests…. only too many times the prayer chain is used a gossip line. “We need to pray for Brother Tom. He’s struggling in his marriage. He just doesn’t see how good he has it with that wife and business of his. Did you see his new assistant? Why, I would never cheat on my marriage! Mercy, his wife must be a wretch behind closed doors! I just wish I had his good fortune!”

I’ve heard similar stories passed on as “prayer requests” many times. We use the opportunity of a prayer request to grill that person for details. There’s nothing wrong with asking for what specifically they want prayer for, but we really don’t need the details. In my study groups, I have interrupted someone digging for dirt by saying “We don’t need the details because God knows them already, so let’s pray.” and then leading the group in prayer. We all make mistakes in our lives. Even the greatest Christians to ever live were human, are human, and sin. It could be a little lie, and it could be have sex with someone other that your spouse. It could be gossip, or it could even be murder. God doesn’t differentiate between these sins. Sin is sin, period. “…..quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior…… impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.” We are ALL quilty of these things, so be careful of your judgemental attitude!

Yes, I am one of “those people,” and I can only give my LORD the credit for saving me from that lifestyle of self-indulgence and lustfulness. I am not now, nor will I ever be perfect. I am broken, but Jesus has put me back together. I love this quote “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.” This doesn’t give me Carte Blanche to think and act however I please today. It actually reminds me of my past and how incredibly loving my God is to love me and forgive me, in spite of myself. It also reminds me of this saying “To whom much is given, much is expected.” God gives us forgiveness along with our salvation. That is HUGE. As Christians, we have been given Eternal Life with our LORD. Shouldn’t we be sharing that, instead of sharing all the dirt? We need to growing together……


“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD.” – John 1:1 KJV, ESV, NIV, YLT1898, DRC1752

Beautiful. I love that in a number of different versions of the Bible, the words of this verse remain translated exactly the same. Of the versions I looked at, only the NLT was slightly changed: “In the beginning the WORD already existed. The WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD.” – John 1:1 NLT

There is NO ONE like our GOD. Three years ago, I wrote that I was reading Isaiah, and I find that I need those words again today. I love reading this book. It’s part thanksgiving, and part prophecy. I think God gave the outline of the prophecy of the end of the earth as we know it to Isaiah, then hundreds of years later gave the details to John to complete writing the prophecy. (See The Revelations of John….) Prophesy or not, the book of Isaiah is full of beautiful passages about trusting God and praising Him.

“LORD, You will keep me in perfect peace when I commit myself to be faithful to You; when my thoughts are fixed on YOU. That’s because I trust in You. I will put my Trust in the LORD forever. The LORD GOD is my Eternal ROCK. The LORD will keep me safe forever. LORD, you give me Peace. The One who has done everything I have accomplished is really You.” – Paraphrased from Isaiah 26:3-4,12 NLT

Thank You, God, for giving us the scriptures to guide us and to remind us of Your true nature. Thank You for the daily reminders to put my Hope and my Trust in You. Thank You for the promise of the Faith I seem to have so little – but You said all I need is Faith the size of a mustard seed. Thank You for the Gift of Your Son Jesus, and the washing away of my sins. Finally, thank You, LORD, for the trials and tribulations that give me the opportunity to really put my Trust in You and You alone. Thank You for the storms….. Amen.

I Am STRONG …… (Um, no, not really)

“I can do it myself ….. pull yourself up ….. anything you can do, I can do better ….. I am woman, hear me roar ….. don’t be a whiner, just do it …..”

Any of these sound familiar to you? Like so many societies before us, we preach self-sufficiency and to depend only on ourselves. Well, just let me ask you this : how’s that workin’ out for you? For me, not so good. Depending on my strength, and being dependent on another person, has let me dig a hole of debt and despair bigger and deeper than I was in before; deep enough that I can’t possibly get out on my own. Paul addresses this in a letter to the Corinthians, where he references back to the exodus of the Jewish people as they left Egypt.

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And GOD is Faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12‭-‬13 NLT

I’ve been proud of my strength. Working in different areas of tne building trades, I strove to be as good as any man on the crew. No, I always wanted to be seen as better than any man…. “as good as” wasn’t good enough. I stocked 50# boxes of nails and screws, and 80# buckets of drywall mud, I loaded lumber and plywood and sheetrock; I carried 90# rolls of roofing and bundles of shingles up ladders. I tried to out-ride my friends on horseback; I climbed rock faces; I taught myself to ski; I wanted to out-dance any of the others. I was, simply put, a show off. My pride was my downfall then, and it is still a thorn in my side. Because of my pride, I have had multiple surgeries to repair damage I did to myself while determined to be the best, using only my own strength. If I had relied on God instead of myself, I think I could have avoided some of the injuries. Not my strength, not letting my pride push outside my physical limits, but believing that God made me to be myself, His child, sufficient unto Him.

Now, because I had to have a bigger and better house, and more “stuff,” and then I lost my job and depended on a man’s committment to me to support this lifestyle, I find myself in that deep hole I was referring to earlier. Depending on man will always leave us wanting. Learning to depend wholly and completely on God is scary. I’m learning to pray “YOUR Will be done, not mine; not my strength, LORD, but Yours. Not riches, but enough. Amen.”

I want to work, and I hope I can stay where I am. Pray for me to be open to whatever it is God is telling me. Pray that I will rest in HIS Strength, rather than my own.

Spirit Guide – The REAL Thing

“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ …. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” – Galatians 5:14‭, ‬16 NLT

In New Age teaching, you have a spirit guide to help you through life. How ironic that they have pulled it straight out of the scriptures they despise. For a time in my life when I was very troubled and looking for help, I became involved in that thinking, thanks to a ‘counselor’ I went to who encouraged me to it. She encouraged me in looking at ‘past lives’ – I apparently was a black woman, a slave, during the Civil War – and through this counselor I was introduced to my ‘spirit guide.’ This is what I can tell you about that time: the New Age movement is not about bringing truth and light into your life. Oh, it starts out that way. My ‘spirit guide’ came to me (in my mind) as a beautiful, shining woman, eager to help me on my way. It took a very short time, because I didn’t follow her unquestioning and meekly, before this beauty resorted to her her true form – and it was far from pretty. It (not a ‘she’, as I had thought) morphed into a twisted, ugly imp with ragged teeth and claws instead of fingers and toes. It was unquestionably one of Satan’s followers, whose job was to drag me far enough down that I couldn’t find my way back to my LORD.

Oh, people, I pray you can hear me! If these things can happen to a CHRISTIAN, how much easier is it for unbelievers to be dragged into the pits of hell?? I have experienced hell on earth, and my heart breaks for the millions of people who are sucked into these things every day. The only Spirit Guide we need is the Holy Spirit! GOD Almighty, Creator, as our Father, JESUS CHRIST as our Advocate and our Brother, and the HOLY SPIRIT as our Spirit Guide – this is all we need to truly live, both here on earth and for eternity. It took a miracle to break me out of that life, and I praise GOD for my deliverance. Leaving it, just walking away, isn’t humanly possible. It requires divine intervention, and I am forever grateful for my freedom. Once Satan lures you into his lifestyle, it is so easy to get sucked back into it. This experience was second time becoming involved in it – up front, on the surface, it seems like such a good thing. The enemy wants us trapped in the quicksand of his lies and deception, and he absolutely hates it when someone gets free. He pursues the escapees with all of the vengeance he has, and sends his legions to harass and create difficulties and harm from those people. He throws up roadblocks and puts every enticement in front of us.

Even now, years after, he is out to destroy our lives; my life. I put my Hope and my Trust in my LORD Jesus Christ. He put His Angel Army around me to protect me, and He gave me His Holy Spirit to guide me through the darkness and despair.

“O LORD, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. ….. I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your Presence! ….. 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. ….. Search me, O GOD, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of Everlasting LIFE.” – Psalms 139:1‭,7‭,12‭, ‬23‭-‬24 NLT

HALLELUJAH! My chains are gone! Will you allow Him to release you, today?