Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back to Basics

"Back to the Basics", used to be the cry for educational reform. Yet we are not teaching skills in language, writing, sentence structure and many other skills previously considered basic education. Did you know there was a correct order for washing dishes? That was part of my 7th grade curriculum. What about you? What was basic education back in your day?
In this Psalm, David considers being taught knowledge and good judgement good for him out of trust for God's commands. Is this still important for basic Biblical education? Well, even though I use a dish washer, when I do hand wash my dishes, I still remember, "first the shining crystal, then the silverware." Whatever we learn as basic stays with us. What are some basic Biblical truths you will always remember? Do they earn you trust in God's commands?
" Do good to your servant
according to your word, LORD.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands." Psalm 119:65-66

Monday, September 29, 2014


Have you ever stopped at a cosmetic counter when they were demonstrating make overs? They place a dozen or more jars in front of you and begin putting a gob here and a gob there and suddenly, you look so alive and fresh. You buy the whole lot of them, get home and don't have a clue what is in the jars or how to use them. After taking up space on your counter or in a cabinet, when they start to dry up, you finally get rid of them.
What about those jars of clay spoken of in the Bible? Is it worth investing in them to improve our lives like the cosmetics? Will we let them just dry up and become useless? The difference is that we don't depend on those jars to produce the treasures of beauty. We know that our treasure is not in the jar, but in the power they represent. The power is from God through his son, Jesus, who he sent into the word to redeem us. Our power is from him and it never fades or fails us unless we hold back our faith. And we become beautiful as we become more like him.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." 2 Cor 4:7

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Keeping the Law

What is the job of the US Attorney General? Is it to uphold the Constitution? Is it to assure that our government does not infringe upon the rights of the people? It would be a good idea to find out exactly what this person is supposed to do for us because we will be seeking a new one and this position is supposed to be non-partisan...covering all of us. Perhaps our politicians need some advice from their constituents in following up what the function of this office should be.
Human law and interpretation is certainly different from God's law. Humans seem tempted to find ways to get around the law and some become very proficient in the criminal ways. But there is a higher law...God's law. Perhaps it is easier to uphold because it is clearly stated and not laden with "lawyerese". But is it? How well do we follow God's law and why?
"Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever." Psalm 119:43-44

Saturday, September 27, 2014


FALL: A season of celebrations marked by homecomings. Three girls from nearby Grand Prairie High School have been honored recently in news reports and on the "Ellen" show for demonstrating love and compassion for a friend who had been the victim of bullying, Two had been nominated for homecoming queen and made a pact that whoever won would present her school's homecoming crown to the third girl. It was a demonstration of unselfish service and has made the whole country aware of the cruelty others can dish out and how that can be turned around in an unselfish act.
Jesus demonstrated his love and compassion by sacrificing his life on the cross for us. The Bible promises us a huge homecoming celebration on the day that Jesus returns. Who will you be bringing along with you through your unselfish service and acts of love and compassion?
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." 1Thessalonians 4:16-17

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Action Thriller

I don't know about you, but I serve a very active God, not a passive diety made of marble or stone. When I pray, I can tell it like it is and expect him to listen and them respond with some sort of action, and not necessarily exactly what I want, but what I need. How about you? Have you ever counted the action words in the Bible? Yesterday Karol Ladd posted this passage in her 22 day challenge on her Facebook site. It really struck me how much action was packed into this 7 verse passage. Strengthen, remove, teach, make...nothing mysterious or merely "christianese" about these words. Try scripture instead of movies for some action.
Psalm 119:25-31
"My soul cleaves to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
So I will meditate on Your wonders.
28 My soul [a]weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
29 Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your law.
30 I have chosen the faithful way;
I have [b]placed Your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!"

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

He Opens Doors

Have you ever called the fire department to unlock a door at midnight? Well, I have added this activity to my list of dumb things I have done. We have push button door locks on bedroom and bath room doors and it's very easy to accidentally hit the button when opening of closing a door. They are what came with the house and we never changed them. We also do not have keys to unlock these doors. Last night I was trying to get to bed and had rounded up both dogs, closing them in the bedroom so I could finish what I was doing without them running back through the house and getting into things.
When I finished and was ready for bed, I discovered I was locked out and the dogs were locked in, I called my handyman husband who had unlocked the doors in past accidental locks. He was in Las Vegas enjoying a steak dinner with his nephew and his fiance. He tried to explain how to unlock a door with a nail. I searched for the right sized nail in his vast supply of nails and screws. After several tries with everything I could find that could fit in the tiny hole, I finally gave up and called him back. He suggested I call 911 and they transferred me to the fire department which is only a few blocks away. The whole crew showed up about 10 minutes later and in 5 minutes had opened the door with a credit card. The dogs were delighted to be free again and I was thankful I could finish preparation and try to get a good night's sleep. The guys will get a large tray of my husband's chocolate chip cookies when he gets back and a letter of thanks and praise.
However, as believers, we know where our true freedom lies. Many people are locked in their own worlds of disappointment and shame or big mistakes and focus their lives on themselves. But as believers we know who has the key to our lives and opens doors for us.
"I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Rev. 3:8
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

He Is More Than a Waterer.

Summer heat in Texas means I must water the deck plants daily. Now that fall has arrived, I can slow that down. Or at least I can when we have rain. This year it came in spring and early summer, but ha been lacking the past month and that seems to be continuing. But I'm not complaining. It gets me out into nature early in the morning to enjoy the awakening of the world around me and to spend time with God in this beautiful setting.

I am reminded that I am a wilted plant, dying from the heat or other seasonal difficulties. It's God who comes out to water me and give me nourishment and growth. Without God's word in my life, I would just wilt away. Reading scripture is turning over the soil and giving me a fresh foundation. Prayer is the water that keeps me looking upward so I can receive my "watering". The Spirit keeps me upright and growing in the right direction. Fellowship with other Christians help to provide my increase. I'm so glad I was planted in God's garden and just hope to continue to let him be the Master Gardener for my life.

" Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working." ! Cor 3:6-8 (Msg)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shackled by Sin?

Did you happen to see "12 Years a Slave?" We were shown how an innocent "freed man" man was put into the shackles of slavery by sinful men. It was a great example of how sin works and the devastation it causes in the lives of it's victims. It held our hero down until a man of honor came to rescue him.
This is us when sin takes hold. We struggle, but remain shackled under it's yoke until we are rescued. And who is it that who rescues us from sin? Jesus Christ is always the right answer. But we must remember to be vigilant as Sin is always hanging around just waiting for us to slip back into it's clutches. Keep our focus on Jesus and stand firm in obedience to him.
"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:1

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Disappointment or Opportunity

Have you ever been disappointed by a friend? Have you had a promise made to you broken? Have you wanted something so bad and prayed and prayed about it, only for it not to happen as you wanted it? Yes, we are disappointed by the people in our lives. Is it because we expect too much from them? Is it because we aren't on the same page so to speak?

But God! That's a different story. He has promised to answer our prayers. How can we ever trust him? Well, get over it. God is trustworthy and faithful. He sees the beginning from the end. We don't see the danger and future disappointment in what we want. But he does. We just have to trust his ways and believe that "our Father knows best." When we lay our lives in his hands we are taking the higher road that will lead us to places we never thought of. His plans are much bigger than ours.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts" Isaiah 55:8-9

He creates opportunity out of disappointment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spiritual Blindness

Our dog, Krisi, has periods of blindness where she stumbles into walls and gropes her way around. She had cataract surgery about two years ago, but we know she will eventually go blind. By slightly increasing her prednisone (steroid) her vision will improve temporarily. Watching her get around reminds me of myself on those days when I am struggling with which direction I am going. I keep running into walls and seem very confused about where is am headed. Do you ever have those days?

We can experience blindness in many forms, not just physically being unable to see. Spiritual blindness seems to be very prevalent today. People seek satisfaction from many resources, but as Christians, we know  to seek satisfaction through God's Spirit that lives within us. Our Peace comes through what we do not see. Too often what we see is disturbing or takes our focus to a wrong direction and away from the Father and Son

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Eyes of Love

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”Matthew 22:37-40
We all know this commandment and it is probably the most difficult to follow. We must love ourselves. So many have been listening to the opinion of others who are not loving and have sent us messages that we are less than what God has made us to be. Focusing on our appearance is one of our biggest negative messages and often keeps us from getting beyond ourselves so we can relate to others. I especially like the Message because is includes loving God with our intelligence. Our intelligence includes our thoughts and these are dependent on our beliefs and attitudes which in turn effect our behavior and responses to others. Learning is part of our intelligence.
The message from God's word tells us we are made in his image and that God is good. So as we learn more about God, the father and God the son,
we begin to see our image through them. As we begin to follow their word, our thoughts and behaviors change so we become more like them. Instead of focusing on our negative qualities, we focus on them. Then we will see ourselves and others through their eyes....the Eyes of Love.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Standing By Your Abuser

Rice wasn't very nice. Do you agree? The media are really having a field day since Rice was thrown off the field, so to speak. Everyone has their opinion of the fairness of the league's decision, but seeing the video definitely was a "gasping" moment. And we wonder  why she married him and stuck with him.  Just like Hiliary when Bill was accused of his "sexual sin"...these women "stand by their Man. Is abuse the same as a "sexual sin"?

Is it because of their power? Is it because they have money? Is it because they experienced this in their homes of origin? Do they accept beating as an expression of love or sexuality? Is it because they enjoy the notoriety? Each situation has it's own story. We are so reminded of our command to forgive and the 70 times 70 rule. But when is enough enough?

"Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you. Honor marriage and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between husband and wife. God draws a fine line against casual and illicit sex. " Heb 13 1-4

Where will you draw the line? How long would you "stand by your abusive man."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

God Bless America

Today we celebrate the memory of one of the greatest tragedies experienced on American shores. Last night our "commander in chief" announced that we are still in danger of attack and outlined his plans for protecting us. This morning I focused on scriptures about faith and security, not from government, but from the God in whom we trust. Although we are warned of danger, we who believe have a higher calling for our security.
" For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
This is our assurance and what gives us security that all things do indeed work together for our good. So my song for today is "God Bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home, sweet home."