Friday, February 27, 2009

Some Believed: Some Believed Not

Just recently I had the honor of talking to two different people at length about their relationship with Jesus. Neither of them were very sure if they even had a relationship with Him. They were at least searching. And I hope that I was a help to them.

It weighs on my mind though. Sometimes I can't get away from it. I so want them to KNOW Him and the power that is within Him. I worry that maybe I wasn't thorough enough with explaining the gospel. On the other hand, I worry that maybe I talked too long and they lost interest. The bottom line is that....I worry about it!

And I know that isn't my job! My job is just to offer them the gospel as plainly as I know how and then leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit. And some will believe ....and some will not. Some will say Yes to God and some will say No.

These thoughts had been heavy on my heart all day today. I opened my Bible thinking I would start looking for my new verse to memorize the next two weeks and it came open to Acts 28: 23-24. "And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not."

Even the great Apostle Paul was not able to persuade everyone concerning Jesus. Still, I hope and pray that these two precious young ladies I talked with earlier this week will be ones who say YES and who believe on the Name of Jesus. Please pray for them.



Sorry if I was not clear about the verse I quoted above. It's not the one I will be memorizing.....just one that I came across while looking. My new verse will be Isaiah 65: 24.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For Such a Time As This

I am amazed at how totally consumed one (ME!) can get with studying the Bible! I know...I probably think that is a lame statement! And that as a Christian I should have been consumed with Bible study for years now! Oh, I have studied the Bible. I have read it completely through many times. But I also know for a fact that I have just skimmed the surface. There is SO much there! It's like I'm an archeologist and I'm brushing away each layer of earth and finding one treasure after another.

For the past several weeks I have been involved in Beth Moore's newest Bible study called: "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman". I was excited that I was going to get to do this Bible study with my friends at Sav-A-Life. I was excited that I was going to get to see and hear Beth teach on DVD each week. Both being part of a group Bible study and seeing Beth Moore teach on DVD would be new things for me. But I never dreamed of how once I started studying the Scriptures DEPTH....I would wonder how I could have ever read Esther over and over before and not gotten a fraction of the information from it that I am getting now!

One of the most exciting things that we have talked about is from the most famous verse in all the book of Esther. (Esther 4: 14 b....."and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?) It's exciting...and at the same time a little realize that we all live in our own little kingdoms and we were placed where we God...for "such a time as this". Your child needs YOU...not someone else....for "such a time as this". Your husband wants YOU....not another....for "such a time as this". Your employer hired YOU....not someone else....for "such a time as this". Your church needs YOU to volunteer your services...not someone else's...for "such a time as this". God wants YOU to be a witness for Him....for "such a time as this". You, you, you! Me, me me! We are right where we are supposed to be! Now are we going to do what we are supposed to do? Something to think about!

Would love to hear comments from some of the rest of you who are in small group Bible studies. Or studying on your own! What are you studying? How is your study affecting your life?

May God bless you as you live your life "for such a time as this"!


Monday, February 23, 2009

My New Sword

I did something this past weekend that made me both sad and glad at the same time! Can you identify with that? Sounds impossible but that's what happened. I bought a new Bible! A new "Sword"! It made me sad to have to retire my old faithful Bible but glad to find a new one that I liked so well.

I had the same Bible for over thirteen years and it was well...and I mean WELL...past it's prime. But I hate getting a new Bible because usually I know just where to go to find the Scripture I'm looking for in a Bible I've used day in and day out for years! I have passages marked and notes in the margin. It's like an old friend. That's the way this Bible was. Even though I had to put clear tape to hold the spine on a couple of years ago I still was not ready to give it up! The outside had gotten so shabby that I hated to take it out of it's case for fear some well meaning friend would run out and buy a new one for me! That's something I knew I would have to do for myself! So last week I decided to look for a new SWORD. It was time.

I had looked at Bibles about a year ago but gave up when I could not find what I was looking for. My Bible has to "fit" me, if you know what I mean. It has to have just the right "feel" to it when I pick it up. The right texture to the cover, the right weight, the right size of print....I could go on and on! I had money left from what my ladies Sunday school class had given me at Christmas and had been waiting for just the right thing to buy with it. What could be better than a new Bible from them? So with that in mind I entered the Christian bookstore Friday afternoon. It only took a few minutes to find the Bible that I was pretty sure would be my choice. I did take the time to look through all the others and check them out but always came back to my first choice. It is a KJV "Personal Size, Deluxe Giant Print Reference Edition" published by Thomas Nelson. The cover is dark green and black soft leather. It has large print but yet is a small Bible. Just what I was looking for.'s still going to be hard to totally switch over to using it yet! I'm sure I will still use my "old-faithful" here at home to do a lot of my studying in.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" Ephesians 6: 17


Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Pruning Time

It's that time of the year again! Time to prune trees and shrubs while they lie dormant in the winter cold. I heard the chain saw running and looked out the other morning to see my husband on top of the ladder in the midst of the pear tree! He was pruning the branches before they start growing again in the spring. It's not a task that I like for him to do.....that chainsaw in the top of a tree seems a little dangerous to me....but he seems to think it's necessary.

I asked my computer the question...Why prune trees? This is one of the answers I found.
"The primary reason for pruning is to ensure good access to sunlight. Did you ever notice that the best fruit always seems to be in the top of the tree? It's true, because that's where the most light is available."

Do you think that may be a reason that the Lord has to "prune" us sometimes? To get us out of the shade of all the busy-ness of the world and back into His "SON-light" so we can grow?

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15: 1-2


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Prints We Leave Behind

On Saturday,Valentine's Day, my husband and I kept our two grandchildren so our son and his wife could have the day to celebrate. This was the first time they had taken a day for themselves since the baby was born over two months ago.

On Sunday evening when we came in from church, hubby brought my Bible to lay it on the bed in here where the computer is. That was also the bed that I had let our grandson sleep on while he was here since he's not old enough to roll around and fall off yet. Hubby called to me and I came to see what he wanted. He pointed at the blanket that our grandbaby had been sleeping on the day before and said, "Look! There's still the print of his little head!" Isn't that sweet! I just had to take a picture of it because, sure enough.... the print of his little head had been left behind.

We all leave prints behind wherever we go. We may not notice them. But they're there. And it either leaves a good or a bad impression on the ones who come behind us and see the prints. I pray I will try to leave good prints behind me.

"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
Psalms 16: 6 & 11


Friday, February 13, 2009

Heirs and Heirlooms

A special thank you to everyone who prayed for the ladies meeting where I spoke last night! Although I was still nervous before hand, God gave me a calmness during the time I spoke. The ladies were all so very gracious and kind and attentive so that made it easier. My goal anytime that I get up to speak for the Lord.....whether it is in my Sunday school class or in another to forget about I sound; how I look.....and just try to point our attention toward Jesus. I hope that goal was met last night.

The evening started with a meal which was all breakfast foods. These ladies really know how to do some "down-home country cooking"! Biscuits, sausage, bacon, gravy, grits, hash browns, waffles, strawberries & cantaloupe, all kinds of jams and name it and they had it cooked! I tried to not eat too much so I would be able to still speak afterwards without losing my breath! ha

My subject last night was "Heirlooms". I took several of the heirlooms that I have been given since my Daddy passed away about 18 months ago. All were things that had either belonged to my Mama (who died when I was 16) or that she had made by hand. I just took a sampling of a lot of the things....a quilt, an embroidered pillowcase, some crocheted doilies, some tatting, a tatting shuttle, and some silver forks.

I'll try to sum up in a few paragraphs what I talked about.

My Mama always made quilts every winter and when my older brothers and sisters got married she gave each of them a quilt. I looked forward to mine but by the time I was married she had been gone almost four years. Then last year after Daddy died my stepmother found FIVE of Mama's quilts packed away in plastic on a shelf in the closet of one of the bedrooms. They had been there for 35 years or more! In the end I got five of her quilts instead of only one! Have you ever wanted something and you just never got it? Maybe you have even prayed about something and it seemed your prayers are not answered. It could be that God is just delaying the answer for some reason that is known only to Him.

The talent of crocheting, embroidering and most especially tatting is almost a lost art with this generation. I compared that with how high moral standards are also almost a thing of the past with our generation. It’s sad that people don’t see that God has given us moral laws and standards NOT ONLY to glorify Him but FOR OUR OWN GOOD! It’s not impossible to learn to make tatting. But most of us don’t want to take the time.
It’s not impossible to teach our children and grandchildren morals and purity. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard for us to take the time and also to go against the flow of the world! We seriously need to get back to basics concerning the Word of God and what He expects of us.

I carried 2 forks from the set of silverware I inherited. (For the whole story about that, click HERE)
One of them I had left in the very, very tarnished state that it was in when I got it after being in my Daddy's attic for 35 years; the other I had polished to a sparkling shine. As I polished one of the forks and saw it turn from a grayish/black to a shiny silver I thought about our lives as Christians. I took the clean fork and held it up beside one that I had not yet cleaned. I held a fork in each hand but I would not have wanted to eat with the black one! wouldn’t want to either! The tarnish didn’t make it any less a fork but it did make it unusable. How many times have you and I turned from the things of God….or maybe we didn’t turn away…we may have just stood still and done nothing for a while….and we began to be tarnished by the things of the world. The longer we resist God’s voice to return to Him, the more tarnish we have on us. Oh, we are still Christians all right! Just as both of these forks are forks. But we just can’t be used of God like we can when we stay up close to Him and let Him polish us up every day with His Holy Spirit and His Word. Proverbs 25: 4 says
“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”

A lady in my church sang a song one Sunday that said,
"Jesus is more than an heirloom to me." I hope that is a truth in all our lives but sometimes I fear that we….me included…treat Jesus like just that….an heirloom. We set him on a shelf in our lives. We look at Him and brag on Him but then we go on about our daily lives and just leave Him there….on the shelf. Are we busy accumulating THINGS that may someday become heirlooms for our children? OR are we busy trying to share our faith with other so that they might become HEIRS with Christ and have their lives changed forever? So many people live with a form of godliness but then don’t know the true power of God! They try to “do good” or “perform” for God so that he will decide they are good enough to deserve heaven. They are actually trying to work their way into heaven by following the law….or parts of it at least. But the Bible says that NO ONE has ever been able to keep the law except for Jesus Christ. Scripture calls us “Servants of the law” UNTIL we accept the free gift of salvation, and then we are called “the sons of God”.
(Galatians 4: 4-7) "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Top redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying , Abba,Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

Last evening ended on a perfect note as the ladies presented me with a gift for coming and speaking to them. It was a beautiful ceramic angel holding a dove. I've included a picture of it here. It will hold a special place in my heart....maybe even become an "Heirloom" in our never can tell.

I pray that you, too, are an heir of God through Christ and that you are sharing with others how they can become heirs also. That's our most important task here on earth!

God bless you!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Daughter

(Birthday at age 3)

Becoming a mother. How I dreamed of that when I was a little girl. How I wished for it after I was married. And then almost four years after our wedding, it happened! Thirty-two years ago today....this morning at 5:10 a.m. to be exact....I became a mother for the first time! A Mama to the sweetest little baby girl that ever was! It was almost too much to realize! This little bundle of joy with the still purplish hands and feet was a real little person who was now in the care of me and my husband. We would have to meet each and every one of her needs for the next several months and years to come. She has been a joy to us.

"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice." Proverbs 23: 24-25

Something in me just lights up when she walks in the room even still after all these years. She's a grown woman now....has been for quite some time....but she will always be my little girl.

Happy Birthday Daughter! I love you!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Speaking Again

I am so excited! I have been asked to speak to a ladies group at a local church later this week. This will be the first time in four years that I have spoken to a group of ladies other than my ladies class at my own church. I love my Sunday school class! They are so kind and so attentive when I teach. They have been a great blessing to me!

Now I look forward to speaking to the ladies at the church one of our sons attends. It's a special honor to be speaking to this particular group of ladies because they were the very first group that I every spoke to ...way back in 1987! And coincidentally, it will be on the 22nd anniversary of that first time that I have been asked to speak again! Wow! 22 years ago! I spoke on the Heart ("Let's Have a Golden Heart") and had typed my notes out with my typewriter! I still have the original notes and one of the little hand-outs I made for that night. Wow! Pre-computer! That really dates me, huh? Another great thing is that there are many of those same women from 22 years ago still attending that church! A dedicated bunch if I ever saw any!

Would you please pray for me? I know several of you that read my blog also speak at women's events and know how very important a part prayer is in preparation. I have been praying for several weeks that the Lord would give me the words to say but most of all that HE would get all the glory and honor and praise and that I would just move out of His way! (1 Corinthians 1: 31 "That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.")

Thank you in advance for your prayers!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Keep Thy Heart With All Diligence

Since Valentine's Day will be at the very end of this week I thought a post about the heart might be appropriate. So here goes:

We’ve all heard little cliché quotes about the heart such as: “My heart is breaking”; “Follow your heart”; and “He has a hard heart.” Our hearts “rejoice” when there’s good news and they “break” when there’s bad news. I used to think that I was unique in having the “heart problems” that I have……not physically but spiritually. I thought I must have more trouble than anyone else around me in having the right attitudes toward things and people or keeping my temper in check or all the other “besetting sins” that I have. I really had trouble getting close to other Christian ladies because I thought that when they got to know me they wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. Then one day a dear friend of mine told me something that forever has changed the way I think about the heart. Several years before, her Pastor’s wife had told her that ALL us women are alike…that we all have the same weaknesses, the same selfishness, the same envy, the same disobedient spirit as the next woman. The Bible backs this up in a verse in Jeremiah 17:9 which says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Because our hearts are wicked we need to heed the advice given in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We may look at each other at times and only see the good…..that’s when we’re on our best behavior. At other times we may see only the bad in each other. The Bible says in I Samuel 16:7 “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” I sometimes may be able to fool you and you may sometimes fool me, but we can never fool God. If we are behaving well today, it’s only because of the grace of God and His Spirit that is dwelling in us as believers. Usually, when our heart is right then our outward actions will be right too. (“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7)

On the other side of the coin, isn’t it wonderful to know that our God is always perfect, never having any negative attributes to grieve us with. When we occasionally see a fellow Christian fall by the wayside into sin, let’s don’t let that keep us from serving God ourselves. The devil will use the failures of others to try and make us give up too. It’s such a comfort to know we don’t have to depend on other Christians for our security. There’s a wonderful verse in II Thessalonians 3:3 that says “But the Lord is faithful…”He can never disappoint us or be a bad example to us. One of my favorite songs is called “He is Faithful”. The lady who wrote it is the wife of the pastor of the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City. She wrote this song during a time when their teenaged daughter had rebelled against the Lord, against the convictions of their family, and had left their home. Sometimes we only see the glitter and the glamour in a person’s life and not the personal heartaches and tears. There are probably more Christian homes than we will ever know of that go through personal tragedies of one kind or another. But it’s good to know our God knows all about it.

There are many functions of the heart but maybe these two top the list. First is the part our heart plays in our personal salvation. The Bible says in Romans 10:10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” We can never be the person God has planned for us to be until we have believed in our hearts that Jesus is the Christ and we become a new creature in Him. After we do that, then we can do the most important thing our heart can do for God. Mark 12:30 tells us what that is: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” As human beings we cannot always measure up to what God expects of us but we should always keep trying to love Him more and more. If we truly want to do this, then God will give us a “heart to know Him”. (Jeremiah 24:7 “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.”) I want to be more aware of the condition of my own heart so that I will be able to serve the Lord better. In these times of uncertainty we need to focus on loving God with all our heart and then everything else in other areas of our lives will fall into place. (Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”


(This post is also running today....Sunday....over on the KJV Blog Directory site)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

He Cares For You

"Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you."
1 Peter 5: 7

This is the verse that I picked to memorize/meditate on for the first two weeks of February. Last Saturday I was thinking that I needed to pick out a new verse to have ready for the first day of February (Sunday) but never got around to doing it. Then on Sunday morning when our Pastor gave us the Scripture for his sermon, I knew I had found my verse!

The verses we pick on the 1st and the 15th of the month are supposed to be verses that mean something to us personally...a verse that we NEED. I need this verse. It seems like lately there are a whole lot of cares in my life. All this week I have quoted this verse to myself. I have said, "Casting ALL your care upon him; for he careth for you." I have said, "Casting all your care upon HIM; for he careth for you." I have said, "Casting all your care upon him; for HE careth for you." I have said, "Casting all your care upon him; for he CARETH for you." I have said, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for YOU." You get the picture! God wants us to give our cares and problems to Him! Why? Because He cares for us so very much!

I have asked the Lord this week to take my cares and to help me to not come and take them back! I feel so weak and helpless most of the time. I really do need God's care and His help. He is so able to meet every need we have. I just need to be able to trust Him more.

What about you? Do you have some cares that you need to cast upon Him? it! Because He cares for you!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Fiery Thoughts !

This has been a weekend of "fiery thoughts" for me! I guess that sounds strange, huh? Here's how it went:

On Saturday after we visited the bus route for our church we made a trip to WalMart for a few things. As we passed one of the display TV sets they were playing a DVD of "Facing the Giants" which made me remember that the movie "Fireproof" had been released on DVD by now. I quickly made my way over to the New Releases rack and found it. Bought it. Brought it home and we watched it Saturday night. It's such a great movie! I can't wait to share it with others!

Of course as we watched all the scenes of the fires in the movie I was reminded of the line over and over...."You never leave your partner behind"! Fire is a scary thing. As it should be! It can take everything from you in a matter of minutes. But fire is also a necessary thing. We heat our home with a wood heater and without a fire burning in it we would be freezing cold in the winter!

Yesterday we had a special day at church and had a huge pot-luck dinner after the morning service. Ya'll should have seen all the different and delicious foods we had lined up on the counters. I tried to be good and just have small portions so am hoping I didn't make too big a dent in my diet! After dinner we had our evening service starting at 2:00 p.m. That way we didn't have to come back for our regular service at 5:00.

As we were driving home late yesterday afternoon I noticed a slight haze in the air as we got within a few miles of home. We live near some national forest property and every year they do "controlled burns" so that we are not so likely to have "uncontrolled" forest fires later in the summer or fall when it might be hot and dry. The fires were out but the smoke still lingered in the air.

Perhaps the smell of the smoke triggered it but by the time we got home, hubby had decided it would be a good evening for him to burn off his garden. Seems that the burning of the old dry stalks and grass in the garden is good for the ground. So after he changed into some old clothes he headed outside to set the garden on fire.

Just as it's good for the forest and for our garden to get burned off, sometimes we as Christians have to go through trials that feel like fire. It may be physical. It may be mental or emotional. It may be spiritual. Whatever it is, God can help us come through it and be better than we were before.

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" 1 Peter 1: 7

It took quite a while for all of it to burn and in the meantime darkness fell. I kept looking out the kitchen window to check and see if he was about done so I would know when to warm up the homemade soup I had cooked on Friday night. As I peeked out after it had become dark, the scene took on a whole different look. The fire was really all I could see. Everything else was dark. I thought about how bleak and dark the world around us seems at times. Especially lately. And when those thoughts come to me I usually remember a saying hubby borrowed from a friend years ago...."It's getting gloriously dark!" While looking at the fire I thought about the scripture that says Christians are the light of the world. As the world around us gets increasingly darker, may we shine increasingly brighter so that those around us can come to salvation because of our testimony of our Great God!

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven." Matthew 5: 16

I pray God will bless you greatly as your candle burns brighter than ever!