Monday, September 30, 2013

Good Deeds


I pray that your love will keep on growing 
and that you will fully know and understand 
how to make the right choices. 
Then you will still be pure and innocent 
when Christ returns.
 And until that day,  Jesus Christ will keep you 
busy doing good deeds 
that bring glory and praise to God.
Philippians 1:9-11

We spent the last three days at a Craft Fair showing our wares.  The weekend brought us a few hundred dollars...not as much as we expected but enough to pay some bills.  The most wonderful part was getting to be with more of our grandchildren and our son and daughter-in-law.  We'll probably go back if the Lord allows.  
We were exhausted after the weekend as would be expected for people in their mid-sixties who have hovered over their craft tables for three days so we were looking forward to getting home, taking showers in our own bathrooms and settling in for the night.  As we turned down the last road of our trip home, someone had slid off the road into a ditch.  Of course, the only thing to do was pull them out...which my dear husband did after three tries and a trip home to get a chain.  We could have driven by but Christ in us speaks when people are in need and we can immediately help.  It would have been sinful for us to just drive by.
The world "drives by."  We're not the world.
No brag...just fact.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Questioning God


I am the Lord All-Powerful,
but you have argued
    that I am wrong.
Now you must answer me.
Job 401-2
Contemporary English Version®
Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. All rights reserved. Link to:
http://americanbible.org



We need to stop and think the next time we question God.  We all must answer to him for everything we do.  He has a purpose and a plan and it's our job to find it and do it.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Must Resist!


No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
 but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, 
that you may be able to endure it. 

Avoiding temptation is an on-going process in my life.  I love to eat.  It's inborn, yes, but also well-taught. 
 My family used food for comfort and my Dad would sit down at one meal asking what would be served at the next.  It was not that he was unhappy with what he was served, he just looked forward to eating again and my Mom was a great cook.  
Unfortunately, I inherited his passion. 
 Food is a temptation for me that can only be controlled by my getting the strength to resist from God.  The problem is that I have to tap that source of power every day to see my DIET (yikes, I said it!) through.  I guess I've not taken it as seriously as the other vices in my life because I think I can handle it on my own.  Nope.  I can't.  It's a constant battle where I easily give up. 
Onward and Upward!


(This really is the name given on Flickr for this photographer...not a command to disregard what I've said.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Confession: The New-Found Freedom


While Ezra was praying and confessing,
 weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God,
 a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—
gathered around him. 
They too wept bitterly.
Ezra 10:1



When one confesses, 
it may become a catalyst to others 
which causes them to repent 
and want to change. 








Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lamp Lighter


You, Lord, are my lamp;
the Lord turns my darkness
into light.
2 Samuel 22:29



May the Light of the World
 shine in your heart today.





Saturday, September 21, 2013

Joining Hearts


I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ
 will bless you and be kind to you!
 May God bless you with his love,
 and may the Holy Spirit 
join all your hearts together.
2 Corinthians 13:13



My prayer for you today:
   May we see with your eyes, Jesus, and feel with your emotions?  May we join our hearts with those who believe in you so we may encourage and strengthen each other in your name.
 Amen.




Thursday, September 19, 2013

Words...Gifts or Not?


 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Other translations state:
dirty talk
foul words
anything bad
anything that could hurt
corrupting talk
foul language
worthless speech
rotten words
unhealthy words
harmful words
bad language
bad words
abusive words
polluting language.

Let's see.  Do I understand?  Anything I say must be

fresh words
words that fit the occasion
helpful to other Christians
suitable for the occasion
good words
beneficial
good to the listener
the right thing at the right time

and must

give grace
edify
help
bless
build up
encourage
help others grow as Christians
provide what is needed and
make others stronger.

One translation even states that each word is a gift.

Excuse me, please.  I have a little work to do.






Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Selfish Ambition


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
 Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  
not looking to your own interests 
but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

My own interests kept me from reading my Bible the first thing this morning and this is what I read when I opened the Word.

I like to put pretty pictures on my blog but today...well, the scripture didn't call for that.

I'm very skeptical of the "needy" on the street corners.  I question: Are they really in need?  I say to myself, "I saw this couple at another exit the other day. They have nice shoes and are they drinking from thermal cups?"  So, like the others in this photo, I pass by.
  Yes, some are charlatans but many are definitely in need.  Who am I to judge?  Only God is the ultimate judge.  My job is to give.
  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bullying


 I fear that there may be discord,
 jealousy, 
fits of rage,
 selfish ambition,
 slander,
gossip, 
arrogance and 
disorder. 
2 Corinthians 12:20

Even hummingbirds, the sweetest-looking birds ever, are wild beasts when it comes to their territory.  Ours are constantly fighting each other off, even to the ground, poking and biting and vying for first place, not wanting to share a container of food that will last for a week or more for all five.
We, also, are wild beasts when it comes to our positions in the church, our name on the rosters, our special spots to sit, our plaques on the wall, our names in the bulletin, our voices in business meetings.  We are just as territorial when a visitor arrives in our service.  I guess we've been looking at too many "hummingbirds" for our example instead of the God who made them that way to survive.  We can survive very well acting like Christ instead of his rival.

Photo Credit: Jon Montgomery

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hurting?


“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen...
Isaiah 43:10


We have a special place in God's hand, a place he prepared just for us.  We have to allow him to show us how to do this in the best way possible.  Join me in reading a blog post about a hurting child of God.  Perhaps this may help you.



Friday, September 13, 2013

Up Before Dawn


The whole earth is filled
 with awe at your wonders; 
where morning dawns, 
where evening fades,
 you call forth songs of joy.
Psalm 65:8


I began my day with Bible reading and practice and I have a HUGE day ahead filled with music delivering, music-making, grocery shopping and readying for a craft show for tomorrow.  
Thank you, Lord, that you saw fit to allow me to rise this morning and the privilege you give me to live it.




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Repeat, Please.


Rejoice in the Lord
 always.
 I will say it again: 
Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4



Sometimes I need to hear things twice.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From Where Does Your Help Come?



I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2


Except for the fact that the English usage is poor in this version, the meaning is very clear.  I tend to look everywhere except to the source of all life.  Why do I not learn?


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rest?


Come to me, 
all you who are weary
 and carry heavy burdens, 
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28



   Rest on one half and not the other?  
It depends on who will take the offer.





Monday, September 9, 2013

The Refiner


Silver and gold are tested
 by flames of fire;
our thoughts are tested
by the Lord.

Proverbs 17:3

Lately I've been fascinated with how gold is refined and tested.  It takes a super-hot fire to melt metal down and everything that is not gold is discarded or destroyed.  God puts our thoughts in his crucible, ignites his refining fire...
and what remains?
Are our thoughts golden?

So many times my thoughts are not pure enough for the Refiner and the scary thing is they may lead to impure actions.  I need to guard my thoughts and discard those that are dross.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

He Bends Down


I love the Lord 
because
 he hears my prayers 
and answers them. 
 Because
 he bends down
 and listens, 
I will pray
 as long
 as I
 breathe!

Psalm 116:1-2

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation.All rights reserved.




Friday, September 6, 2013

God's Wonders


Stop...
Consider
God's
Wonders.
Job 37:14


I'm finding my stopping point today.
  Won't you join me?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Lot of the Levites


He said of his father and mother,
    I have no regard for them.
He did not recognize his brothers
    or acknowledge his own children,
but he watched over your word
    and guarded your covenant.
He teaches your precepts to Jacob
    and your law to Israel.
He offers incense before you
    and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
Bless all his skills, Lord,
    and be pleased with the work of his hands.
Strike down those who rise against him,
    his foes till they rise no more.
Deuteronomy 33:8-11

Soapbox time...
My husband and I are church musicians.
Though we've made a fair living making music for the Lord, I can't say that our paychecks have even closely resembled that of a "higher" position outside the church.  Why do people continue to think that the church musician can actually live on the amount of money given them by the church they serve?
Most have to take on responsibilities outside that realm in order to pay their bills and many live hand-to-mouth.  Those who are not musicians have no idea how much time is spent preparing for a service and the sacrifice of family necessary for their jobs.  The Levite was a church worker/priest.  All of the responsibilities of "running" a church belonged to them.  What would the church be without them?  Unfortunately, many find themselves in this position...



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Road Home

Fiber Art, "Road Home" by Sally L. Smith

Always let him lead you, 
 and he will clear the road for you to follow. 
Proverbs 3:6

Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995


I think it's this versions's word "let" that can be troublesome.  "Submit" is the word found in many versions...which causes more rebellion in my own mind.  Why do I always want my own way when I know God's way is best and when the road he's chosen for me causes less stress along the way and at its end?

I'm venturing into more craft shows the next two months and at their end I will determine whether I can continue making jewelry.  I'm still hard at music, however.  Will the Lord allow me to keep enjoying both?  Another decision may be looming in the near future.  Which path is best, Lord?