Monday, September 28, 2015

Just Hypocrites!

Photo: "wells cathedral, the choir" by SEIER+SEIER is licensed under CC BY 2.0

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others."  Matthew 6:2

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others." Matthew 6:5

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting." Matthew 6:16
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission.
 All rights reserved worldwide.

One of the greatest excuses people give for not going to church is that "Everyone who goes to church is a hypocrite. I know who they really are.
Why would I want to be associated with hypocrites?"

That is true but it also includes everyone on earth.  Everyone lies...from stretching the truth and half truths to downright whoppers.  I have never met anyone who can actually claim that they have never lied and I will use that statement to counter such an excuse.
it is a scathing truth that there are hypocrites in the church.  Jesus' words stated that as fact during His time on earth.  Most, if not all, of his comments about hypocrites deal with the Jewish priests and scribes.  Jesus, the most humble of all, never lied.  He told it like it was though and His Word still speaks volumes to us today.  
Serious Christians who really want to be like Jesus actually try to do so buy learning more about Him and what He expects of them.  However, Christians still sin.  Such is the nature of mankind.  The difference between the believer and non-believer is the fact that the believer's wrong-doings are forgiven when confessed and that even in their sin, Christ loves them.  
What a relief!  I don't have to live with the guilt because He forgives that along with my sin.  Oh, if the world would just believe.

Friday, September 25, 2015

To A Ripe Old Age

Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Autumn...the age of maturity.
Cool nights and warm days help the fruit to ripen and the leaves to turn. We've already put up many cans of pear, wild grape and plum jam.  We got a half bushel of Concord grapes yesterday so we're starting on another round of jam today.  It's a lot of work but the results are well worth the effort.
Being ripe is a very short, but sweet period of time.  Fruit will be rotten in no time if not preserved.
God has a plan for our whole life here on earth.  When illness, death of loved ones and friends, inability to do what we used to do and failing memories beset us, it is easy to give up and the temptation is to quit.
God still calls the elderly into His service but sometimes our hearing His call is like leaving the phone on vibrate.  We are moved in a certain direction by the Lord but negate the call because it's easier not to get up and answer.
Gotta go.  I don't want to miss my call.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Even Keel

"Gorgeous" by Moyan Brenn is licensed by CC BY 2.0

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give. 

I borrowed these verses from my daily devotions given free through I chose the devotions from and have enjoyed reading about the lives of women and their encounters with God.  We needed these verses posted in our house when I was growing up and I was lax in doing the same in my own household.  Just saying.  Hope they encourage someone today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hills and Valleys

Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Life is a series of ups and downs, mountains and valleys.  How we live our lives on or in each determines how much we trust God.  If we feel we are constantly going up hill or if we feel we are always slipping off the peak, we need to realize that we are not the ones in control.  Only God, the Maker of Hills and Valleys, can straighten things out for us.  Only He can make our paths level ground.  Trusting Him in all circumstances allows us to be his vessel into which He pours Himself and fills us with joy in anything that comes our way.
We must put our maps away, start climbing and watch for His towrope. 

(Isaiah 40 is one of my favorite chapters.  There are so many nuggets of hope there.  The last verse is Bill's favorite and on which he named his bow business.  Click on the highlighted scripture reference and it will take you there.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Testimony of Love

"Fall In Love All Over Again" by Anne Worner is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us:  
He has given us of his Spirit.  
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son 
to be the Savior of the world. 
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, 
God lives in them and they in God.  
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® 
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

I love Autumn.  
God ends the earth's growth with an amazing display of beauty.  We are just now experiencing nights and warm days...the beginnings of Fall.
God surprises us with His beauty and love and gifts us with His splendor.  We rely on the fact that there will be seasons.  He said so.

Though we may question God's love for us among the chaos that exists around us, we are always reminded of His gracious Gift and those, who are truly His, will testify to that fact...Jesus is Lord.
No, many will scoff and ridicule and even punish those who believe this.  However, the true believer will be a living testament to His Love. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Looking Up from the Rubble

"gone 2" by Lionel Martinez is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 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.

Patriot Day

Where are the patriots today...the people who really care about the state of our Union?
There are so few stalwart and brave citizens who risk their lives for others regardless of safety for themselves.  We seem to hear only of evil and it makes me think that evil is winning.  Why don't we all look up from the rubble of this world and find our help which comes from the Lord who made us all?  Why do we keep slipping back into sinful thoughts and living?
The Bible predicts that this is just what humans do.  It is the "narrow gate" through which the true patriots tread.
I do know where they are...
The policemen
The medical personnel
The honest lawyers
The hometown-style merchants
The trustworthy accountants
The working Moms, in home and out
The faithful Dads who come home to their families
The straightforward and fearless pastors
The sacrificing teachers...
those who the news commentators rarely mention.
Their lives show their selflessness yet we only hear of their deeds once in a while.  They are the ones who work, not for the glory of men's applause but for the glory of God.
They are out there yet we so rarely thank them for their bravery and determination to serve.
Are you thinking of someone like that?
Thank them today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Head in the Clouds

Teach me to do your will,
 for you are my God; 
may your good Spirit 
lead me on level ground.

It's interesting the I should be reading This verse at This particular time This morning.
I got an Etsy order ready to mail, walked to the mail box, set the flag and then decided (as I usually do) to kick the rock behind the post to level the mail box.  Picture: hill, loose gravel and sandals.
Yep, you got it.
I am now nursing a wounded arthritic pointer finger on which I fell as I slipped to the ground.  It's only slightly bruised but it's a little stiff as I type and I have a lot of practicing to do today.  Hopefully the ice will curb the bruising.  I can't be trusted on my own in my own territory!  How sad is that?
So many times in life I've climbed too many hills too tall for me. I've forged ahead on my own with my cocky attitude with no heavenly guidance.  I've slipped on too many loose rocks and injured myself...mentally and emotionally.  I ventured unfettered into the wild world and came back bruised and injured for life.
Oh, why didn't I enlist the Lord for wisdom, guidance and protection?  He wanted me to. Now I live with scars that haunt me...of people I knew, places I went, things I did.

Young people who know better forge into the unknown alone with no guidance from God...not even an acknowledgement that He exists in their lives, only to find themselves wounded for life.
Don't live and learn:
learn and live.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Power of Quiet

Photo by Sally L. Smith

He says, 
“Be still, and know
 that I am God;...

I was reading my devotional for the day and this verse was the focal passage.  It's interesting that it "suddenly occurred." That's the case with the Holy Spirit.  If we are tuned in, we can hear God speaking.

I'm leading a Pre-K choir this Fall at our church and this verse is the theme.  Don't you think this is a great verse for threes and fours?
What am I saying!  It's a great verse for their leaders, too!
I'm sure their parents probably need this verse as well.

These two words, "be still," pack a lot of power.  If we would only think of them and that they come from our Almighty God, we would have the peace He intends for us. There is a lot of power in being quiet and appreciating that He is in control.