Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Off With the Old....On With the New

(New shoes.......Old shoes)

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5: 17


We have officially been in the new millennium for several years now. The computer age. The fast age. The intelligent age. Every area of our lives has become so dependent on computers now. Have you ever thought about what would happen if something should permanently shut down all the computers? So many things completely depend on computers to do their "thinking", that if they should crash, whole industries would shut down. The world as we know it would cease. Could we go back to Grandpa's era? Maybe not comfortably, but we could adjust. Could we go back to a slower lifestyle after being so used to the hustle and bustle of our lives now?

Many folks are constantly getting the latest edition of everything. They want the most modern house, modern furniture, gadgets that will do whatever they are programmed to do, the latest clothes, the latest hairstyle, or the latest model car. I'm not against any of the above unless something of value is tossed aside just because it is no longer in style. We need to remember the value of old things in this modern day and time, too. Things such as antique homes, furniture or cars. Things like keepsakes from the past. And most of all, the value of old friends. Who can put a price on a friend who has been there through thick and thin and still loves you?

And there's our heritage...our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents.... the ones who have molded our lives and made us what we are. New things are great and exciting but should only be blended with, and not take the place of, the old.

I have a wonderful Friend who is older than time itself yet He is new every day. His name is Jesus and I know most of you know Him, too. He was in the past, He's in the present, and He will be in the future. We need only to depend wholly on Him for our security. So if you're planning to "put off the old and put on the new" when the new year rolls around in a few days, please plan to only put off the old things that are holding you back and not anything that you would regret throwing away.

And when you "put on the new", just look at it first to see if it is really becoming to you...whether it is new clothing or a new habit or trend. Truly these are exciting days. We don't know what lies around the corner but we can rest assured that the Lord Jesus Christ will be anywhere His children are.

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the OLD paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are NEW every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Happy New Year!

Marilyn

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Past

Christmas 2008 is now past. Here's what our gifts looked like before they were passed out yesterday. So much time and thought went into selecting just the right presents for each person. So little time and thought went into the way we tore into them sending paper flying everywhere! :) I had promised some of you that I would post some pictures of our Christmas decorations but have just not had the time until now.

Here is our mantle. So many memories. The candy dish in the corner was a gift from a friend many years ago. I have moved it from the lamp table to the mantle top because it is such a nice heavy crystal dish and I don't want little hands to accidently break it. The stockings you can see hanging on the wall are made by hand. The oldest one I made for our daughter's first Christmas.....she is 31 now! You can't tell so much in the picture but the mirror is scratched and worn from many years of use and cleaning. A friend gave it to us just after we first got married 35 years ago. It came out of his Daddy's house. It's a very old vintage beveled mirror. Not the latest in decoration....nothing in my house is! ha.....but I love it!

Our tree! Yes, it's tiny but perfect for our small house. We don't have room for a bigger one at all. This has fiber optic lights that change colors but for some reason did not show up in the picture so it looks a little drab. This is my "angel corner". A good friend gave me the angel ornament on top of the tree and the smaller angel beside the church. The church is lit up also but doesn't show up. It was given to me by a friend when my Dad passed away. It has a wind up music box that plays "Amazing Grace". The hand crocheted doily it is sitting on was made by my mother forty or fifty years ago. The angel picture on the wall was given to my husband by his grandmother many, many years ago.

Our dinner table. We had so much food that we left it on the stove and the counter-top and had a buffet style dinner. It was such a blessing to see all our family together again and enjoying fellowship around the table.

Have you ever seen something whiz by so fast that it was just a blur? Is it just me or do you feel it too? It seems like the past few weeks leading up to Christmas went by in a blur! Sort of like this picture of our little 3-year-old granddaughter yesterday! She could not be still for "GanMamma" to take her picture!

I'm looking forward to 2009 and what the Lord will be doing in our lives then. He has been so good to allow me to meet so many new friends here in the blogging world. You have enriched my life greatly and I am thankful.

May God bless you!

Marilyn

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Word Made Flesh



“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” is certainly true! Everywhere I look lately I see evergreens trimmed with lights and bows and tinsel; wreaths hanging on doors; bells ringing on street corners. People seem to be scurrying and worrying trying to get all their last minute gifts bought before Christmas Day. It was after watching others… and myself …that I started thinking about how even we Christians can so easily forget the real meaning of Christmas. I thought about how sometimes I get so caught up in the excitement of holiday secrets and surprises that I don’t even take the time to worship the One whom we celebrate coming to earth in the flesh!

In fact, I really can’t fathom the reality of God …God Himself…coming to earth as a man. That in itself shows His great love for mankind…even before he died for us on the cross. I started thinking about missionary friends that I have known over the years who have left behind worldly goods and have gone and dwelt among the peoples to whom God has called them for a witness. When a missionary is humble enough to live as simple a life as the people he is called to serve, then those people are touched and are more likely to listen to the gospel.

A few days ago I was listening to a program on the radio. The host was interviewing a man who was a pastor to homeless people in a large city. This man made the comment that for the past fourteen years he had lived a homeless life himself. He said he felt that he was better able to minister to the homeless when they could see that he had the same problems that they had…in effect he was “homeless” but he was not “hopeless”. He had the great hope of eternal life through salvation and was able to share this hope with others. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3: 7”

In Luke’s account of the birth of Christ, the shepherds came and saw the Saviour lying in a manger. But even the shepherds…after the angels had come and given them a personal introduction to Jesus…could not comprehend the wonder of it all.
“And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2: 18

God Himself knew that it would be a mystery to human understanding. But through the birth of Jesus, His sinless life, and His atoning death, we can… with the eyes of faith… trust what He has done to be sufficient to cleanse us from all sin. Then we can truly know and celebrate what Christmas is all about. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:27


May each of you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas surrounded by those you love is my prayer!

Marilyn

Friday, December 19, 2008

What the Influence of the "Good News" Can Have on the Bad News

I want to dedicate this post to all my co-labors at the Sav-A-Life Center! They are indeed a wonderful group of ladies!



She was young. Very young. And whether through innocence, ignorance, or impetuousness; the reading on the pregnancy test was unmistakably positive! She was not happy about the news. She sat in the counseling room of the pregnancy center with her head down, soft tears rolling down her silky cheeks. What hope, what good news could she expect from hearing that her whole life was changing?

As I always do when I counsel with a client (since ours is a Christian based center), I asked about her relationship with God. She said she really didn’t have one. That was my cue to tell her about Jesus and how much He loves her. I explained how Jesus was born to live a sinless life so that He could pay for her sins and offer her eternal life. “Are you a sinner?” I asked. She wasn’t sure. I took the Bible and showed her we all are sinners in need of forgiveness. I shared Scripture with her that says even the best of people can not measure up to what God demands! (“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” Isaiah 64: 6a) But in contrast, even the worst of people can be saved. (“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1: 18) But she was not yet ready to be saved. She didn’t understand. The shock of her pregnancy was too fresh; too raw in her mind to think of anything else.

I didn’t despair because my job is just to sow the seed. Others come along to water it; God will make it bring forth fruit. So I just smiled and encouraged my very young client to come back to the center for our series of free parenting classes. To my surprise she agreed to start the classes in a few weeks.

When she came for her first class I used the story of Joseph for our devotional. I showed her how many hard and hurtful things had happened to him but how God had turned all that around and blessed Joseph. “He can do the same for you!” I encouraged her. Again I gave her the gospel story of how Jesus came to earth to live and then die for the sins of each of us. Again, she declined to accept this free gift of salvation.

Her baby was due in December. I could not help but think about Mary. Of course Mary’s circumstances were vastly different but yet there were similarities. They were both very young. They were both unmarried when they found they were with child. They were both scorned when the news was made public. Of course Mary was completely without fault. She had not committed adultery. She was still a virgin. The Child she carried was the Son of God. Still she had to face the shame of being pregnant without first being married to Joseph. I believe it made me care more deeply about this young client of mine as I saw these similarities but also the differences. Mary had a deep belief and knowledge that the child she carried was God’s Son come to earth in the flesh. My client refused any relationship at all with that same Son.

Then the baby was born. A boy. A beautiful, healthy little boy. And when she got well enough after the baby was born….she brought him along and came back for more classes. On one of these visits I said to her, “I’m still praying that…”, and before I could finish my sentence her face lit up with an enormous smile and she said, “I got saved last Sunday!” Well, to say the least, it was all I could do to keep from shouting right there in the counseling room! Praise the Lord! What a wonderful ending to a woeful beginning! Her glowing face was a stark contrast to the tears and fears of her first visit. And all because God sent His Son to be born of Mary, to live a sinless life, and then give that sinless life on Calvary’s cross to pay for the sins of humanity. Not only on Christmas but everyday we can receive the Good News that began in Bethlehem! It's amazing what effect this "Good News" can generate...even in the worst of circumstances. I’m glad that I have been privileged to hear that Good News and to receive eternal life because of it.


Merry Christmas!

Marilyn

(****Note! To protect the privacy of all our clients, this story is a combination of several instances I have seen and experienced at the center and not the lifestory of any particular young woman. ****)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Reason for the Season

When I went into town today, I noticed several signs in front of stores that read "Happy Holidays". Bah Humbug! Happy Holidays sounds just so...I don't know....well, plain! But now take the word Christmas! What warm feelings and memories flood our minds with just the sound of that word! Christmas! How sad it makes me to see people try to take Christ out of Christmas. We call out, “Merry Christmas”, to our friends. How much more that implies than just the popular “Happy Holidays”.

In Luke 2:1-20 we are given the story of the first Christmas—Jesus coming to earth and being born in a stable in Bethlehem. This same Jesus, after living a sinless life, died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. The band of angels who came to proclaim the birth of Jesus said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

For just a minute let’s take the word Christmas and change it to read like this: “CHRIST—MUST”. If we then break down Luke 2:14 into three parts, we can see three ways that “CHRIST—MUST” make a difference in our lives as Christians.

1. “Glory to God in the highest….” We can give all glory to God only if we can see ourselves as sinners and Christ as our only hope. When we accept his payment for our sins, CHRIST—MUST change our lives.“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

2. “….and on earth peace….” With salvation CHRIST—MUST give us perfect peace. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)

3. “….good will toward men…” CHRIST—MUST give us a love for people, especially other Christians. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

So, this Christmas if we are to have (1) different lives, (2) a peaceful heart, and (3) a love for others, CHRIST—MUST be the REASON FOR THE SEASON.

If you’ve never accepted Christ’s gift of salvation, what a wonderful Christmas present He offers you !! Merry Christmas!!

Marilyn

Friday, December 12, 2008

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Late this afternoon when returning from doing my annual "day" of Christmas shopping, I turned a curve in the road and saw the most beautiful sight! The moon was just coming up over the eastern horizon, peeping it's head over the cold,bare tree limbs. What a picture! My first thought was that I was so aggravated at myself for not having my camera in my purse at just that moment! After I got home and carried my packages into the house, I found my camera and went outside to see if I could get a shot of the moon from here. It's not as good as I would have liked but perhaps you can use your imagination. It is indeed very beautiful tonight!

The moon. The lesser light. The one that rules the night. The light that really isn't a light. Huh? The first time that was explained to me as a youngster I was so surprised! "You mean the moon isn't a light?" "No, it just reflects the light of the sun!" Remember the verses that were the inspiration for the children's song "This Little Light of Mine"? "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Matthew 5: 14 And so there is our reason for our Christian witness. We are to be light to those we come in contact with who are lost in the darkness of sin. But we are just, at best, a mirror. We are not THE light....we are the reflection of His Light.

And now we come to the Reason for the Christmas Season. The reason we have Christmas is because THE Light of the World was born one night in a stable.....a perfect package of God and man all wrapped into One.
"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1: 9-12

He is the Light......as Christians we should be His reflection. Shine brightly this Christmas season Christian friends!

Marilyn

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Child is This?

"What Child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping?
(William C. Dix)

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"... Isaiah 9: 6

What a joyous thing is the birth of a little baby! There's nothing any sweeter than to hold a newborn child and smell the fragrance of new life on that little head! I’ve been reminded of that through a very personal event this month—the birth of our first grandson!

Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that my Savior, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, was once a little baby Himself. Such a responsibility Mary and Joseph faced as they were chosen to raise Jesus in their home; yet such an honor. The Bible tells us clearly that they were obedient to God in all things.
"And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth." Luke 2:39

Because of this, Jesus had a strong foundation for his life. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." Luke 3: 40 By the time Jesus was twelve, he had begun to publicly display his desire of doing the work God had sent him to do here on earth.
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. Luke 2: 46-47

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all children could have the home life that Jesus had? Especially during this time of the year it is sad to think that there are little innocent children who never hear the name of Jesus spoken except when used as a curse word. Just now on the news they showed the picture of a mother who has been arrested because they found her five-week-old baby living in a "meth" lab she was running! Such a shame! Children who are unwanted, unloved and abused are evidence of a society that has turned its back on God.

May God give you who read this a special opportunity this Christmas season, to be a blessing to some child. It might be your own son or daughter that you have been ignoring because of your busy lifestyle. Or maybe you could be a real blessing to some hurting child somewhere that you don't even know by giving through your church to missions, etc.

I pray that the Lord will give me the opportunity to help a child this year to see the love of Christ and the real meaning of Christmas.
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. " 1 Corinthians 13: 11-13

Never forget...."Jesus loves the little children"!

Marilyn

Friday, December 5, 2008

What Prize Are You Trying to Win?

Most people would agree that self confidence is a good thing . But usually I am in short supply of said self confidence. A couple of weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to enter a writing contest. "Yep!", I said to myself, "I can do that!" You know what? I was so self confident that I had a good chance at winning one of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd prizes that I even emailed one of the ladies in charge to discuss how I would arrange the receiving of one of the prizes! She very sweetly and humbly told me we would cross that bridge if and when we came to it. Oh my....I can feel the heat in my face now just thinking about how "self confident" I was about that contest!

I had been eagerly awaiting the results of the contest. Yesterday I received the email I was waiting for....but it wasn't exactly as I had pictured it would be! My name was NOT at the top of the page by 1st Prize! Nor by 2nd Prize! Nor by 3rd Prize! Not even in the Top Ten!!! Out of 35 entries mine was......number 28! In case you're wondering, that is WAY down the list! I mean WAY down! ha

It has actually been pretty comical after I got over the shock! I can just see the Lord looking down at me saying, "What is your problem woman? When are you going to remember that if and when you write anything that is any good it is when you do it to bring honor and glory to ME.....not to YOU!" Oh my, I'm a hard-headed student! Maybe this will teach me a lesson.

It did remind me of this verse:
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12: 3

I hope to remember in the future that my main undertaking in life should be that
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3: 14

May we press toward that prize together!

Marilyn

Friday, November 28, 2008

Full-Filled

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! I don't know about the rest of you but I think I ate too much! ha I got FULL and I got FILLED with the Thanksgiving Dinner that my daughter and I cooked for our family. (Normally DIL would have helped cook too but we let her rest since it was her birthday AND since she is due to deliver our grandson at any minute now!)It was a great time of eating and visiting with the kids. Our oldest son asked before dinner if I had assigned seats at the table yet and I told him that I hadn't. So he suggested for this one to sit here and that one to sit there until he had named everyone at the table. There were 9 of us. I immediately recognized that he had put himself and his brother and sister at approximately the same place that they used to always sit when they were young and living at home. That was very nostalgic to me. It brought back many good memories. Sprinkled in between our three kids were a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, a girlfriend, and a grandbaby! We all ate until we were absolutely FULL...and FILLED!

In case you are wondering what was on our plates, here is what our menu consisted of:

Chicken & cornbread dressing
Giblet gravy
Cranberry sauce
Creamed potatoes
English peas
Green beans
Whole kernel corn
Candied potato pumpkin
Sweet potato casserole (daughter made this yummy dish)
Deviled Eggs (daughter made these too)
Home-made whole wheat rolls
4-Layer Strawberry Cake
Pumpkin Pie
Sweet Tea

Ummmmmmmm! Makes my mouth water just looking at the picture and thinking about it! I usually only make dressing at Thanksgiving and at Christmas so I make a huge pan. Then after we eat all we can hold at dinner, I get out the empty Cool Whip bowls that I have saved and fill them up with dressing for the kids to take home with them. Our daughter laughingly reminded us of the time when she was attending college about 12 hours from home and wanted to take some dressing back with her. We froze a plastic container full of the dressing and then when it was time for her to leave we wrapped it really well and she put it in the middle of her clothes in her suitcase. Since she flew back to school it didn't have time to defrost and she was able to heat and eat it and share with her roommate who had never tasted southern cornbread dressing before!

Seems like I always want to be eating something! I am almost always hungry! But that's my physical body. On the other hand I sometimes have to force feed myself the spiritual food that I need! Such a pity that I don't hunger after the Word of God as much as I do food. It's even more important! Jesus said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6: 51 (KJV )

My goal is to be more hungry for the Living Bread than for a piece of cake! I like to be "full and filled" with food but I'd rather be "fulfilled" with the Spirit of God. How about you? What do you hunger for?

Marilyn

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks? Or, No Thanks!

For over twenty years I taught a Sunday School class of children aged six to eight years old. Every Christmas I would try to give my Sunday school pupils a small gift. I remember one year I gave a little metal car or truck to each of the boys in my class. As I handed the gifts out after class was over, one of the little boys threw his car violently down on the ground! He told me in no uncertain terms that he did NOT like the present I had brought him! In his words, “That’s NOT what I wanted!” I reached down, picked up the toy, and calmly told him that he didn’t have to take the present….that I would just take it and give it to some other little boy. Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well with him either! He then began to beg profusely to have the little car back. Of course, I gave it to him …but with mixed feelings. I was glad that in the end he decided he wanted my gift, but sorry that he had been so ungrateful in the beginning.

If we were to be honest, I wonder how many of those same selfish traits you and I exhibit in our everyday lives? When God gives us food to eat each day how many times do we turn up our noses if it’s not something rich and fattening? When God provides clothes to wear how often do we complain because they are not our favorite color or the latest style?

At times I am actually doing the same thing with gifts from God that my little student did with his Christmas gift. I throw my gift from God on the ground, stamp my feet, push my lips into a pout and say to Him…”That’s NOT what I wanted!” How childish and immature I must seem to Him. He deserves my thanks and praise always! He continually gives far and above more than I need. (“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12: 27-31 KJV)

As I tried to start writing something about Thanksgiving, all I could think about was how UN-thankful people…including myself…. have become. I know this is not right because we are told in the Bible that we should give thanks always. (“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Ephesians 5:20 KJV ) When I begin to think of all the things I should be (and am) thankful for in this life, the list is unending. I am above all most thankful for the grace that the Lord Jesus Christ has shown in saving me and giving me eternal life. (“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” II Corinthians 9: 15 KJV)

During this Thanksgiving season, I hope you will join with me as I try to be more aware of and more thankful for all God's many gifts (“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100: 4-5)

As you enjoy this week of Thanksgiving may you look back on it as a time of "Thanks-Given" to Him!

Marilyn

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Happened to Thanksgiving?


“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100: 4-5(KJV)

A few nights ago I was watching the local news when the news anchor made a statement that made me both mad and sad. He remarked that although many people still had jack-o-lantern pumpkins sitting on their front porches, the department stores already had their decorations out for “our next holiday”. Well, I knew very well that he was talking about Christmas but that is not our next holiday. What happened to Thanksgiving?the oldest, purest, truly American holiday we celebrate? And, please!…..don’t call it “Turkey Day” either! It’s true what the news anchor said….the stores are all getting ready for the Christmas rush. Why is that? Why do people decorate for Halloween and Christmas but almost totally ignore Thanksgiving?

I think that the main reason may be that so many people have become self-sufficient to the extent that they believe they have made themselves what they are and don’t owe any thanks to anyone. More and more people are forgetting that everything they have ultimately has been given to them by a loving God.
(“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1: 17)

We have such a high standard of living in our country that many people have never had to do without the basic necessities and therefore are not grateful for the things they have. Even many of the ones who do live in poverty believe that someone “owes” them a better life and may not be grateful for the things they do have. (“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” II Timothy 3: 2 ) God has been gradually pushed farther and farther in the background in the past twenty-five years or so and now this great day that was set aside to give thanks to God for all He has done for us is reduced to nothing more than “Turkey Day”.
(“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100: 3)

As Christians, let us truly give thanks as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year and remember that all our blessings are because of the wonderful mercies and love of our Lord. We don’t want our children and grandchildren to ask us some day…”Can you tell me the story of how you used to have a Thanksgiving Day?” Let’s keep the day alive!

“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100: 5

May each of you have a blessed time of giving thanks this year is my prayer!

Marilyn

(this post is also in the November edition of JournEzine HERE )

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Sticky Predicament

I'm afraid I may have overeaten today! We just finished a good old country dinner of fresh turnip greens, turnips, macaroni & cheese and cornbread! Mmmmm. Nothing like a good hot pone of cornbread fresh out of an old cast iron skillet!

Do any of ya'll cook with cast iron anymore? I have one skillet that I use only to cook bread in....either cornbread or biscuits. Lately I have gotten so frustrated with that skillet! For any of you who might not cook with cast iron I'll tell you this.....it has to be "seasoned" first so everything doesn't stick. Then after that the food turns loose much easier. So for a long, long time I prided myself on this one skillet being so easy to use. I would cook a pan of cornbread and when it was done all I had to do was just gently tip the skillet over and the cornbread would fall out onto the waiting plate just as pretty as you please!

Then a few months ago I guess I must have accidentally used the skillet to cook something else. Some kind of meat or some vegetables. I'm not sure what it was. The next time I cooked cornbread and tipped the skillet over expecting the bread to fall out on the plate as usual, I was sadly surprised to find that it didn't! It just sat there! Stuck in the pan! I had to grab my trusty thin bladed spatula and try to coax it gently from the pan. But gently would not do. I had to forcefully practically scrape it out of the pan. And then instead of a beautifully smooth and crispy crust on the bread I had a crumbly torn-up mess! Plus another mess in the pan to clean up instead of being able to just rinse and dry as usual.

It's taken a long time but the pan is almost....not totally....but almost back to the "seasoned" condition I like. Most days it only takes one very gentle touch of the spatula under the cornbread and it pops out nice and pretty. One day it did actually fall out like it used to do all the time and I wanted to celebrate!

I wonder if God ever thinks about us in that way? Sometimes we seem to be fully "seasoned" in the Word of God and we are able to let the worries and cares of this world just slide off our shoulders. And then at other times it seems like we let any and everything bothersome stick to us! Then we have to spend our time scraping and chipping away at the mess that, had we been "seasoned" right, would never have stuck!

Last night I had a nice visit with one of our sons. I was confiding to him that I was surely concerned and fearful about a lot of things that were happening in our nation and world today. And how that I dreaded hard times and persecutions that might come our way. As you can tell, things were sticking to me pretty badly! His reply to me was that the worst thing I could do was sit and worry and fear what might happen someday! That God had not given us the spirit of fear and bondage but of freedom. He didn't use these words but he basically reminded me that if God brings us to it, He will bring us through it! What an encouragement that was to me. Son was certainly all "seasoned" up and able to let the cares and worry slide right off his back!

I think that is what God wants of Christians. When we are all "seasoned up" we need to go and help encourage others who have gotten "stuck" in the cares of the world. Thanks son for encouraging Mama last night!

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Romans 8: 15-18 (KJV)

May God bless you!

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes!


A few years ago I was trying hard to teach a Sunday school lesson to a rather unruly group of seven and eight year old boys and girls one morning. There was one little boy who persisted in interrupting me with questions or remarks that had nothing whatsoever to do with the lesson that day. “Would you please be quiet?” I finally blurted out! The little fellow stopped in mid-sentence and looked at me in surprise. A classmate jeeringly added his two cents... “He’s always gettin' in trouble! Nobody likes him at school. He don’t have any friends!” I thought to myself, “What a rude thing for a little boy to say about his peer. How that must hurt!” About that time another boy in the class piped up and announced, “Well, I’ll be his friend !” The little guy who had been the focus of this conversation looked as if he’d been given a hundred dollars. That simple offer of friendship seemed to amaze him. I thought about my reaction to his constant interruptions and decided that maybe the lesson that God wanted me to teach that day was not the one written in my Sunday School book but one of His love for each and every person in the world, especially little children.

The situation reminded me of a verse in the Old Testament…Proverbs 10: 12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” The first little boy’s comments “stirred up strife” but the love in the other boy’s declaration, “I’ll be his friend!”, covered all imperfections! Out of the mouth of babes! I suppose that may be why Jesus said that unless we come to Him as little children we cannot know Him.
(“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Mark 10: 15)

Children have the ability to love totally, completely, and without the promise of being loved in return. They don’t ask, “What’s in it for me?” How nice it would be if I could take the wisdom that comes with age and combine it with the love that only a child can give. What a full life that would be. The only thing better would be the fullness of life in Christ.
(“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3: 19)

We can have the fullest life imaginable through God’s gift of eternal life. God will give this life eternal if we will only accept Him and His free pardon of sin.
(“And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24: 7)

People still look for a “Fountain of Youth”. And there are some of us who have found it! With eternal life in Christ, we will live forever with Him in a land “where we’ll never grow old”.
(“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new….” Revelation 21: 4-5a)

My prayer is that you, too, have received eternal life through Jesus Christ!

Marilyn

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!



In the USA, today is Veteran's Day. I want to take just a minute and say THANK YOU to all the Veterans that I know and those I don't know who may read this blog. Thank you for leaving your families and homes and perhaps your country to go and do whatever job our country demanded of you. Thank you to the men and women who came before us and gave their time, energy, blood, sweat and tears to make sure we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

A special Thanks to my husband who served in Vietnam and to our oldest son who served two deployments to Iraq. Either or both of these men would still today be willing to give their lives to defend "truth, justice, and the American way"!

There are other "soldiers" who I want to remember today also. The Christian Soldiers who have stood firm and shed tears and even their blood to promote the love of Christ and reflect His light to the world. The problems and troubles in this ole world seem to get darker and darker but I suppose that will make the light of Christ shine brighter through our lives if we will let it. A favorite saying of one of our friends concerning the uncertainities of our day is this: "It's getting gloriously dark!"

Paul laid out a Battle Plan for Christians in Ephesians 6: 12-17. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

We can't win any battles and certainly not a war unless we are covered by the protective Hand of God. So let's put on the whole armour of God every day and go out and "fight". Satan is trying to discourage us, deceive us, destroy us, and distance us from God but he can't win if we have the full armour on every day. And by the way...."I've read the back of the book and we win!"

I pray today that God would bless each veteran with a peace in their minds and hearts that can only come from above. You have my honor, my respect, and my thanks!

Marilyn

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things That Go Bump in the Night


Don't you just hate to hear things that go bump in the night? I do! But I've been hearing them a lot lately! The first time it happened I almost jumped out of my skin! It sounded like a rifle shot! But no....it was an ACORN falling from a high branch of the oak tree onto our tin roof. The first acorn fell and landed with a loud BOOM! Soon another fell. Then another. You would think that I would eventually get used to the sound but it still makes me jump almost every time!

Last night the wind got up pretty high and I could hear acorns falling by the dozens. Instead of just an occasional "boom" there was a constant "rat-a-tat-tat" on the old tin roof! My first thought was that I was glad I wasn't standing out there under the tree getting hit by them! ha I'm actually still hearing them falling as I write tonight!

This morning as I walked in our driveway I looked at the acorns strewn on the ground and then at the tall oak tree in the bend of our driveway. When our children were small they had a swing made from an old tire hanging from one of it's large limbs. To this day we still call it the "tire swing tree" even though it's been years since the swing came down. The tattered remains of a once proud yellow bow still hang on the side of this mighty oak. I placed the large yellow ribbon bow there when our oldest son was sent on his first deployment to Iraq with the Marines five years ago and I just have never been able to take it down. A sentimental old tree is the "tire swing tree". But I digress down memory lane!

As I said, this morning I looked at the acorns and I looked at the mighty oak tree. It just seems so awesome that something that big can come from something that small. But shouldn't that give us hope? When I talk to people about God they sometimes turn away or scoff and I am tempted to think..."What's the use? What I can do seems so little." But then I remember that I am just called to sow a seed of faith. Some other Christian will come along and water that seed. Then God will give the increase. He can make something big out of my something little. I remember the song that says, "Little is much when God is in it". My hope is that someday a gospel seed I have planted in some boy or girl, man or woman, will grow into a big and mighty faith that will be strong enough to withstand the storms that life brings.

I Corinthians 3: 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Let us keep "planting" and "watering" as laborers together for Christ!

Marilyn

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bitter or Better?

From the moment we are born till the moment we die, things are constantly happening to us. A former pastor of mine used to say quite often; "Difficult circumstances will either make you bitter or make you better."

I have found this to be true in my own life and have seen it to be so in the lives of those around me. Bitterness is something we all have to struggle with. The word bitterness can mean " to fester", "to be sarcastic", "to be jealous", "to rankle", or "to be hard". We've all had times in our lives when things happened that made us have some of these feelings. Sometimes bitterness can be a secret sin. Someone does some kind of wrong to us…we get bitter….but we want to appear as good in the eyes of our friends so we try to not let this bitterness show. So it doesn't hurt the one we're mad at….it only hurts us. Isn't it ironic that in wanting to hurt someone else, we end up only hurting ourselves?

On the other hand, sometimes bitterness is extremely obvious. Let's say that a mother has lost a son to death and she blames God for all her sorrow. She may curse God and never set foot in a church again. It is very obvious to all who know her that she is a bitter person. There may be another mother down the street who has lost a child, too, but she has continued to be faithful to God and has used the compassion she has found through the death of her own child to become a comfort to other grieving parents. This latter mother has become better through her trial instead of bitter.

The only "good" definition of bitterness I found was "to show sorrow." In Zechariah 12:10 the Bible says, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." This verse paints a picture of how we should feel when the grace of God has been applied to our lives and we realize that it was our sins that "pierced" the Son of God. Then we should be in "bitterness", or in other words, show sorrow for our sins.

Yes, friends, I have found it so very easy in my own life to become bitter but it is so much more rewarding to take our problems, our disappointments, our losses, and our pressing cares to the One who can make all things right. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

While studying to write this article, I came across a quote by Harry Emerson Fosdick that I thought summed up the contrast between bitterness and its opposite, which is love. Here is the quote:

"Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.
Bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it.
Bitterness sours life; love sweetens it.
Bitterness sickens life; love heals it.
Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eyes."

My prayer is that both you and I may have the power of the Love of Christ in our lives "lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." (Hebrews 12:15 b)

Marilyn

Friday, October 31, 2008

Adequate Protection


Anybody else besides me having problems with wasps? I think they are on the warpath because of the change in the weather. They know winter is coming and are looking for a way inside! There are lots of them flying around outside my windows and the eves of my house. Oh, how I hate those mean things! Especially these extra-large sized orange/red ones we have around our place.

One of them stung me a couple of months ago while I was out walking in our driveway. It left a huge red whelp on my skin about the size of a softball (yes! you read that right!) for almost two weeks. So you can see why I am very leary of being stung again!

I have declared war on them! I try to keep my distance from them but if they insist on trying to come in the house and live with me I have to fight back! A little while ago I looked over and saw one of the pesky rascals sitting on the window blinds. I quickly went and put on a pair of my husbands thick leather work gloves. I normally would never, never, ever reach out and touch one of these orange/red beasties but that's what I did....just reached out and squished him with my fingers. Of course the only reason I could do that was because I had Adequate Protection on my hands! He could not sting me through the thick leather gloves! He is now safely disposed of in the kitchen waste basket!

We have a much greater enemy who is constantly on the loose trying to hurt us though! Satan. He wants to hurt, kill and destroy every single one of us! We can't fight him with our bare hands just the same as I can't squish a wasp with my bare hands. We need Adequate Protection to fight Satan. As Christians we most likely know where to find it but it never hurts to brush up on our personal defense methods! We find the instructions here: (Ephesians 3: 10-18 KJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

If we follow God's instructions on how to prepare for war against the devil, his "stinger" can not reach us....just as the stinger of the huge red wasp could not reach my hand when I had on the thick leather glove!

May God bless and protect you is my prayer!

Marilyn

Monday, October 27, 2008

And the Truth Shall Make You Free

Remember the old saying, "We don't appreciate what we have until we lose it" ? Whoever penned that line was probably speaking from experience. Many times we have to experience the loss of a possession or a loved one before we really appreciate what we had.

Could it be that we as Americans might not fully appreciate and recognize what a great thing freedom is until we lose it someday? On November 4 we have the privilege as Americans, to go to the polls and cast our vote for the next President of the USA. Pray about who God would have you vote for! Look at what each candidate stands for. Look at his values. Then go out and do your part by voting. After that, we have to leave our future in God's hands.

As wonderful as "freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc." is in our lives, there is a freedom we can have that is far superior to any of these. That is the freedom the Bible speaks about in John 8: 31-32....".....If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." The Jews who were talking to Jesus said to Him, "What do you mean we shall be free? We are not now in bondage to any man!" To this Jesus replied, "Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth forever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." We can never fully understand what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us except we "continue in His WORD", the Holy Bible. If we want to be free in the truest sense of the word, then we need to take advantage of having God's Word available to us in written form and read it every chance we get.

A few years ago in a meeting at church, I heard a preacher quote a poem about "the Book". It stirred my heart so that I later asked him to write it down for me. I have it written on one of the empty pages in the front of my Bible. I later found out that the name of the poem is actually "The Precious Book", written by Bernice Peyman. Here are the first few verses of the poem. To read the poem in its entirety, click HERE.

"The Precious Book"

(By Bernice Peyman)

'Though the cover is worn

and the pages are torn

'Though places bear traces of tears

Still more precious than gold

is this Book, worn and old

That can shatter and scatter my fears.

This old Book is my guide

'Tis a friend by my side

It will lighten and brighten my way

And each promise I find

Soothes and gladdens my mind

As I read it and heed it each day.

May God help us to do just that….READ and HEED God's Word each day! What a difference that will make in our lives!

God bless you!

Marilyn

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On the Outside Looking In

The other night I went out on the deck to retrieve a pan off the patio table. It was drizzling rain and already dark. As I quickly turned to go back in the house before the drizzle soaked through my clothes, I first glanced through the lighted kitchen window. The rain was sticking to the screen outside the window. I felt as though I were a stranger to my own house.....as if I were there on the outside looking in at someone else's house. Someone else's life. Strange how that sight affected me. I went inside and finished washing the dishes and other chores of the night but could not get the melancholy thoughts of the rainy window off my mind.

It's a lonely thing to be on the outside looking in. We all want to be in the inside loop.....the inner circle....where all the excitement and good times are. None of us want to be excluded and be out in the dark.

In this world we can't always achieve everything we want. We can't always be on the inside. It's inevitable that some of us will be on the outside looking in. But the same is not true in the spiritual world. Everyone who accepts the light that Christ offers will never, ever be left in the dark. As a Christian the "Light of the World"....Jesus Christ.....lives in our heart. It will never be dark. We will always be in Christ. We will never be outside Christ looking in.

1 John 1: 5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Marilyn

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How Do I Love Thee?


HOW DO I LOVE THEE?


"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)



If I sat down and made a list of the ways and times I love people, might it look something like this?


I love you when you make me feel good. I love you when you give me my way. I love you only when you live your life within my values and standards. I love you when you take time to listen to me. I love you when you make me proud to be your friend. I love you when you make the most of the God-given talents you have. I love you when you keep your temper in check. I love you when you resist temptations and sins. I love you when you smell fresh and your face is clean. I love you when you wipe your feet before walking across the clean floor. I love you when you don't argue with me. I love you when you have the same political agenda as I do. I love you when you thank me for the food I have cooked and served when you are in my home. I love you when you make me feel important to you. I love you when you call or email to see how things are going. I love you when you treat me as an equal.


But is this REALLY what it means to love people? Can I love you when you insist you are right and I am wrong and make me feel miserable? Can I love you when you won't embrace the values I so strongly cherish? Can I love you when you do things that make me embarrassed to be seen with you? Can I love you when I see you ignoring and wasting the many talents you have? Can I love you when you scream and yell? Can I love you when you give your flesh control over your mind? Can I love you when you are homeless and dirty and smelly? Can I love you when you treat my home as if it were a hunting camp in the middle of the woods? Can I love you when you insist that I am politically incorrect? Can I love you when you take the gifts I have painstakingly made for you and trample them under your feet? Can I love you when you make me feel as if you could care less if you never saw me again? Can I love you when you ignore me? Can I love you when you look down on me as being inferior to yourself? Jesus comments on this kind of love in Matthew 5:46, "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?"


Just this past week I had a rude awakening to how I view people and just how self-righteous I can be. Because a certain person I know has had many people praying for him and God has answered prayers concerning him, I had him on my mind. I was thinking to myself that because God had been so good to him, he owed it to these people to live the rest of his life in a manner pleasing to God….and thus honoring their prayers at the same time. That was a good thought and partly true I suppose. Then my thoughts turned inward and I looked at myself…..my self-righteous self….and I thought , Oh How much more do I need to live the rest of MY life in a manner pleasing to God because I owe it to Him for saving my sin-sick soul. God didn't wait until I cleaned up my life before He loved me…He loved me as I was. ("We love him, because he first loved us." I John 4:19)


I want to be able to look at myself first and see how gracious our Lord is to love me in the sad condition I am in, even at my very best, and then I want to love my family and friends with just a part of that Godly love He has given to me. ("And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3: 19)



May we let God fill us with His love so that we can love others!


Marilyn

(P.S. Deb also has this post running on the KJV Blog Directory today at http://kjvblogs.blogspot.com/ )

Monday, October 13, 2008

People Are As Different As the Seasons!


My hubby's favorite season...fall.....is pretty much in full swing now. As you can see in the picture of some of the trees in front of our house. The leaves are slowly turning to red, gold, orange and all the hues in between. They're also falling to the ground once the beautiful colors lose some of their brightness and turn a dullish brown. To B. it signals that it's drawing close to time to go out in the woods and hunt squirrels, or turkey, or deer ....whatever the hunting season may be. Or just a time to walk in the woods on a cool day with the leaves crunching under his feet. Or sit under a tree looking through the woods watching the squirrels hurry home with an acorn in their mouth.

But to me fall is a whole different picture. It means more darkness and less daylight. It's depressing to me to see the leaves falling and leaving bare branches. I'm not sure why but it makes me just want to get a book and a cup of hot chocolate and curl up and read.....for days! It seems like a lonesome time to me. Cloudy. Cool. Sometimes rainy. But I know that it's a necessary time. A time for the trees to rest. To be dormant.

So I did a little research on what happens to trees in the fall. It seems that the trees need to get rid of their delicate, fluid filled leaves before the approach of winter weather. The leaves use up all the chlorophyll (that's the "green" in the leaves) they have made during the summer and then the base of the leaf dries up and the leaf falls off. Thus all the openings of the tree are sealed off for the cold winter weather. And those leaves that fall....are they just in the way? Something to just be raked up and burned? Well, maybe so if they happen to be in your yard but out in the woods the fallen leaves are a useful thing. The leaves rot eventually and then make up the part of the soil that helps to hold the moisture so the trees can grow.

The passing of the seasons are fascinating in and of themselves. Some like fall. Some like winter. Some like spring (ME!) Some like Summer. But every season has it reason and its usefulness. It sometimes makes me smile to think of what a huge imagination God must have! What an artist He is! When you look at a colorful tree this fall, think of the One who gave it that beautiful color!

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8: 22 KJV

I think maybe I'm beginning to look forward to fall this year after all, ya'll. :o)

Marilyn

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Light of the World

"Come to the Light, 'tis shining for thee! Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;

Once I was blind, but now I can see—The Light of the world is Jesus."

--Taken from the song by Philip P. Bliss--

One night recently I walked into the bathroom to put some freshly laundered and folded towels on the shelf. Since I was only going to be in there for just a minute and knew exactly where I was headed, I didn't bother to turn on the overhead light, instead relying on the small nightlight. As I passed the mirror, I noticed my reflection and smiled as I thought that I sure did look younger in that dim light. And my....the room sure did look a lot cleaner with the lights dim.

I started thinking then about how I sometimes tend to look at my life…my faults and failures….in the world's light. I can compare my mistakes to those of others and it seems then that mine are not quite so bad. But what good can it do me to examine my life in the dim light the world would have me use? (Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him. Job 18: 5-6). Yet this is just what most of us want to do. We don't want to have the brilliant Light of God's Word searching our hearts. The reason is because we like sweeping the dirt in our life "under the rug", so to speak, and a bright light shows up the dirt. (And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3: 19)

But if we have a relationship with the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, then we are compelled to examine our lives in the light of His Word. There our evil thoughts and deeds are illuminated and can then be dealt with. (But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:21)

We don't have to ever grope around in the "darkness" of this world unless that is our choice. Jesus Christ is always providing a light for us if we will just accept it. (Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8: 12)

May you let your light shine for Him today!

MARILYN