His Path

Ps 85:10-13 (God’s Word Translation), “Mercy and truth have met. Righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth sprouts from the ground, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The LORD will certainly give us what is good, and our land will produce crops. Righteousness will go ahead of him and make a path for his steps”

His footsteps will make my pathway. There is power on this path, provision on this path, protection on this path. Each footstep of Jesus was in the fullness of the blessing- so He healed them all, He delivered them all.
And now I am walking on that same pathway. He made it for us. His word illuminates it.

Psalm 119:105 (NLT), “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”

We can clearly see the path. Even if it may seem like there are monsters, boulders, bridges, and cliffs on our route, don’t trust your own eyes. He made the path, let His word show you the way. Sometimes the path looks scary because we are still leaning on or living in the flesh. We have to crucify our flesh, deny its lust and laziness. When we learn to die daily along the way, the final death isn’t scary anymore, there is no fear of death. Instead of looking at the end of the path as the grave, we see Heaven as the destination. Who wouldn’t trade this life for an eternity with Him?

Find His path. It isn’t hidden. Read your Bible, it points the way. See Jesus’ footsteps and walk in them. Follow His path to your forever home. Bless others on the way. Encourage the lost to join you. When we walk through those pearly gates, we won’t be alone.

Tell Them The Truth

Last night I was woken at one by a heart wrenching wailing. At first I thought they were screams of pain, and I guess in a way they were. I opened my window to pinpoint the sound so that I would better know what to do. Right across the street a woman was howling and pounding on the window of the house. As I groped for my phone to call 911 another neighbor shouted, “What’s going on?” Her reply was, “My brother just killed himself.” I finished the call and cried. My husband and I prayed. My heart hurt for the family, that young woman, and the young man who thought that life was so bad, he took his own.

How do you go back to sleep after that? I prayed some more. I thanked God that my children and grandchildren were safe. Then I asked God, “How many people committed suicide today.” Which led to, “How many were murdered, raped, abandoned, hurt, tortured, and left to die.” I didn’t receive an answer. So I asked, “Isn’t this breaking your heart?” Still no answer. As I thought about this hurting world, this evil world we live in, God reminded me of a blog I wrote recently. I had stated that asking God “why” when bad things happen is futile, what we should be asking is “What now?” Not the answer I expected, however, it was the one I needed.

The more I thought about the evil in this world, especially suicide, the angrier I got. No, I wasn’t angry at God. But I was so filled with hate for the Devil. That old serpent who still deceives. His original lie in the garden is the same one he uses today. He still tells us that something is being withheld from us, something that is either unattainable, or that we have to somehow get for ourselves. He lied to that young man and told him, “No one cares, end your life and the pain will be gone.” That man believed that the only way to peace was at his own hand. He never found out the truth that someone does care, more than he could ever imagine and that that Someone could have brought peace into his life.

I remember those lies. They used to be whispered in my ear as a young person. I had my battle with the spirit of suicide, the spirit of death, and I spent some time last night and today thanking God for staying my own hand so many times when I thought I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Satin is evil. He has infected this world with his evil. BUT God is good!

So now I am asking God, “What now?”

His answer, “Tell them I am good. Tell them they are loved, they matter, they have value. Tell them the truth.”

Obviously

 

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV), “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 7:20 (NLT), “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”

What exactly is a “Silent Witness” or a “Closet Christian”? To some it is the opposite of a so-called follower of Christ who beats them over the head with the word, or who spouts off scripture when a hug or a helping hand is needed, or even worse, blasts them with a fire hose when a refreshing drink is all that is needed, the ones who are afraid as coming across as “one of those” people.

Honestly, in today’s world I can see the temptation to just keep your mouth shut and live right and hope someone asks you what is different about your life. However, if we are being honest, that isn’t what God has asked us to do at all. Yes, we live right. Yes, our life should be a living testimony of God’s love and forgiveness. Yet it is more than that. It has to be. Look at Matthew five again. We are to be a light that can’t be hidden. And in Matthew 7, Jesus tells us that a tree is identified by its fruit. If I am an apple tree, I should be bearing apples. If I am a light house, my light should be seen by every sinking and faltering ship out there in the perilous waters.

Sometimes, most of the time actually, that involves speaking. We have to tell them who’s we are. Just living right isn’t going to get a single soul saved. Living a hidden Christian life, so as not to offend anyone, isn’t going to help bring anyone out of the darkness and into the light. If we speak boldly as we ought, if we shine that light on some sinful behavior, if we live right in the midst of a world living so…wrong, won’t we face some opposition, maybe even persecution. Yep! In fact that is one way that we will know we are living for Him.

Who we are should be obvious. Again I know in today’s world that is a hard one. Today you can’t even use the once affective, “checking the body parts” to see if that seemingly genderless person is male or female. We can’t tell by the clothes, the makeup or lack of, we can’t tell by mannerisms, or really anything. We have become a world that wants no divisions at all, yet is so divided! So shouldn’t we live by a different standard? As Christians we want it to be obvious that we are male, or female. We want it to be obvious that we are hard workers, honest people, good parents, productive citizens, and fun people to be around. Shouldn’t it be just as obvious that we are His? I want people to know that Heaven is my home, that Jesus is my King, and that God is my Father. I want them to know that I am being led by The Holy Spirit, I have been washed by the blood, and that they can be too.

There is no such thing as a closet Christian. Shouldn’t it be obvious who’s we are. Obviously!

Be a shining star!

Philippians 2:12-15 (Berean Study Bible) “Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world.”

Keep On Stirring

II Timothy 1:6 (Word English Bible), “For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

So many analogies have been given for this scripture; soup and stew are a few, and how you have to stir up all of the good stuff that has sunk to the bottom. I like to compare it to making jam and I have made countless thousands of jars. When you are making jam, you get to this critical point when everything is at a rolling boil, hot sugar and hot juice in a torrent of activity in your hot pan, it can look like molten lava rolling. When you reach this stage you are at the point of no return. You stand there and you stir! Phone rings, leg cramps, someone knocks at the door; you have to not be distracted. If you stop stirring, the jam is scorched, ugly, and ruined. Thankfully, this process only takes less than five minutes; in fact the rolling boil stage is only sixty seconds. But, believe me, when you have been standing over a hot stove, usually in the summer, and you are on your forth batch, that minute seems to take forever. When all is said and done, there is a great feeling of seeing all of those lovely jewel colored jars filled with bounty lined up in your kitchen that makes it all worthwhile.

Romans 12:6-9 (NLT)” In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”

Isn’t it the same with the gifts God has given us? When we “stir them up” we aren’t letting ourselves get distracted. We are focusing on the Gift Giver and using them to line up those jewels (souls) for Him. What satisfaction comes from that. Maybe, your gifts aren’t so evangelic. Possibly your gifts are used in other ways. Saving a brother or sister from throwing in the towel, using hospitality to show love for your Pastors, feeding some hungry young families that feel stretched in ten different directions, all are part of the purpose of the gifts. Teaching those who need to know, giving to those with need, and leading in others. We lift up, support, and encourage one another with the gifts God has given us. We bless God, ourselves and others when we use them. And sometimes along the way we lead someone into the kingdom. What great gifts!

Stir them up and keep on stirring.

Book Review for “Code of Silence”- Christian Middle Grade Mystery

What the book is about:

When Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery that leaves a man in a coma, they find themselves tangled in a web of mystery and deceit that threatens their lives. After being seen by the criminals—who may also be cops—Cooper makes everyone promise never to reveal what they have seen. Telling the truth could kill them. But remaining silent means an innocent man takes the fall, and a friend never receives justice.

Is there ever a time to lie? And what happens when the truth is dangerous?

The three friends, trapped in a code of silence, must face the consequences of choosing right or wrong when both options have their price.

My Review:

This one was a library check out. Took my little guy to the library and saw the set on display. The covers looked interesting and when I opened up to the inside cover saw they were Christian mystery for middle graders I had to get them. Book one was great. Main characters are junior high friends who’s faith and loyalty are tested. Two boys and a girl. Not preachy at all. Just a great “friends” mystery. There is no swearing, however there is some violence (robbery). I give it five stars. New author for me, but a new favorite.  New author for me, but a new favorite. Can recommend for all ages, though written for middle grade (girls and boys both).

The Delivery Business

Colossians 1:13 (Weymouth New Testament), “It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son,”

God is in the delivery business. I know, in the past I have said that He is in the “Family business: saving souls” but this is still a branch of the family business!

We recently started a business of our own. We specialize in expedited (you needed it there yesterday) delivery. People contact us because they have a load that the customer wants ASAP and we can get it there fast in our little sprinter van. So maybe I have had delivery on my mind. However, the month of January our church always goes on a corporate fast (and prayer time). During one of those times of praying and listening, this thought popped into my head, “God is in the delivery business” followed by this scripture in Colossians. Soon I couldn’t even stop the thoughts that bombarded me. I am going to share a few.

God has delivered me!

Out of darkness and into the light. II Corinthians 5:1 (NIV), “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

From my past. “Philippians 3:13 KJB), Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”

From fear. I John 4:18 (NASB), “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

From sickness (including tumors, anxiety, and some ugly stuff you don’t want to hear about.) I Peter 2:24 (NIV), “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

 

God has delivered to me:

Forgiveness. I John 1:19 (KJB), “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Blessings. Ephesians 1:3 (NASB), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

Mercy. Jude 1:2 (NLT), “May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.”

 

Grace. I Corinthians 15:10 (NIV), “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

Wisdom. James 1:5 (KJB), “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

I am sure there is more to be found. I sure love to think of the Father hand delivering all of these wonderful things to me. A personal gift. Free of charge.

Now, our company, JW Expedited LLC, delivers for money, our purpose and motivation is to please the customer so that we get paid well.

God’s motive? Love.

My President

Donald Trump is my president, just as Obama, Bush, Clinton and all of the others were.
I didn’t agree with some of their policies, behaviors, or decisions. However, because I am a citizen of these great United States of America, because I honor our founding fathers and the prayer and consideration they put into the workings of our government, I respect the office of President. So…I choose to pray this prayer for President Trump, just as I prayed for those who went before him. “Father, bless and protect our president and his family. Send Angels to guard round about them. Help him make wise, godly decisions. Send helpers and wise counselors. Thank you that he knows You and Your love, in Jesus name, Amen.”
I don’t have to love him, no matter weather I voted for him or not, I will remember that God puts officials into position and He tells me to pray for them.