Friday, April 18, 2014

Wait 'Til You Hear This!


Let no evil talk come out of your mouths,
 but only what is useful for building up, 
as there is need, 
so that your words may give grace
 to those who hear
Ephesians 4:29


I've been re-reading Bonhoeffer's writings on living in community with one another through a set of devotionals from biblegateway.com the past few weeks.  One of the best ways to break up a community of believers is to gossip.  We all love a good story, especially if it concerns one of the body of church members, but passing along information about another only causes rifts in relationships.  If someone wants to pass along a juicy tidbit, maybe we could find something "urgent" to do instead and not make ourselves willing receivers.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lead the Way


Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24



Usually my "wicked ways" are there for all to observe and I don't have to challenge God to find them to accuse me.  Because we are a selfish generation, it is always a good idea to check the mile markers to see if we're on the right path.




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Intercessory Prayer


 I would never sin against the Lord 
by failing to pray for you. 
1 Samuel 12:23



It is important to pray for each other.  
If we don't, we sin.  




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ooops


The greatest among you
 will be your servant.
Matthew 23:11



Some days your intentions are good but the worm drops.  Serve anyway.


Monday, April 14, 2014

The Dogwood Tree


 They ... led him off
 to be nailed to a cross.
Matthew 27:31

As the legend goes, the dogwood tree was used to make Jesus' cross.  The tree was cursed by Jesus and was made to not grow strong after that.  The flowers make a cross and on the end of each petal are red scars denoting the wounds Jesus bore.  The center appears to be a crown of thorns like the one Jesus wore at his death.  The story is a legend but every year when I see the Dogwood Tree, it reminds me of the suffering of my Lord...a beautiful reminder of a not so beautiful event.

Read one person's account of the legend HERE.

Photo from my personal files.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Red Sky


If the sky is red in the evening, 
you say the weather will be good.
Matthew 16:2


When I saw the sky the other evening, I ran to get my camera.  This is the prettiest time of the day for me and that night was not disappointing.  I had been sick the past three days and not out of the house so this was a gift wrapped in pink, blue and purple.
Thank you, Lord, for your unspeakable gifts.

Photo from personal files

Thursday, April 10, 2014

And Away We Go!


My darling, I love you!
Let’s go away together.
Winter is past,
the rain has stopped;
flowers cover the earth,
 it’s time to sing.
Song of Solomon 2:10-12


...and we've been on the go
 and singing that sweet song 
 since 1968.
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sun At Dawn


 Let everyone who loves you 
shine brightly like the sun
 at dawn.
Judges 5:31


It was good to see the dawn this morning and be able to unload the dishwasher and make my husband's two pitches of tea, one decaf and one regular, make a small piece of toast and my own cup of tea this morning.  After a sickly weekend, I'm ready for normal.  

Thank you, God, for that tiny glimpse of sun this morning before the predicted rainy day.  It was a gift.





Monday, April 7, 2014

Sick


Because of my sickness,
 no friends or neighbors will come near me.
Psalm 39:11

...except my husband and daughter, if I would let her.
I'm rarely sick so when I am, I make the most of it, I guess.
I got a stomach virus in the wee hours of Saturday and still am not back to normal.  My two year old grandson had it a couple of weeks ago and I think I have the same thing.  Poor little guy wanted a drink and couldn't have one because it didn't stay down for about eight hours or so.  My daughter gave him sips of water but he wanted milk...a no no in the sick world. I took my sips of water and was sorry.  I even had to miss Sunday and playing for church which I haven't done very often in my career as a church organist.  I found this photo and it hit home as it is green and is what I have been viewing through sleepy eyes for the past two days.  At least I'm vertical now.  I hate being sick!



Friday, April 4, 2014

People of His Pasture


O come, let us worship and bow down,
   let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
   and we are the people of his pasture,
   and the sheep of his hand.
Psalm 95:6-7

I'm thanking God for my family today.  We got to see everyone this week.  Now we're home and visiting with more family...so grateful for a safe trip though it was delayed 1 1/2 hours because of a bad wreck.  Detours sometimes are not that bad considering the alternatives.
I'm praising God.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pass It On


Blessed are the peacemakers,
 for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9


Which of you desires life,
   and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
   and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
   seek peace, and pursue it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Worth the Waiting



Then every tree in the forest
will sing joyful songs
  to the Lord.
Praise the Lord
because he is good to us,
and his love never fails.
1 Chronicles 16:33-34


The winters of life pile up around us so much sometimes
 that we think it will never be over.
But
the Lord has given us hope to endure what is
because
He loves us so much and promises us good things.
Praise the Lord.







Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shadow Rules


So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, 
 or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.
 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. 
And Christ himself is that reality.  
Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial
 or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud...
Colossians 2:16-18


Rules, rules, rules!
The world is full of them and some are ridiculous...and sinful.
We need to be careful to follow the Word of God, the Holy Bible, in setting rules for our families.  Any we may set need to be in line with God's rules...but we have to know what He has prescribed.
(So, have I mentioned I love dawn and dusk?)






Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Beautiful Shadows


We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
Psalm 39:6 (NLT)


Does is ever seem like you were busy all day and nothing was accomplished?  It happens a lot with me.  
I read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, and I like her thoughts, though in my estimation they are a little fragmented.  One of them is to make every moment count.  Now, that is not a new thought but the way she puts it is interesting.  Instead of complaining about what we are doing or not doing, consider the moment as a gift...whether that moment is good or bad.  Then, document it in some way.
  She decided to make lists of all the things that made her happy or that she considered to be beautiful.  It's a great way of looking at life and it has changed my perspective.  I seem to enjoy the day more when I'm looking for the beauty in it.






Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm So Confused


The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments to decide whether the right to free exercise of religion applies when Christians engage in business.
The Court will decide whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights that are violated by Obamacare's requirement that they include abortion inducing contraceptives in their employee health insurance coverage. (American Family Association post March 25, 2014)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.
Daniel 6:4

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Romans 13:1
(Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.)


I'm praying for a Daniel save today but am confused what Paul was saying here in Romans.  It would be a good argument for the government against Christians.  What gives anyway?  Where did the "no shirt, no service" go?  We live in a fallen world.