Thought for the day March 30, 2019

Not sure why the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11 ) keeps coming to me and the various insights I get each time. My thought today is on what the guest had to say about the wine. That normally wine at other weddings at this point in the celebrations would have not have been the best. Meaning it would either be of lesser quality or you could say watered down.  Today as I look upon this passage, I am thinking that how many of us have watered down our faith. We are called Christians, read our Bibles, and go to church. We even serve and take part of various ministries. We believe in the name of Jesus and that He is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, but have our hearts grown weak? Are we merely going through the motions, watering down the Word of God. We dismiss one part or another saying that it is not for today. Yet I can’t stop thinking about the fact that Jesus is the Word of God, and that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. So why is it so easy to fall into believing we can dismiss any part of His Word, because we don’t like or agree with it? We compromise, or turn a blind eye because we hide behind not wanting to judge. I understand this because there is much written about judgment. Like in the same way you judge, you will be judged ( Matthew 7:2). Jesus also said ‘How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye?’ (Matthew 7:5) We cannot ignore His instruction about our behaviors just because of fear of judging others or being judged. Jesus made it clear that if we love Him we will keep His commands Adding one, that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus did not do away with God’s commands. Which are found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. The fact they are written in two books of the Bible tells me their importance. Jesus even told us to look with lust in our eye is equal to adultery, and that hatred is equal to murder. Yet, many of us our guilty of one or more of these things, and instead of receiving God’s correction we make excuses, and claim His grace while continuing doing the things we know we need to stop. Read His commandments and we can find in one are or another we have compromised. Yes I have been called a legalist, yet I know that I am guilty of what I am talking about and that if I continue doing the things I know are wrong are agree with others saying it is okay to overlook a sin then I am not being faithful to Him. We live in this world but we are not to conform to it, but be transformed by His Word. Submit to God and resist the devil. To me this means turn from my own ways of doing things or what others say that I am to do and do as His Word tells me. If I don’t understand something He says then dig deeper into His Word and pray for understanding, He will give it to me. His ways are not ours and His thoughts are not ours. So if I want the full strength of His promises and provisions I cannot water down and compromise His Word in my life, even if others disagree with me.

Thought for the day / What do you do when you have done everything that you can?

Thought for the day / What do you do when you have done everything that you can?

What do you do when you have done everything you can do? I have not been able to write for a while and even today typing this message is hurting me a lot, but the inspiration to share what my current state is teaching me is stronger than the pain. For over a month now I have been in so much pain I have barely been able to make it to work, but that is all I have been able to do. I hate missing fellowship with my church River of Life Christian Center, they may not be my natural family but they are my spiritual family. The hugs and love and words of encouragement, I really miss. I am thankful that I do not have to miss the messages because I can watch them online which feed me God’s word, but it is not the same as being there with them. Nick and Alissa my pastor and his wife are wonderful and have come by to check on me as well as my prayer team leader and friend Diane. Yet I want to be able to do more than barely work. I want to spend time with my spiritual family.  (If you don’t have a church you should come by, and if you are not in the area check us out online https://www.facebook.com/riveroflifeoverflowing/ )

I only work 20 to 30 hours a week and after cleaning and preparing meals for others but I come home and I cannot care for myself because my body can’t do more. Each week my pain level has increased, one more body are is going out on me. As I said in the beginning of this the pain in my hands is terrible and every stroke on the key board is like knives and electric pain from my fingers up through my arms and neck, which is increasing my headache.

I live alone so this makes things more difficult because there is only me, and then on Monday my phone was shut off, leaving me feeling even more cut off and isolated, thank God I still have internet. I also battle depression, so things have really been piling up. Do I blame God? Definitely not! He did not cause the damage to my body, my abusers are responsible for my physical pain, even the abuse has been over for a while now, the damage done is done. Do I believe God can heal me? Yes I do! Just because the physical healing has not manifested, I know I am healed. It is in God’s hands.

Yet frustration over circumstances and pain leaves me stressed over taking care of my basic necessities.  My church helps but I cannot expect them to pay for everything. I work even though my body screams at me it is in pain, so I have done everything I can to take care of my bills, my health, and my stated of mind. I know when people ask if I have done this or that and I have done it all, I am not frustrated with them, but the fact that instead in spite of doing everything I can and I am getting worse instead of better. It makes no logical sense.  I trade putting heat and ice on my back and neck.  I do the stretches I am supposed to do. I do breathing exercises, etc… and most important I pray and read or listen to His Word. I am finally taking a day off from work which I probably should have done sooner, but didn’t because of bills have to get paid and mine is the only income and yes I tithe.

Does my frustration mean I have lost faith? No. I have done everything that  I possibly can, yet I have still come up short. A quick side lesson from this is no matter how hard you work, you cannot earn salvation, it is a gift from God, paid for by Jesus.

So what do I do now that I have done everything I can and I still fall short of meeting my basic needs?  I wait and trust God is in control. What did Jesus say when He was in the boat and his disciples were afraid of the storm? – Matthew 8:26a ‘Your faith is so small! Why are you so afraid?’ There He was sleeping peacefully on a boat that was getting rocked by the storm and would have slept peacefully through the entire storm had the disciple in their fear woke Him up. Yes a storm may be all around me but He is in the boat with me. Now I do know this in my mind it is getting this message listened to by my body that is the challenge. Yes I am frustrated because of what  I can’t do right now. I am however thankful that God is compassionate and understanding and just because I don’t feel good right now it does not change who He is or our relationship. So now that I  have done everything that I can? For now I will rest and I know He is for me. He is the Good Father. I will trust in Him with my whole heart and lean not on my own understanding.

 

 

An Old T.V. Show And A Thought 3/10/19

Watching an old episode of the T.V. show ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’ in which the son, Jonathan had won a writing contest. His piece being titled friends and patriots. After he wins, the Captain tells him that he missed a some facts so Jonathan rewrites his report. When he reads it publicly, the audience gets so upset that Jonathan does not get to finish reading. The arguments go from that he did not read his original paper, to that he is not american. No one listens to what he wrote in its’ entirety. Close minded and looking for something they disliked and disagreed with, they stopped listening.
This made me think. How many times do we tune out, and stop listening because something we are listening to or reading is not what we like or agree with. We do not finish listening or reading. We will even interrupt and be disruptive keeping others from hearing what is being said, or written.
I think we can sometimes treat our bibles in the same manner. We come across a passage that is unpleasant and I have been told that is no longer important because it is Old Testament and was done away with. The problem with that is Jesus is the Word and leaving any part out would be leaving a part of Him out. Many stay away from Revelation because they don’t think it pertains to them, and it is too scary. However it does begin with that it is a blessing.
We want to take the good parts and leave the painful parts out. We want beauty as we see it, and we refuse to listen to anything unpleasant or disagreeable. Yet if you read through the entire Bible from beginning to end you get the whole picture. A picture designed and created by The One True Loving and Living God, our Creator.
Right now we only know in part, and see in part, and look through a mirror dimly, but the day will come when will see and we will know. For now let us stop long enough to listen and not form any opinion until you have heard all that is being said, without verbal or mental interruption. Let us not add nor take away. Let us finish what has begun.

 

 

Question of the day / February 24, 2019

I have a few questions for you and I hope that you will answer with your honest opinion.

Are laws and commands the same?

If you disobey a command does that mean you have broken a law?

If you have broken a law have you broken a command?

 

Really makes you think doesn’t it?  Jesus fulfilled the law when He was crucified. I have been told it no longer exists because of this. So then why are the Commandments important? Jesus did say if you love Me, you will keep my commands.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately and would really like to hear from others. So this post is not for me to share my opinions or point of view, but to see and listen to what others have to share.
So I hope that you will take the time and share your insights with the rest of us.
I am truly looking forward to what you have to say. So please leave your answers in the comments.

Thought for the day February 24, 2019 / All For One And One For All

All for one and one for all! A phrase you have heard, especially if you have ever read or seen any movie on the Three Musketeers. For what ever reason today the phrase came to me and made me think of Christ Jesus, God who is our Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit.

The three are one, all though they are separate beings. You cannot get to the Father except through the Son and vice versa. They are One. All for one is taking on a new way of seeing. For though they are all one and they are also one for all. Who is all? We are the all, for we are all of mankind.

God the Father did not send His Son to redeem men of one race or breeding, of one class, of one country, of even one religion. Jesus did not die for religious purposes. He died paying for the sins of every person who would ever live on this earth. Why because He loves us,and Our Father loves us. It was for love that He died. ‘For there is no greater love, than for one to lay down his life for another.

All you have to do to receive this gift is to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  The Helper he sent was His Holy Spirit, and it is available to anyone who receives Jesus they have received His Spirit, and if you have received Jesus, you have received the Father. All for one and one for all.

In the story of the Musketeers, they made a choice to serve and fight for what they believed in. What do you believe?

Just a Thought.

Is it only in my mind? On a hill / The story continues

Is it only in My Mind? On a hill chapter 3
Julie Sheppard

There you are, my friend. I am glad you wanted to see me again. The last time we were together was not pleasant for you. Ah, but now you are like David who destroyed his giant with a slingshot and a stone. You look good today. You no longer look as you are carrying the weight of the world. Is that a smile I see on your face? I amuse you, don’t I?
The sun is bright and not a cloud in the sky today. I love the sound of children laughing as they play. Everyone is out and enjoying this beautiful day. Do you see that boy sitting over there? He does not look like he is having any fun, sitting alone. Wait! He has a friend and they brought him an ice cream cone, how sweet. His day has just gotten better. It does not take much to make a little one’s day better. A friend and something sweet, and all is better.
I am enjoying our new-found friendship. You are no longer a skeptic. I can see in your eyes that you are opening up to so many new possibilities. So shall we just sit here and maybe feed the ducks? No? You are ready for another journey. Well then my dear friend let us take a walk. We will go to a place that is more peaceful than the last. It is where I became friends with a very special and dear man He came up to me one day and took me there and showed me beauty I had not seen before.
Who is this man? He is a friend that has and never will let me down. One day he started talking to me and I wanted to listen to what he had to say. As we walked and talked I found that he had led me to this place. When I stopped to look at where we were, I see what you now see. Beautiful rolling hills surrounding that small pasture down below. You want to know more about my friend. Why did I stop to talk with him? I think it was his eyes. They are gentle and kind, but at the same time there was a fire in them I cannot explain. You could say I was like a moth drawn to the light, and this is the place he lead me to.
It may seem strange that a man I never knew before had just become the most important friend in my life. That is what happened though. I am not sure how long it took for us to walk to this place, but when we arrived our friendship was sealed. We have not gone a day since without talking. I share everything with him.
Yes, I did share with him about our last trip together. I hide nothing from him.He would like to meet you. He is over on the next hill sitting under that tree. You saw him already? Yes he watches his sheep carefully. He does not take his eyes off of them for a moment. He is both protector and provider. He is a good shepherd. He does not let harm come to his sheep. However, when one does wander off they do sometimes get hurt, but he goes after them and brings them home.
The first time I stood on that hill over there with him, we looked over this little valley, The sheep were below, and he pointed to them. Then he asked me to do something for him. No, he did not bring me here to make demands, and if I said no he would still love me. What he asked me to do had honored and humbled me all at once. He stood beside me with his arm around me and asked me to care for his sheep. He was telling me that he trusted me with the lives of those he cared for. We had only just met but he had known me long before we met. The person who I had been was not one I would trust, but there we stood together and he was giving me a chance of a lifetime. I could not say no, so I said yes. H now uses me to go after the ones who wander off and get lost. No man has ever honored me with more.
He is waiting for us, let us go to him now. He knows we are here, he just did not want to be rude and interrupt our conversation. he is truly looking forward to meeting you. i know that you have a lot of questions. He is the one with the answers. I will take you to him now.

Is it only in my mind? the story continues/ Facing the monsters

Continuing the story(fiction can be a lot of fun)

   You have come back my new friend. It is good to see you again. Would you like some coffee? I have been enjoying watching the clouds and all their wonderful shapes. Yes it is a little cold outside. I like this table. I can see so much when I sit here.  I am missing my park bench, but the coffee is hot and the aroma lifts my spirit.                                                   Well since you have come back I am sure that you would like to talk about more than coffee and how it smells. I know I should probably share a memory of one of my journeys that was more enjoyable, but talking about smells has reminded me of a specific scent though. Unfortunately it is not as pleasant as the smell of this coffee. It does however take me to a place that I once thought I would like to forget, but now I am glad that I can remember. If it was unpleasant why is it good that I remember it? I will tell you about the place and the events that took place. I hope that you do not think I am trying to scare you with this story, but if you are willing to listen, I will tell you how it is not one of horror but of victory.
Where shall I begin? I love the smell of gardenia flower. Their fragrance would come to me at times when I could not see any flowers around me, but I could smell them as if they were right in front of my nose. On that day it was not the sweet scent of this flower that had hit my nostrils. It was so strong I could almost taste it. The metallic scent of blood flooded me, and in an instant I found myself in a ring of fire. I was covered in blood and they hid themselves in the flames as they struck me with their blades.
Who were my attackers? To be honest they stayed well hidden but their blows did make contact. The flames were high but they did not close in on me, and I did not feel more than the heat of the fire. In my own hand was a sword that even covered in the blood of my attackers held a silver shine. Surrounded and unable to see my attackers, I could only see their blades as they cut me. The strange thing was that even though most of my body was being cut, I was able to stand and not grow weak.
I struck at the flames with my own blade and it made contact. I could hear them fall one by one as the screamed with their last breath. The fire seemed to be a wall of protection, because even though their weapons made it through the monsters were kept behind it. They could not reach me. I fought with all of the strength I had. Wondering where it had come from. Then standing in the middle of the ring of fire I took one last swing with my sword holding my head high, I let out a scream. It was over, and I was still standing. The monsters were dead and consumed by the fire.
The blood I had been covered in was gone. Only scars remained. Scars seem ugly to those who do not know how they were etched into ones body. To me they are badges of victory. I like to call mine beauty marks. Yes I may be strange, but I like I how I see things.
This place that I had traveled to, invited by a scent I did not like, had a purpose. I asked you in our last meeting if you had monsters you needed to destroy. Well now you know why I asked that question. There are places we must go that are not pleasant and causes us pain. That place or places can make us stronger and can take us to a better place if we will take a stand and not become discouraged, even when under attack.
You see that attack was meant to scare me off of my journey. Yes the monsters wanted to take my life, but all they could do was swing their blades at me. They could not take my life, because I would not give it to them and the fire protected me as a shield.
You look a little pale my friend. Is it because you do not believe me, or is it because my memory has terrified you? Let me show you my arm. The scar beneath the inside of my elbow has grown faint with time and can barely be seen unless you are looking for it. You can feel it if you want to. Oh, I forgot about that scar. Yes it is where a blade hot from the fire struck me, or should I say pierced me. It was actually on my hand between my thumb and forefinger when it happened. I have grown since then and this scar marks my growth as it travels up my arm, which is now upon my wrist.
I did not just survive that day. Through blood and fire I was delivered from my enemies. The monsters who wanted me dead are now dead themselves. That was a good journey and it took me from a place you could call hell and gave me a better life. It is a memory I am now happy to look back upon.
I think the look I see upon your face is one of fear. You do have monsters who are tormenting you. You are afraid to fight them alone. I will go with you, do not be afraid. You too will slay them and find a much better place. No, we do not have to go there right now, but we should go soon. For now drink your coffee. Would you like some pie?