Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I, Being in the Way

What great stories I’ve been reading the past couple of weeks!  So exciting.  And interesting!  Oh…did I mention that I’ve been reading from Genesis, the first book of the Bible?  Yep.  Exciting. Interesting.  While reading I’ve been reminded of several of my former Pastor, Dr. David Shepherd’s, sermons from the late 1980’s.   Could not help but chuckle to myself as I read in Genesis 8:7-8 about Noah sending out the raven and the dove to check and see if the waters of the flood had gone down enough for him and his family to leave the ark.  Only those of you who have also heard Bro. Shepherd’s sermon titled “The Raven and the Dove” will understand!  Trust me!

And then in Genesis 24 the sweet story of how the servant of Abraham was led by God to find Rebekah for a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son.  Bro. Shepherd titled his sermon on this “Seeking a Bride for Isaac” …if my memory serves me correctly. This servant of Abraham had prayed before hand and asked God to let him know which woman He had chosen for a bride for Isaac by letting her not only offer him water from the well but also water for his camels.  Which is exactly what Rebekah did (Genesis 24:18-19 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.)

Abraham’s servant was so awed that God had answered his prayer so vividly that Genesis 24 26-27 say “And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.”

As I read this several days ago, the phrase “I being in the way” seemed to leap out at me.  Abraham’s servant meant that because he was in the right place …because of trusting God to show him the way….he was led straight to the woman God had chosen to be Isaac’s wife…Rebekah.

But then I thought about another way we can use that same phrase “I being in the way”.   Have you ever said to someone, “Would you mind moving? You’re ‘in the way’ “.  Or have you not thought that you needed to move some clutter that had accumulated because it was “in the way”?  This meaning of the phrase usually talks about something that is a hindrance.

So then I compared the two meanings as they might apply to our spiritual lives.

1.If I pray and ask God to guide me, then at some point I will be “in the way” , or in the right place for Him to use and bless me.

2. If I don’t seek God’s will in my life, then probably sooner than later, I will be “in the way” of His having His way in my life.  And most likely I will also then be “in the way” of others finding life in Jesus Christ. 

So it’s a matter of choice I guess.  I can chose to be “in the way” by  trusting God’s leading in my life and be where He can use me best.  OR I can chose to be “in the way” by ignoring God’s instructions and becoming a stumbling block to others. You have the same choice.  Which way will we chose to be in? The right one I hope!

 May God bless you greatly during this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sometimes Wishes Do Come True

It was 1965.  I was twelve years old and I wanted a guitar so badly! Not that I could play one by any means! No. But I wanted one just the same. I knew they cost a lot of money and that my family could not afford many frivolous gifts for Christmas so was pretty sure I was wishing in vain! But I did go ahead and voice my wish to my Mama and Daddy.

Usually Christmas Day around our house was a busy time with family coming in for dinner and at the age of twelve I was already helping Mama do a lot of the cooking and cleaning for company.  I was the youngest of seven kids and by 1965 I was the only one left at home. I have nieces and nephews close to my own age so I always looked forward to them coming to visit on Christmas. They were more like cousins to me and I'm sure I was nothing like an "Aunt" to them! ha  Perhaps because of Christmas Day usually being busy, Mama, Daddy, and me most often exchanged/opened our gifts on Christmas Eve.

(Entry in my "Five-Year-Diary" from December 24, 1965)

Christmas Eve came and Mama brought out a big box.  I can't remember if it was even wrapped or not,  but inside this big box was the stuff dreams are made of...my wish come true!  A guitar of my own!  I loved it! It didn't matter, nor did I realize, that it was just a cheap guitar that would prove very hard to play.  What mattered was that it was mine and exactly what I had asked for.  There was a simple "Learn How to Play Guitar" book included and so in a couple of weeks I had taught myself to play several songs. Oh how I loved singing and playing that guitar. Alone or with friends. 

I wondered for a long time how it was that my parents were able to find the money to get me a guitar that year. Much later Mama finally told me that a appliance dealer in town was giving away guitars with the purchase of a new appliance that year and he had an extra guitar left which he sold to her. I'm sure at a low price that she was able to afford. I really thought that was a pretty awesome story.

That guitar traveled with me to many states and even Canada while on summer choir tours with the Youth Choir from First Baptist Church. It holds a special place in my heart still, although it has been retired and when I play the guitar now I have a much better, easier-to-play one that Benny gave me...also for Christmas!...several years ago.

Why did I even voice my wish for a guitar to my parents all those years ago as a twelve year old when I knew in my heart they could not afford one? I wanted a guitar! So why am I hesitant to ask my Heavenly Father..Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the hills themselves!.... for the things I would like to have? I suppose that over the years I have lost some of the child-like faith that I had back in 1965. But I'd like to get it back!

Jesus wants to hear from me. He wants to hear from you. In fact, He invites us to ''ask'' of Him in Luke 11:9-13 (And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father,will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?)

Jesus tells us that if we as imperfect humans give good gifts to our children, how much more shall He give to us when we ask Him. It may not always be a tangible gift that we receive. Verse 13 talks about the Father giving the Holy Spirit to those who ask.  But sometimes it just might be a gift that you can see and touch that He gives to us! God knows what we need...and what we wish for!

I wish for you this Christmas season that you receive a gift from the Father above that will meet a special need in your life at this particular time! He is able!

God bless you!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Are We Getting Used to the Dark?

Is it just me or are things that were wrong as recently as ten years ago now looked upon as right? Seems that a lot of bad people are getting off scot free while some good people are getting thrown in jail because they have been falsely accused!  Isaiah had something to say about this even in his day and time!  (Isaiah 59:14) "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter."

Several times this summer when the sun has been so bright and I have been out shopping, I will enter a building with lower than normal lighting and for a few minutes I can't see.  I've been used to the bright light of the sun and it takes my eyes a little while to adjust.  But they do. Adjust. To the point of hardly being able to see because of the brilliance of the sun when I go back outside!

And isn't that a lot like our spiritual lives? Maybe we spend a lot of time in the Bible and in prayer...in the bright light of the Son...Jesus Christ. Our spiritual vision is very clear. And then we step into a room of a little error. At first it looks dim. Wrong. But then our spiritual eyes adjust and the dim light seems normal.

Then we take another step away from Truth and toward error.  Lies of Satan. Darkness. It gets a little darker and we are a little fearful at first but as we continue in the darkness, again we eventually become adjusted and it seems normal.

If one goes far enough into darkness...total darkness...all vision is gone. The eyes can not adjust to total darkness.

A few weeks ago this became so clear to me in an unusual way.  Our bedroom is very very small and not much of the floor is exposed. I'm not a very good housekeeper so a lot of times when I clean the floors I just give our bedroom a "lick and a promise" as my Mama used to say!  I will just sweep the floor and give it the occasional mopping.  After all, my thinking is that nobody ever sees it and I can close the door if company comes in. So it never gets the attention the other rooms get! The problem with the floor in my room though is that it gets hairspray or floor wax buildup on it.  I always spray my hair in my bedroom. It seems like there would not even be enough hair spray to matter.  But I found out that it does!

I had started noticing that even after mopping the floor it still looked dark and dingy.  I decided to do a little experiment.  I took some household ammonia and with a Q-Tip cleaned a spot on the floor about the size of a quarter.  Wow!  What a surprise!  I had forgotten just how light colored the floor really is!  It was too late in the day for me to start stripping hairspray and old wax off the floor so put it off until the next day.  The next morning before I started that project I had to go get something from my room.  When I looked down at the floor my first thought was, "I wonder where that spot of sunlight is coming from?" ...because that's just what it looked like!

I got my mop, pail, and ammonia and went to work. The first thought I had was how embarrassing it was to let this floor get in such a shape! My next thought was that how horrible it is that I sometimes let my heart get in a similar situation. I don't even recognize it until God applies a little pressure and scrubs off a spot and I see how dirty the rest of my heart is.

I don't want that anymore!  For my floor or for my heart! I want to keep the hardness from building up to start with!  How to do that? Stay diligent. Be aware of dimness.

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6

May God bless each of you is my prayer!


(I have stepped out on a limb baring my faults to you! Some of you may look at me in a different ''light'' now that you know what kind of housekeeper I am! I kept this post at ''arms length'' for several weeks but finally gave in to write it because I felt it was what God wanted me to share.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Scars: The Visible and the Invisible

Yesterday I ordered a copy of my friend Elaine Olsen's newest book, "Beyond Cancer's Scars". I can't wait to read it because this lady indeed has a gift for words! She writes from the heart every time!

Since yesterday I have been thinking about the scars of cancer in my own life. Some visible. Some invisible. The first time I ever remember hearing about cancer was when I was eight years old and my Mama was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a radical mastectomy and thirty days of radiation treatments.  The day after she came home from having her surgery was my ninth birthday. She lived another seven years. She lived those years with large, painful scars and a swollen, aching left arm and hand. I knew that. It was visible to me. But I was so young at the time she was going through all this that I didn't realize she must have had invisible scars as well.  I'm sure she must have had some of these same thoughts that Elaine expresses on her page about her book: "The suspicion. The waiting. The diagnosis. The statistics. The fear. The treatment. The suffering. The barely surviving."   I didn't know. I didn't understand. I wish I had!  I felt the fear in my own heart though as I saw Mama go through so much. I rode with her and Daddy many of the thirty days that she had to travel to the Baptist Hospital in downtown Memphis for her radiation treatments. Back then it took about an hour and forty-five minutes for a one-way trip because there were no interstates to travel on. I realize now that Mama must have been exhausted much of that time! I grew up pretty fast in those days because I had to be Mama's helper and do the mopping and most of the laundry as these were the two things that hurt her arm the most and caused it to swell.

There have been many cancer victims in my family and circle of friends since then. My Daddy lived a long, productive life but lung cancer finally took him at age ninety-six. Twenty-seven years ago my big sister Dolly lost a valiant fight with breast cancer. A little piece of me died with her.  More recently, my sister Leola had colon cancer. My mother-in-law Hazel: breast cancer.  Father-in-law Jewell: rare form of blood cancer and finally colon cancer. Brother-in-law Bill: lung cancer.  A close friend Diane: melanoma. Our friend Rodney: cancer of the spine. And many others. All these I hope to see again someday in heaven where no cancer exists.  Still fighting the battle are my brother-in-law Jimmie (cancer in the sinus) and my friend Peggy (several sites....Stage 4)

As for me, so far I only have two visible scars from cancer. One on my shoulder and one on my lower leg. Deep scars where skin cancers were dug out many years ago.  But even I who have been so blessed physically, have invisible scars from the pain of losing so many loved ones. I suspect that most everyone reading this does also. If you've not had cancer yourself, you have a loved one who has.

BUT...I praise God that we do not have to remain in these disease riddled bodies forever! When we accept Jesus Christ's payment for our sins as our own, then we immediately receive eternal life.  His Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and gives us help in time of need. He is ever present with us in our joys and in our sorrows. In our pain and in our health.  I just can't stop thinking about one line I heard from a sermon on the radio a couple of weeks ago. The preacher said this: "God is not a God of protection but a God of presence." What a profound statement. I just had never thought about it that way before.

The only scars that will be in heaven...either visible or invisible...will the the scars in the hands of Jesus Christ. Proof of the price He paid for us to live eternally in heaven with Him. What a gift! What a Saviour!

God bless you my friends!


Monday, August 27, 2012

I Did NOT Want a New Clothesline!

I did NOT want a new clothesline! Hanging out clothes always got my lower back out of whack and I had stopped doing it several years ago. But my husband suggested it would be a way to help cut back on our electricity bill, so I reluctantly agreed to give it a try.

We went to Lowe's and picked out the line to use. I wanted it to be smooth feeling and just the right diameter. (My last clothesline was made from a cable and was almost too large for the clothespins to clip on right!) It felt good being able to help pick out just the kind I thought I would like.

After the line was bought, Benny put up some wooden posts in the ground out in the back yard close to the garden.  I didn't much like the spot at first but I have to say that it grew on me.  I was still a little hesitant about the whole thing because of the issue I had with it hurting my back with all the bending and stooping it required.  But Benny fixed that problem by turning a large plastic tub upside down for me to set my clothes basket on.  It made all the difference in the world.  Has not seemed to hurt my back much at all since I don't have to bend over every time I get laundry out of the basket to hang it up.

The clothesline was put up in the very early spring just about the time we planted the garden.  As I hung out the clothes every few days, I could watch the progress of the vegetables growing and budding and blooming and finally producing.  The chore that I was dreading and griping about before I actually started using the clothesline has become a very relaxing outdoor activity for me this summer!

Sometimes something like this happens in my spiritual life.  Through prayer or Bible study, God suggests I do something different. Maybe it's something that looks difficult.  Or maybe He wants me to make a big change in my life and it's scary. Then I may reluctantly agree to follow this new plan.  I may be afraid that I will get hurt.  Or I may feel unsure of what will be expected of me. But if I go ahead and follow God's instructions, whatever it was that He asked me to do turns out to be for my good in the long run.  It may even turn out to be a very relaxing and/or enjoyable thing in my life!

I found a wonderful quote from one of my favorite authors...Elizabeth Elliot...which says this:  "Throughout the Bible...when God asked a man to do something, methods, means, materials, and specific directions were always provided. The man had one thing to do: obey."

God seems to be leading me into some unknown territories just now. I would ask that as God brings me to your mind, you will pray that I do the right thing at the right place at the right time!

God bless you my friends!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just Visiting....Some Random Thoughts

I've been busy today.  Mostly. Rose earlier than usual this morning. Fixed breakfast for Benny and me.
There were tomatoes out on the patio table that needed peeling and putting in bags to freeze so I can cook with them later.  That was my first job after breakfast.

While I was peeling the tomatoes, I started thinking about making a Tomato Pie.  Never had one before but it had sounded good when my friend Anita had told me about making one herself.  Came in here to the computer and looked up a recipe.  Paula Deen's Tomato Pie.  It's done now and sitting on the counter cooling until Benny decides to come in from working on something in the back yard.  Won't be able to tell you right now if it turned out tasty or not but it sure looks good! I think it will go well with the peas, turnip greens, fried okra and cornbread that I have cooked also.

Taking a little break right now til dinner is over and was thinking about what kind of Bible study I want  to do next.  I'm in the last week of Beth Moore's "James: Mercy Triumphs".  While looking through my old Bible studies to see just what studies I have done, I came across my next study I think.  I had found it in a thrift store a while back and forgotten about it.  It's called "The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority" by Adrian Rogers...one of my very favorite preachers. Always enjoy getting to see reruns of his preaching on TV sometimes now that he's in heaven!

Not sure I'll get to my other kitchen chore this afternoon.  Have a bunch of bell peppers from the garden that I plan to cut up and freeze.  They come in so handy when I'm making spaghetti or soup.

I guess that's about all.  Just wanted to say hello and let you share a little of my day with me!

God bless you, my friends!


Monday, August 20, 2012

The Straight and Narrow


I bought red checked gingham material for new swag toppers to go on my kitchen windows several months ago. As time passed, I thought several times about getting the material out of the drawer and cutting out and sewing them up but always told myself, “Some other time”. 

 Finally I decided to put it off no longer. The red checked curtains hanging at the kitchen windows had already faded to an orangey-red color from the afternoon sun of many years. They did look pretty tacky, so down they came. Using the old curtains for a pattern, I cut out the new ones. My trusty sewing machine was surely surprised to be woken up from a long time of doing absolutely nothing!

After looking it over and putting thread and a bobbin in, I was ready to start. Nothing much to it. Just a lot of hemming. A lot of sewing a straight seam down a long length of material. It was so simple and actually I suppose a little boring, that my mind began to wander. 

How straight the seams and how narrow the hems. Hmmm. That sounded familiar. The “straight and narrow” part. It reminded me of the verse in Matthew 7:14 that says: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” 

Straight sometimes seems so boring! 

 And that could be both sewing a straight seam or living a life that is straight in line with God’s Word. What seems to get boring to us at times is actually very needful if we are to have a beautiful finished product! To sew a straight line and keep my seams from zig-zagging all over the place was one of the first things Mama showed me when she first taught me to sew. She wanted her sewing projects to not only be usable but to also be pretty. In life itself it sometimes seems boring to always stay on a straight path of obedience to God. But it’s necessary if we want to be able to look back in life and see a beautiful “seam” and not a big mess! 

 Narrow sometimes seems so confining! 

 I’m thinking of several places I’ve been that seemed to be narrow and confining. One that comes to mind was a narrow suspended bridge with metal fencing along each side. It might seem confining. But to me the narrowness was instead comforting! For you see, the bridge was up on Grandfather Mountain and on each side was a drop of about a mile! Sometimes I complain about the narrowness of my life. I would not be surprised to find out someday that God used this narrowness to protect me from greater harm in one way or another. 

 The bigger picture...the finished work. 

 The new curtains now hang at the windows in my kitchen . The straight seams and narrow hems un-noticed now because of the bigger picture of the finished curtains. I’ve not yet seen the finished picture of my life. But I believe that when I do, all the “straight” and “narrow” places will take such a lesser place in the finished work that I won’t notice them. I won’t remember that I sometimes viewed the straight or narrow places as tedious or boring. I will just be fascinated with the beauty of the finished work that God has done in my life.

May God bless you real good is my prayer!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just Thinking About School Days

Schools in our county will be starting next week.  For the past couple of weeks the first sight that meets my eyes when I walk into Wal-Mart or any store similar is all the menagerie of school supplies. There are lists of supplies needed for every grade. Just the smell of all the paper goods and the pencils, etc. takes my mind back to my own school days.

I started to school in 1959 as a first grader. (In those days kindergarten was not required and only a few children went.) I entered first grade not knowing much of anything. My teacher, Miss Jackson, printed each child's name on a piece of yellow cardboard marked with two solid lines separated by a dotted line.  Then she taped that cardboard to the top of our desks so that we could learn to write our names.  Amazing now that I did not even know how to write my name at age six! I also learned to count and memorize the alphabet. We read from learning words by sight. No phonics back then that I remember. Thankfully I was a quick learner. Nothing to my merit...it was just the way I was born.

The school had no A/C in the summer but I don't remember being unbearably hot. I guess because none of us were used to A/C even in our homes. The floors were some kind of wood with little tiny ridges in the grain.  The sort of wood that would leave a splinter it you rubbed your hand across it. It was kept oiled and ever so often Mrs. Windham...our janitoress....would clean them with some kind of pink colored granules that she spread over the floor in sections and they swept up.  The ceilings were high and the halls wide. It was quiet and orderly. The principal Mrs. Nabors made SURE of that!  At lunchtime we drank our milk out of little milk bottles that had a cardboard cap on top that we had to remove.  And then for an extra three cents a day one could have a little bottle of chocolate milk for a snack in the afternoon.  I remember sitting mine on my slanted desk for just a minute one day and the whole bottle spilling in my lap! I had on a red and white checked gingham dress with a gathered skirt.  Brrr.  That made me chilly having a wet dress for the rest of the afternoon!

During recess we played outside if the weather was good. On rainy days there were toys and games on shelves on one side of the room. One day while out on the playground I was trying to go across the monkey bars but my grip was not so good and I fell, landing on my back and sort of knocking the breath out of me. A bigger boy...probably in third grade or so...came and very nicely helped me up and took me to the teacher who was the playground monitor that day.

Strange the memories I have of those days.  I loved learning.  I still do.

Maybe that's one reason that this time of year is always exciting to me.  For sixteen years I taught our three children their school here at home.  For sixteen years I reveled in buying new school supplies for them each fall.  The crisp new paper and notebooks.  The yet unsharpened No.2 pencils. The crayons. The construction paper. The workbooks. The textbooks. It was always an exciting time for me.

As we started our homeschool journey, I sometimes...no oftentimes...wondered how long it would last. You see, although I dearly loved the new school supplies and the beginning of the school year, usually around January or February both myself and the kids would be getting weary of the reality of school. Every day. Day in and day out.

But thankfully we were able to stick it out through the good and the bad. The tiring and the invigorating. The exciting and the boring.  Each of our three children graduated from our home school. Each of them received a full academic scholarship to Northeast Mississippi Community College. Each of them are responsible adults holding down good jobs.  Was it because I was a great teacher? No. I don't think so. Was it because they were all just smart and would have done well no matter where they went to school? No. I don't think so entirely.  The Lord did bless them with good minds for sure. But I think that God just blessed our longing to give them a Christian education. I give Him all the glory for any good that came from our home school.

It's been over fourteen years now since our last child graduated from high school.  I've grown accustomed to not having the school supplies in the house new ever fall.  But I hope I never grow accustomed to seeing and recognizing the blessings of God in my life.  Homeschooling was one of the biggest jobs I ever undertook. It was a commitment . At times I felt like it was just too big a job.  Not only one of the biggest but one of the hardest jobs I've ever done.  But no question that it was the most fulfilling job I ever started and finished! I will never regret the time and energy I spent teaching our three children how to read and write and think for themselves!  I consider it a privilege that God let us be able to do that.

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry:" 1 Timothy 1:12 

I, too, want to thank Christ Jesus my Lord , who enabled me and counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry of teaching our children...not only how to read and write and think but teaching them about Him.

May God bless you!


Friday, July 20, 2012

A Bride Adorned For Her Husband


As many of you know, we had a wedding in our family last month. Three weeks ago tomorrow to be exact. And what a wonderful wedding it was! Our son David married his beautiful bride Amber. We have loved Amber for a long time but it was surely nice to have her officially become a part of our family!

 It's always a special time at any wedding when the music for the bride's entry starts and everyone rises and turns to see her walk down the aisle. The bride is always beautiful. In Revelation 21:2, John talks about how beautiful the new Jerusalem will be as he compares the holy city as being "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." All brides want to look their best on their wedding day. I know I did. And as I said before, Amber was surely a beautiful bride...and was adorned in an exquisite wedding gown for her husband.

The day before the wedding, David put a new status on his Facebook page. It was so sweet that it just about made me cry. Here's what it said: "A little nervous, mostly excited. Can't wait to see my bride walking down the aisle. Makes me think about the rapture, and how it's going to feel when the Bride is caught up to meet the Groom."

There are so many places in the Bible where Christians...as a group...are called the Bride of Christ. Kyla Rowland wrote a song in the late '70's that is titled "A Wedding Invitation". I'd like to share some of the lyrics with you here:

 You're invited to a wedding, that will be held soon. We are the bride, Christ is the groom. 
With a crown to wear, and a long white robe, We'll walk down the aisle made of pure gold. 
What is your answer? How will you respond? The groom is asking the bride to come. 
And the supper will be in heaven, our new home above 
Here's a wedding invitation, He's sending with love.

 God has proposed. Is He still waiting to hear from you? Revelation 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." How will you answer Him? If you are not part of the Bride of Christ right now, it's still not too late to accept His proposal. He may be knocking on your heart's door right now. If so, to say yes and accept Him as your Saviour will be the absolute best thing you've ever done! Then you can live eternally grateful for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 May God bless you!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Whited Sepulchers Full of Dead Men's Bones

It's almost midnight.  I was very sleepy and headed to bed about two hours ago.  I was looking forward to getting into bed between the clean sheets that had been taken fresh from the clothesline and put on the bed just hours earlier. But when I was almost ready to get into bed, I saw something!  Under the bed.  I got my trusty little silvery green flashlight  and shined it's light underneath the bed. Ewwww! A little spider!  In a split second all my plans of going to sleep were over and I was headed to get all sorts of equipment to make war with this invader! Some of you may remember my being bitten twice by a spider a little over two years ago. It took just about two months to recover and I've been very wary of those little critters ever since!

When I looked under the bed the little spider was not all I saw.  There was a lot of dust.  Some spider webs. A few tissues.  Several of hubby's shoes. It was very evident that I had not been cleaning under the bed as I should have been.  Bummer!  After half an hour of using the broom, the vacuum, and spraying some spider poison, I was again ready to get in bed.  But now instead of being sleepy and ready to relax into a good night's sleep, I was wide awake from all the recent activity.  My mind was going ninety-to-nothing. And that's when I began to think about the verse in Matthew 23:27 that says: 
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."  I thought about how looking down at my bed it had looked all clean and comfortable with clean sheets and pillow cases fresh from drying on the clothesline. But how underneath the bed was dirty and dusty and needed cleaning up.

Sometimes that's how we live our lives too.  Even Christian lives.  We look good on the outside. We dress right. We talk right. We walk right. We do all the right things that Christians ought to do. But on the inside we may have gotten slack in our spiritual housekeeping and let some things creep in that have dirtied up our spirits. 

Let's don't wait until there's a crisis in our spiritual life before we notice the dirt and go to the Lord and ask Him to clean us up. I don't of course mean that we need to be saved again...that's a once in a life time thing. But we do need to be cleaned up from time to time as Ephesians 5:26 says:"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"

Well, there. I've written down all those thoughts that kept running through my head so maybe now I can go back to that clean bed and go to sleep! :)

God bless you!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Precious Book

A while back I started Beth Moore's latest Bible study called "James: Mercy Triumphs". As part of the study she has provided several lined pages at the back of the workbook so that we can hand write the book of James as we study it. One day I was sitting at the kitchen table copying verses from James into my workbook when my husband walked through the kitchen and asked what I was doing. When I explained it to him he made a comment that I have not forgotten. He said, "You know there are people who would give their lives for that!"  

It actually took just a few seconds for that to sink into my brain... for me to realize the full impact of what he was saying. Sometimes I forget that what we as Christians in America often take for granted...reading our Bibles...is forbidden in many countries around the world. And what Benny said is so true! There are many people each day who risk their lives...sometimes lose their lives...by either having or trying to get a copy of God's Word.

One such place that I have recently read about is North Korea. Bibles are strictly forbidden there. The Voice of the Martyrs organization has come up with the idea of writing scriptures on sturdy, bright orange balloons and floating them into North Korea for people to find. I read the story of one family who found a balloon like this.  (taken from VOM Persecution Blog

“Grandma, look at what I found!” The young North Korean girl was so excited. She was holding something she had never seen before. The grandmother looked at it with her failing eyes but could not make out the details. So she called the girl’s mother. “Please come tell me what this child has found.”
    The elderly woman’s daughter entered the room and took the item from her mother’s wrinkled hand. Her daughter began to reads the words printed on the well-constructed plastic balloon. “The Lord Jesus loves you. Your brothers and sisters have not forgotten you. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” 

    The grandmother exclaimed, “It’s Scripture! They’ve sent us Bible verses on a balloon! Please keep reading.” 

    The plastic balloon held words of encouragement for the three generations of North Koreans. It contained a message from Christians in the West and over six hundred Bible verses taking the reader from the the cross, to the second coming of Jesus Christ. In the last decade, over one hundred thousand of these “Scripture balloons” have been floated into North Korea.
How very precious is this book containing God's Words to mankind! These stories about persecuted nations remind me that I should read my Bible as often as possible and be aware that this is indeed a precious gift and not a guaranteed right or privilege of people everywhere!

In a campmeeting in 1998 I heard a preacher quote a poem about the Bible which I had never heard before. After the service I found him in the crowd and asked him if he would write the poem down for me. He did and I wrote it in the front of my Bible. Here is one verse of the poem which is titled "The Precious Book".

Though the cover is worn 
And the pages are torn 
And places bear traces of tears, 
Yet more precious than gold 
Is the Book worn and old,
That can shatter and scatter my fears.
(Written by: Bernice Peyman)

I would like to leave you with a thought from one of my favorite preachers, Dr. Adrian Rogers:

"These hath God married
and no man shall part, dust on the Bible and drought in the heart. "

In these days we certainly can't afford to have a drought in our heart can we?  I know I don't want that. So when you pick up your Bible today, remember what a precious Book you hold. And the truth of what my husband said about my handwritten copy of the book of James..."There are people who would give their lives to have that!"

God bless you!