Monday, December 5, 2011
Keeping in mind that CHRISTmas and Resurrection Day are heart celebrations for many of us Christians, and we don't "need" the calendar day to determine whether to celebrate it or not (Romans 14:5-7). Indeed, Jesus was most likely not born "on" what we call Christmas day. However, I L-O-V-E seeing various manifestations of the Christmas holiday; and if the ancient Christian populations chose this day to do so, then I'm gonna roll with it, Baby!
There are decidedly Pagan elements of Christmas that we see today, but celebrating the birth of our Lord has a different avenue than what is secularly celebrated during this wonderfully conglomerate holiday season (again, Romans 14:5-7). The musical scene is different, the peace is different, the beauty of gifts is different, even the honorary attendant is different...if, indeed, there is one.
I acknowledge that, for some, this is also the most depressing time of year. They have experienced heartache that can't seem to mend, bitterness that can't seem to be broken, loss that they can't seem to recover, rejection they can't seem to challenge, addictions they can't seem to overcome, illness and sickness from which there seems to be no healing, oppression they can't seem to conquer, and loneliness they can't seem to fufill...the list goes on. My answer to this is not only to physically do what I or we can to help bring momentary comfort to these suffering people, but to encourage these people to also seek the Gospel and to personally receive It. It is indeed the greatest Gift for all of mankind. I readily admit that I have gone down the road of Been-There-Done-That, and going down Gospel Lane has been the greatest blessing in my life and continues to be so to this day.
I find myself singing Christmas hymns throughout the year, but I think that when you hear these hymns during the celebration season of Jesus' birth, there is a spirit that is particularly stirring within the heart of a Christian. There is a magical quality about it. It's as if the host of heaven is singing in yet another Christmas concert. Can you imagine the delight of the shepherds who were chosen to attend the first Christmas concert over 2000 years ago?? There are more details (heavenly as well as earthly) about Jesus' birth than for virtually any other person of the Bible.
I greatly enjoy Christmas. I enjoy the music. I enjoy the trees. I enjoy the decorations. I enjoy the goodies. I enjoy the company of those I love. I enjoy the fellowship of other Christians who celebrate Christmas with me. And, yes, I enjoy the gift exchanges.
One of my favorite activities is to drive around and see the lights. I love seeing homes lit up in the spirit of Christmas. Jesus had a particular star which pointed the way to Him, but it was hardly the only star in the sky! Our lights on houses remind me of the celestial stars that had to have shown particularly bright that night a couple of thousand years ago.
My favorite Christmas hymns and songs?
Carol of the Bells
God Rest Ye, Merry Gentleman.
Joy to the World
The First Noel
Angels, We Have Heard on High
Mary, Did You Know?
What Child Is This?
Little Drummer Boy
O, Little Town of Bethlehem
We Three Kings of Orient Are
Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
Where's the Line to See Jesus?
The Twelve Days of Christmas
((the list goes on.... lol))
Not only do I love the songs themselves, but I love many of the various renditions of them, too! The Vienna Boy's Choir, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Celtic Woman, and a wonderful lady I'm blessed to be friends with is a beautiful singer, as well.
I found an interesting take on the Twelve Days of Christmas. This is one of those things that is not proven to be true in historical fact (a "truly" coded message for early Christians who could not openly worship as Christians), but Hugh D. McKellar in 1979 promoted a practical teaching opportunity and lesson as a means of teaching the catechism to young Catholics. This can help make learning about Christianity more meaningful, especially for young or new believers.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
"true Love" referring to God, Himself, bearing gifts to mankind.
"to me" is thought to mean the baptized believer.
A partridge in a pear tree..........Jesus.
Two turtle doves..........Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens..........Three kings bearing gifts.*
Four calling birds (or colly--blackbirds)..........The Four Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Five gold/en rings..........Torah or Pentateuch, first five books of the Old Testament, Laws of Moses.
Six geese a-laying..........Six days of Creation.
Seven swans a-swimming..........Gifts of the Holy Spirit**
Eight maids a-milking..........The Beatitudes. (Matthew 5:3-10)
Nine ladies dancing..........The fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Ten lords a-leaping..........The Ten Commandments.
Eleven pipers piping..........The eleven faithful disciples/apostles.
Twelve drummers drumming..........The twelve points of the Apostles' Creed.
This is a wonderful time of baking and cooking, too. There are favorite cookies we tend to only bake around Christmastime, Russian Teacakes and Ginger Cookies being more heavily requested. We bake a birthday cake for Jesus, as well. I love reading about, and seeing many traditions that take place around this world in celebrating Christmas. Almost every year we try to do a little something different. I also make a point of reading and/or seeing A Christmas Carol amost every year, too.
In remembering Jesus' birthday, there is also a sober reminder of WHY He was born--to save mankind from the sins of the world and to reconcile the relationship between God and man. As a Christian, this is the most beautiful gift for which none of us can repay.
Happy Birthday, Jesus.
Merry Christmas! "And God Bless Us, Every One." ~~Tiny Tim, from A Christmas Carol
*[personallly, I think this should better represent the three GIFTS of the kings--the King James Bible indicates that "kings", not "three kings", brought gifts to Jesus--however, the particular gifts mentioned are gold, frankinsense and myrrh--each representing each stage of Jesus' calling.]
** I admit I am not sure exactly what are counted as the 7 specific gifts of the Holy Spirit. I will need to research this further.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
THIS autumn, in particular, is an extremely WELCOME season this year! What, with 70-some-odd days of 100+ degree heat during the summer, highs of 89 would be a "cold front" enjoyed by me and many others!
Fall leads into the holidays. Once we get past Halloween (which is NOT my favorite holiday), it's all a slide downhill from there! :) It's time to break out the recipes for cookies, cakes and goodies usually reserved for "layering" weather. Christmas presents from me are usually baked goods. People seem to like them! Fall leads to hot chocolaty winters, too! My family is ready for the various soups and chilis that fall weather calls for, as well as creative snacks not usually bothered with any other time of year.
The colors of fall are spectacular. God's paintbrushes are super busy this time of year, dotting each tree with splashes of vivid color against the most brilliant of blue skies. It's a playful time for children and those who are children at heart! Leaves are for jumping into, crisp and vibrant. Pumpkin patches galore! Harvest festivals bring out the kid in you. All of it representative of God's amazing bounty for us all.
This is the season of sports, too! We're in the midst of football season, wrapping up baseball season, and soon to start basketball (if it hasn't already). Don't forget about hockey, too! This is a fun season to be outside. Of course, the most sporty I get is a walk, but those are a joy, too! :) Oh, what wonderful things you can see on a walk! :) Still, any reason to celebrate a sporting event, I'm pretty sure I can rustle up some enthusiasm! : D
It's about this time of year that I really start thinking of holiday plans. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my most treasured holidays. I love seeing my family and watching my boys get to know their grandparents and their local cousins, aunts and uncles. My nieces and nephews have pretty much grown up by now. I'm happy to watch them grow into adults.
When I was younger, my favorite things to do during the fall was draw or do some kind of art or craft. I wasn't particularly talented in these areas, but at the time I liked my sense of creativity. The most favorite thing to do during the fall was to curl up with a weekend's worth of books!! : D THAT was my thing! Sigh. I don't have as much time for that anymore. I sure do miss it. :}
No matter. Times change. Times morph into longer hours of darkness and fewer daylight hours. It's a time of transition into a more cozy and intimate time of year. It's time to embrace hibernation! : D But not for a few days yet. I've got more fall days to celebrate!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Micro, Reader's Digest's Seriously Condensed Version~~I was lost in sin, tho I didn't really and truly understand that beyond mere words. A new friend took the time to not only witness to me Christ's Love that I felt in her home but patiently stayed with me as I got my bearings as a new creature in Christ. I received Jesus on Aug 28, 1994, less than a month before I got married. I've not looked back. I've experienced some highs and lows of being a Christian, and I honestly wouldn't trade a moment of it because it has all contributed to the person I've become. Christ has begun a new work in me, and I want to continue to improve.
Novel Version (and I DO mean "Novel", might wanna grab a cuppa som'n b/f you sit down to read this, lol)
We travelled a great deal as a young family, so settling into a church was not exactly a high priority while growing up. Couple this with parents who witnessed so much hypocrisy in the churches they grew up in that they figured my sister and I were better off not being exposed to such an environment (assuming it was everywhere). Occasionally I'd hear a verse that Mom said was in the Bible, or she'd repeat something her mom (my grandma) said came from the Bible, but I honestly don't remember a time when I actually read those words for myself...not as a youngster, anyway. Kind of ironic b/c I was an avid reader. I was a visual learner. You could tell me anything, but I didn't "get it" until I saw it for myself. The only Bibles I remember at my parents' house were the ones completely stuffed with family commentary...obits, stories, awards, etc. Translation? Look but don't touch. :(
In our travels, we'd find the customary Gideon Bibles along with the Book of Mormons (in some hotels, not all). I would pick them up and try to read them, but it was like reading Shakespeare, something that was not at all appealing to me (at the time). Where were the coloring books, huh? Where were books about butterflies, birds or fishies or treasures?? (lol, little did I realize I could've found these very things in the Bible then had I but known!)
I grow up a little bit, and I run into people who called themselves Christians. Some of them were pretty nice, but unfortunately, others were just as mean as they could be. Also unfortunately, the mean ones were the ones I remembered most. :( I have lost count how many times I "received Salvation" only to feel confused, abandoned and frustrated, not necessarily in that order. Only later did I learn that I experienced a variety of soil in my life! (see Matthew 13 to see what I mean) I've been scared into faith with the fire/brimstone, wrath-of-God messages...but they forgot the HOPE; I've been enticed into faith with "When you become a Christian, EVERYTHING in your life will be honky-dory!"; I've been seduced by "God is Love" messages only to receive a sucker punch in the spirit from professing Christians claiming that God's Love is completely conditional according to my works; I've been intellectually intrigued by "scholarly" Biblical topics like Rapture, Prophesy Revelation, Angels, etc, tho the seeming conflicts were extremely confusing. (I DID, however, always feel as though we just might meet Jesus in our lifetime, no other religious figure...strange, huh?) It seemed like I was supposed to have known everything there was to know about being a Christian right off the bat (I'm a new creature in Christ and all that). I had questions about things I've read in the Bible, and I felt like I was dealt the 5-second rule (moms know what I'm talking about here, lol)..."well, it's in the Bible in blah-blah-blah verse or passage." Okaaaaaay, I have a question ABOUT what I'm reading in the Bible! A bell sometimes goes off in their head that I'm not reading the Bible quite the way they are reading it. Occasionally, someone will slow up and try to explain something to me, but sometimes I left even more confused. When I tried to bring it up another time, I received the cold shoulder or the look down the nose like I was a total idiot. I don't mind not knowing something, but I don't take too kindly to being called or treated like I'm stupid or an idiot. So guess what? I turned my back on Christianity...or so I thought. Looking back now, I turned my back on professing Christians, not Christianity. My heart was indeed hardened.
You know that bullies (typically) hurt other people because they themselves are hurt, right? Well, basically I became a Christian bully. Looking back at this time now, I realize that I became a wrathful scorner, a scoffer, a reviler, and ultimately....a fool.
I spent some time spiritually wandering around...not really looking for anything (I didn't think at the time, anyway).... I've met some people who were Pagans (even witches), hung around them for a little while, learned some things, was fascinated by them, then moved on. Met some Native Americans who talked about their spiritual lives with me. Met some Buddhists who seemed to exemplify peaceful living. At any given point, I could've probably become a member of various religious experiences. All had pieces of truth with which I could identify, but none of them really felt particularly complete for me. It's only later that I can put a finger on what was going on with me at this time...God was allowing me to be an outside observer while removing any desire within me to partake of these seemingly sound ideologies.
In the middle of all of this, I have a few friends who I knew are Christians, and for various occasions I'd get them a Bible as a gift, and a King James Bible, at that! I didn't "seek" to get them KJ Bibles because at the time I wasn't aware of the differences among professing Bibles. Do you see God's Hand in this?? I do now. :)
I went through various phases of "trying" to be a Christian. I didn't like most Christians, but I was smart enough to know that there is something unique and special about their professing faith. I attempted to read the Bible many times. I'd read Scriptures quoted in various places; sometimes I got it, most times I didn't understand. I didn't know it at the time, but I was reading Scriptures through human eyes. The Scriptures basically read no differently than the hundreds of other books I've read, and I was an avid reader with a very vivid imagination. I thought I said Christiany things, did Christiany things, acted the way Christians are supposed to act. Although I'm glad I tried, I had no idea at the time that my human efforts were basically done in spiritual vain.
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" Matthew 7:11
I've spent a couple of years scanning groceries for one particular customer who seemed to seek me out when she shopped. After some time, I got to know her and her two very young children. She commented with amazement that both of her children were very shy and reserved around strangers, but that they seem to really like me and would even look for me when they enter the store. She got to where she was kind of comfortable inviting me to her home.
This was the start of my turning point.
I walked into her home and felt a presence I had NEVER felt before in my whole life. Her home was full of peace, full of joy, full of love...full of home. Her children were obviously happy there. Evidence of her Christian faith was throughout her home, a small token here and there. Her home was truly inviting in every sense of the word.
We had lunch, and we chatted about a variety of things, and then she guided the conversation to Salvation. She wanted to know where I stood as a Christian...or not. Can you say, "Put on the defense armor?" Oooooh, ye-ah, I did. Arms crossed over my chest, attitude, everything. However, as guarded as I felt about the topic of MY personal faith, I found myself actually trying to listen to her. She spoke with me as a fellow human being, not as an object or a poor sucker cornered for preaching.
I didn't get the sense of judgment from her. We talked for a good couple of hours (maybe 2 or 3), and she gradually got the sense that I had plenty of puzzle pieces, but I was unable to fit too many of them truly together. She sensed that I had been hurt by professing Christians, and she picked up that while I "knew" of Jesus, maybe even "believed" Jesus, but because of the actions of so many people in my life, I never came to TRUST Him. She illustrated trust and faith using a chair. If I didn't trust or have faith in that chair's ability to hold me, I would either sit down timidly (belief, but no trust) or not at all. However, if I am to put my trust in that chair's ability to hold me while I sit down, I would confidently sit in that chair without a second thought for security. She explained that Jesus is a FRIEND who supports us like that chair. We can rest on Him.
She also explained the gulf between man and God through sin...the sin beginning with Adam and individual's personal sin. Jesus is the bridge that reconciles man back to God. Jesus is the means by which we are cleansed of our sins. Those sins are removed from our lives when we allow Jesus to enter into our hearts. I've lost count how many times I've been "witnessed at" (trust me, there's a difference between being witnessed "to" and "at.") This time, Jesus was witnessed THROUGH me. Jesus was finally able to breach a stone wall that I didn't even know surrounded my heart. I now understand the passage in Ezekiel 36 where God says he will remove the stony heart and replace it with a fleshly heart. The burden of all that I have gone through in my life suddenly left me. I felt the weight of my world lifted from my heart, my body, and my spirit. I had no idea such a burden oppressed me! I melted from the sudden removal of that weighted burden. I could not dam the flood of tears that poured from my eyes, heart and soul. My friend's sowing occurred finally on "good ground."
Imagine my astonishment as I picked up the Bible to read it that night. I wasn't reading it just to read it. I wasn't even reading it just to acquire knowledge from it. I finally read the Bible as God spoke those words. Amazing words. My spiritual eyes became opened as I wore spiritual glasses for the first time in my life. His Words literally became ALIVE in my own soul. I finally understood what it meant to be "Spirit-filled." That doesn't mean I became "Super Sister Christian" with a big ol' fish or cross plastered on my chest and a white cape draped about my shoulders doing goody-goody things...that's nice and all, but I suddenly understood David's struggles in his life even as a man after God's own heart! I don't believe God expects us to be perfect, especially in the sense of how man would measure perfection, but He wants us to trust Him and His wisdom which is expressed in His Word. I understand that God indeed meets us where we are, and begins again the walk from where I left Him.
I've looked back over my life from time to time, and I've seen the Footprints of God in my life where I never noticed them before, not enough to acknowledge that it was Him, anyway. I've been told, and indeed I've read, that God does not answer a sinner's prayer. Personally, I beg to differ. I only love Him now because He first loved me! He showed mercy when I deserved consequences, He showed me grace at the most amazing times in my life. I genuinely believe that God preserved me from harm where I could easily have destroyed myself in sin. God sought me. I finally received His Son.
I had since married my husband. He is not a believer. Instead, I see myself in him before I finally gave my life to Jesus. I believe it is simply a matter of time before he becomes a believer, too. We've had struggles from being unequally-yoked, make no mistake about that. However, when I do my part as the wife of the family unit, I see the Lord's hand upon my husband's life for my sake. It took me a few years to understand the concept of submission. I was one of those women who balked at the idea of "obeying the husband" and that was even taken out of our wedding vows. Now I understand that I'm not submitting to my husband as an invitation for being a doormat, but when I do my part, God has a very interesting way of turning my husband according to His will which complements His will for me to obey him. Submission can indeed work in a marriage. Our strengths complement each other's weaknesses, proving to create a strong single unit...just as I believe God invisioned for us.
We have since had two sons, both of them being raised with Biblical training, and I take them to church with me. I do my best to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It has been rough going at times because my husband does not understand my convictions, but I do believe that God has His hands on my children (AND my husband!), just as He had his hands on me. No matter what tests my boys go through, they are developing testimony. No matter what trials may lay before them, I expect them to become triumphant! If they are ever victims of anything, they will eventually obtain victory.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
We are experiencing a dreadfully hot 2011 summer. It's only July 21, and we've had over three straight weeks of over 100-degree temperatures, and this has been by far the hottest summer since about 1981 or 1982. I wilted then, I'm wilted now. :P For the last couple of days, the weather people have been talking about the largest "heat dome" we've had in a loooong time. Even the people NORTH of me, near CANADA, are even hotter than we Texans are at the moment! :O I'm not taking the time to investigate those kinds of records...that would be even more depressing to me. I do pray they have the means to get cool. Those poor people are not used to this kind of weather. :(
Another thing that greatly upsets me and many people during this hot weather is that sometimes we don't think about our pets, children and elderly. I've seen each shut in hot vehicles, often with devastating results. Not only is this disgraceful, but this is very costly carelessness. Babies and pets have literally died because the driver was "only going to be gone a minute." Even with windows rolled down, the vehicles just get too blamed hot for survival. Check on your elderly neighbors and friends. Sometimes they're not able to think about turning on the air when they truly need it.
However, some people thrive under these circumstances. My best friend is one of them. She can't stand the cold (and it can get pretty cold in our part of Texas) and hurries summer along. Me? I'm revelling in the cold because I know that, aaaall too soon, whatever cold we experience will end.
It's been said that Texas weather is either hot, hotter, hotter than hades, and oh...with only a couple of weeks of real cold, and that doesn't last too long because within 48 hours, most snow we might experience goes away. Thankfully, so does the ice (which we get more of than snow WHEN it gets cold enough). (as a side note, though, I TOTALLY enjoyed last winter!!!! :D anyone who knows me knows this, lol) My T13 claims to love being out in this heat. Only for this reason do my husband and I question that he's really our son. :P
Okay, okay, so what are the pluses for summer? You can save on oven heat by cooking on the grill...or the sidewalk. You can save on your dryer bill if you hang your laundry out to dry...prob'ly be dry in less time it takes you to put it up! :O You can do that sun-tea business that was so popular back in the 80's. Put the water out in the sun in the morning, and I'm sure you'll have perfectly brewed, strong tea by lunchtime. Your bath temperture will probably be perfect.
You can also.....
And then there's......
Well, I'm sure my summer-lovin' fun folks can fill in the blanks better than me. ;}
What brought me to writing this blog entry is that Salvador Dali came up in conversation. If you're not familiar with his name, I'm sure you'll recognize his work called The Persistence of Memory. Well, I think he must've experienced an even hotter summer then than we do now. Why else would he be so inspired to paint this?? ;)
We humans don't stand a prayer, do we? lol
(Yes, for the serious artists and art students reading this blog, I'm well aware that there is a far deeper and independent meaning than my immediately flippant observation of art according to circumstances.)
Friday, July 8, 2011
On July 5th, 1:15 PM EST, Casey Anthony received an acquittal for Caylee's death. This stunned many Americans who diligently watched this trial unfold. I was not one of the watchers but read commentary throughout the trial from time to time.
Even I am convinced of her guilt. So why and how on earth did she receive an acquittal from the jury?? If there is one thing I've learned since becoming a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, it is indeed that God has "unconventional" ways of doing things and intervening on behalf of human life's issues.
By many accounts, Casey is as guilty as sin of killing her darling little girl who has captured the hearts of so many people. The first unforgivable rule of a mother broken by Casey is the delay in reporting her daughter missing! MOST of us mothers would report our child/ren missing within MINUTES (if we could!), and definitely within HOURS, of discovering that our child is missing! :O But yet, she was merely a "negligent" mother because it took her 31 days to report her. I'm sorry, I admit that I can't seem to get past that one fact alone.
The rest of the evidence presented in the case was basically ruled "circumstantial", including HER OWN CAR smelling horrible, like a dead body was there. How do you get PAST that?? I don't recall anyone suggesting that someone "borrowed" her car and returned it to her smelling bad. I guess trash bags are too generic? Duct tape found on the toddler is a generic, "normal" thing to find on a dead child? Most people can forgive an accident, but this is purely murder.
Unfortunately, her "lot" in life seems to be that of a liar and a sociopath, as well as (allegedly) a murderess. Her credibility with the public has become nil, void, zero, nada, zip before she even got started with this trial, now most of the world hates her. Why a mother would lie to law enforcement who are trying to help her "find her child" is beyond my comprehension. I hope this was panic mode speaking, but I'm afraid I don't believe that's the case here.
What caused the jury to acquit her? There are a few technical reasons that have been presented over the last few hours and days (after the shock kind of wore off, that is). The defense celebrates a victory because they did such a "great job" countering evidence with lies that happened to be believed by the jurors. The prosecution did not do an adequate job in either submitting the evidence or the how behind them. The defense encouraged Casey to appear in the trial as a dowdy, frumpy "poor little me" victim. Somehow the evidence presented in the trial became merely circumstantial, rather than proven physical ties to the defendant.
No matter, though. One of the main reasons I didn't pay such close attention to the trial is because it truly doesn't matter what verdict she would receive. Either she would experience life sentence or death row; or she would be free, but her freedom would become costly.
Think of Cain in the Bible. After killing his brother Abel, he "walked." Granted, jails and prisons did not abound then, but upon reading his sentence, he probably wished he was in jail or prison. After all, Cain received a mark as a warning to other men not to kill him. He may have been free but he was never free from the judgment he received for killing his own brother.
Think of David, who killed a man so that he could marry his wife. He was a man of God, but he committed some horrible sins! He may not have been physically imprisoned, but the weight of those sins nearly crushed him. Read through Psalms...read his conversations between God and himself!
Think of Judas Iscariot, the DISCIPLE who betrayed Jesus! True, he didn't actually kiiiiill Jesus, but he might as well have! He was a man who knew what he was doing all along, but it wasn't until later before the true impact of what he had done set in. We do not read of him being buried in a dungeon, prison or jail somewhere, but he hung himself trying to free himself of that tormenting guilt. Jesus would've forgiven him if he had let Him. Jesus knew what he was going to do before he did it.
Think of the thief who hung on a cross with Jesus. Yes, both he and another thief were crucified with Jesus. One did not understand why Jesus would not free himself physically from the crucifixion (and free him, too!). The other, however, knew who Jesus was and correctly answered that Jesus did no wrong, and yet he is being crucified. He knew the magnitude of his own sins (who did wrong) and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus said that he could join him in Paradise.
Think of Saul/Paul, who killed Christians under orders. Jesus met him and asked him on the Road to Damascus, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Saul had no idea that he was not "just" killing a people who opposed the religious order of the day, but he was hurting (persecuting) Jesus with each and every follower he killed. Jesus transformed him into one of the greatest apostles of the Bible. He truly had much to overcome in order to convince those very Christians that he has become one of them.
Jesus died so that we can be set free of our sins. Jesus paid the price of death with his own blood so that we can live without the wrath of God and instead live an eternal life. Jesus was made sin so that we can be made righteous. Jesus became poor so that we can be blessed and to bless others.
Sin is sin is sin. We have a tendency to put sin on a sliding scale, but the Bible is clear that God views sin the same way. We have all sinned to some degree or another. But yet God's grace and mercy abounds more than sin. Most of us have already pronounced sentence upon Casey Anthony, believing that she is guilty of murdering her darling little girl and deserving of death. Jesus tells in a passage that anyone who harms one of His little ones would be better off with a millstone tied around his neck and tossed into the sea. Obviously, something happened to prevent her from human juror conviction. Does that mean that they messed up? I don't think that's necessarily true. But for now, the trial is out of any one's hands...what's done is done.
From what I can see, God has a different judgment in mind for her. IF she is indeed innocent of killing Caylee, then the truth will eventually prevail, although it may be too late for her to be personally vindicated. IF she is indeed guilty of killing Caylee, she will not have a free walk in life...she will eventually pay for the murder. The ostracization will become overwhelming unless she can somehow renew her life (think of Cain). God will either let her be destroyed by other means (Judas), or God may have mercy on her and give her a new reason to live (Saul/Paul). Even if she is doomed to a sentence she must endure, she can still receive forgiveness from God. (thief on the cross)
God is not slack concerning his promises as men count slackness.
We are told in Psalm 37:1-2 (and Prov24:19):
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Casey may be free, but she has a long, potentially lonely road ahead of her. I do pray that she may one day come to repentance and salvation, if she hasn't already. Jesus sent the Comforter, who is ready to care for her and be by her side every step of her new life. Once He is in her life, she will never be left or forsaken, and it will not matter what man would attempt to do to her in order to seek justice for the murder of precious Caylee Anthony.
Friday, June 24, 2011
I mean, seriously. I crashed a heck of a dust bunny party on my living room ceiling fan. I just cleaned all my fans a couple of weeks ago! I feel like the parent who goes out of town for a weekend, only to come home early to a house sardine-PACKED with teens and strangers I'd never seen before in my life with the music volume at a decibel loud enough to be heard in the next state.
Okay...maaaaaybe I'm exaggerating a liiiiittle bit! ;) That's part of the fun of writing for me. :)
On a slightly more serious note, though, we did have a somewhat serious gray dust storm this afternoon! I came home to a hot house this afternoon, and it dawned on my older son, T13, that we haven't changed the direction of the fans in the house yet. We started in the living room because that's just where our center is located as soon as you open the door. Son climbed up on the coffee table to change the direction. He stopped the fan, switched the little switch, turned the fan back on, and while it was still on the "high" setting, we suddenly became inundated with dust bunnies EV-ER-Y-WHERE. It looked like Tom came to visit our house and shed his fur everywhere! Great, now I'm lookin' for Jerry. I sure hope Miss Kitty doesn't find him! Unlike Tom, she is no respecter of mice!
After T13 and I had a good laugh about all this, I got out the vacuum cleaner to vacuum the floor, the ceiling, the furniture, the table, the books, etc. I happened to glance down at my coffee that was sittin' on my desk a little ways off. Hmmmm, I don't see any evidence of dust bunnies in a mini hot tub, but I'm not taking any chances. Down the sink it goes. I've always told my hubby that I don't drink nearly as much coffee as it looks like I do, there's proof of it right there. :}
I had other cleaning issues to attend to today, but evacuating dust bunnies from the ceiling wasn't part of my intended agenda today. Evidently I need to get that filter changed, and we need to do a better job of keeping the outside doors shut! I'm sure the deceased dust bunnies have youngsters who will mature into more dust bunnies next week or so and will attempt the same party, probably a different "crib", though...like under our beds! No problem, I'll just bring out the vacuum again...to drown out their music and to transport them where all dust bunnies eventually must go.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
How often do we think God doesn't or can't hear us because we are so small? Have we ever thought that we are all there is? How often do we think God can't exist because He's so huge we can't see Him? We are a smaaaaall community on a little clover in a huge patch, and we're still an even smaller speck than what can be seen, when you pull out the telescope and see more of the galaxies that exist! Our life literally is but a vapor. :O But yet, each of us are important to God, we are so important that He knows the count of each hair upon our heads!
I believe God created us with a an innate desire to be with Him. I believe that we are sometimes limited in how we try to see Him because we become cluttered with our own immediate vision of life. I believe that God calls out to us, but we don't hear Him because we are, again, cluttered with the mere act of living in our immediate world.
Unlike what some believe, I believe God knows and cares more about our intimate details of life than we can ever imagine. That's where the comparison between Horton and God leave off. Horton hears only one voice and knows very little of that voice, or even that an entire "great" community exists! Horton must prove to others of his world that the Whos exist! I believe God created our very world, and the worlds beyond what we can see with the naked eye, and even beyond what we can see w/ our most powerful telescope we possess!
Can you imagine what early mankind experienced as they tried to figure out who or what God is? This is if they even cared! Can you imagine the true marvel that must've flowed through Abram when God finally spoke specifically to him? Generations have passed since God had made Himself known to Noah, and generations had passed between him and Adam! How about Moses? What caused these men to BELIEVE in the invisible God who presented Himself to them as THE one and only true God? How much ridicule these men must've faced from their contemporaries! What caused the Mayor of Who to believe that he heard Horton as a being so much larger than he could ever imagine?
Is it any wonder some fellow Christians have a difficult time convincing other people that God is indeed real? Is it any wonder that some people think we're nuts that we can hear from God? Is it any wonder that some people mock and scoff at Christians who stand so faithfully upon God's instructions that run so contrary to the world's way of thinking?
But what happens when the fruit of all that faith finally manifests itself? Eventually, that grows into curiosity and desire to share that fruit! It took a collective effort of the Whos to prove to Horton's friends that they exist. It took a desire from the Mayor to share Horton with the rest of his community! The Bible says that one day EVERYONE will know who Jesus is! The Bible says that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ IS indeed Lord.
God wants all of us to know Him! He knows about us already. He's been knocking patiently on the door of our hearts for some time, waiting for us to recognize that His voice is different than that of any other voice we'll hear and that we can indeed hear Him! God is not a being so large that we attempt to put Him in a box. He can't be boxed! But He is so expanse that we can't comprehend him in His entirety. He loves us! He desires to protect us and to bless us. All we need to do is let Him.
The words expressed in this blog are not at all shared by Dr. Seuss.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
He and his followers evidently missed some passages from Scriptures, especially Jesus' own words in the Gospels that said that no one on earth or in heaven knew the hour in which He will return, NOT EVEN JESUS HIMSELF, only the Father knew and knows. Last I checked, the only earthly being that had any divine powers was Jesus. If He didn't know, NONE OF US CAN KNOW.
That is not at all to say that He is NOT coming. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that He will indeed return. Scripture also makes it abundantly clear that a Rapture DOES take place. It just is not taking place according to mankind's schedule or blueprint. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as men count slackness." Jesus gave events and signs that need to be fulfilled before His return. Ancient prophets saw signs and visions they personally did not understand, but some our current generations can. Our greatest prophetic compass is to watch the events unfold for the nation of Israel.
While every day I keep wondering if we have yet to see the days like those of Noah, and of Sodom and Gomorrah, obviously we have not gotten "worse" just yet. Given time, we will. It may be before I'm finished typing this entry, or it may be another 2000 or more years before this takes place, but I believe in my heart of hearts that it WILL take place. It's something that has been in my heart even before I became a born-again Christian.
My greatest concern regards Mr. Camping's irresponsible "prediction" as catastrophic for weak-spirited Christians. The rest of us, believers and nonbelievers alike, can laugh at his folly and crack jokes about his missing the mark and his scrambling around to save face in the midst of his failed prediction. However, some serious consequences have been paid for his careless and irresponsible declaration that the end of the world happened according to his calculations. A few suicides have been reported because these people who trusted and believed him did not want to be judged among those left behind the proclaimed "rapture." They have been deceived, greatly deceived. :( Contrary to the seeming attitude of many congregations, we individually are responsible for our own salvation. We are responsible for our own personal relationship/friendship/fellowship with the Lord. We cannot trust every word that comes from the pulpit at face value, we must verify and learn it for ourselves by reading our Bible, listening to God's voice behind His Word.
This is why the Bible says very clearly, "Let God be true, and every man a liar." That doesn't mean that we can't know the truth, but that what we know needs to align up with what God says is true. Our hearts can be deceived if we don't guard it against falsehoods. There are many things that belong to the Lord until He reveals it to mankind, and we can have the mind of Christ as we read God's Word, but we are still not God. God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways higher than our own. We may possess greater wisdom than another person, but God's foolishness is still far greater than any wisdom we can have bestowed upon us.
We should not be attending church or reading our Bibles so that we can have a religious experience, like we might have attending a concert or a sporting event. God's Word has an awesome capacity to transform us into the likeness of Christ, and like Christ, we can make a difference in others through Him. If we are attentive to the Lord's voice, we can know what He means for us to know and to have confidence even in what we don't know while still having faith in it. No one can know the moment in which the Lord WILL return, but we can know what to observe until He DOES return, and we can know when He HAS returned.
In the meantime, I do pray that, if he hasn't already, Mr. Harold Camping comes to truly know God's son, Jesus Christ. I pray that, before it's too late, that he accepts Jesus' gift of eternal life, and lets Him be his Lord and Saviour. May he accomplish this before he passes away, whenever that day or hour for him is.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I am deeply concerned about my family and friends who live in the south and southeast. Some of these tornados have appeared without warning. Buildings have been destroyed, people have died. As one person has reported, there are towns in Alabama that have virtually been obliterated. None of us are truly safe. We've had our share of tornado warnings, too, but thankfully they've not been too destructive, just scary.
Oh, to be like Jesus, who could sleep on a boat in the middle of the stormy sea. Jonah did the same thing...he had to be awakened to calm the fears of his companions. Praying for safety for my self, my home, my family and their homes, my friends and their homes during this turbulent season. He is indeed our shelter in the time of the storm.
I'm glad President Obama finally got around to revealing his birth certificate to the nation. It's an issue that should've been settled at the beginning of his campaign, not well into two-and-a-half years of his presidency. He KNEW his birth certificate has been an issue since the beginning. He produced something that was for some reason questionable in the eyes of a good portion of America (not necessarily majority, but a lot of people were not satisfied). Not that it's up to idle Americans to determine whether a birth certificate is authentic or not, but when there were more questions as to its authenticity, especially when other documents indicate that he was born outside of America, why did he not address them THEN and get this issue RESOLVED?? One of the fundamental principles in our Constitution is that a president must have been born in the United States of America. If he truly had issues in presenting his birth certificate, as supposedly he was not permitted to handle the original, why could he not just say so and have Hawaii confirm the issue??
Why were there rumors that President Obama spent over $2 billion dollars to HIDE his birth certificate?? Why were there Internet rumors floating around, seemingly unchecked, that he truly has a birth certificate from Kenya, making him utterly disqualified to be our president?? And again, why did it take President Obama so long to answer the public??
I'm sorry, but I can't help but think that he brought this soap opera upon himself by seemingly ignoring the people who believe this is an important issue. He calls this silliness, a distraction, carnival side show, but yet he basically brought this upon himself by not standing up and putting this issue to rest much sooner.
I agree that there are far more serious national issues that demand attention than seeing our president's birth certificate, especially this late in the game. However, when a president seems to balk at the request, cause growing unnecessary and mysterious controversy, and instead dismisses and criticizes the very people who deserve straight-forward answers...oh yeah, I believe the word is "transparency"...America is going to take notice and even demand answers. Americans can be like children who keep asking why 'til the parent throws up their hand and says, "BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!" Okay, now supposedly he has released his birth certificate. Are we happy now? That remains to be seen, but I'm happy to see SOME kind of closure to this issue, even I was getting quite annoyed with this issue, but not because of the birth certificate itself but the seemingly reluctance to produce it, even again. Sure, there may be more charges of controversy, but answer them and move on to the more important national issues that demand greater attention. In case he hasn't figured that out yet, ignoring the people he serves does not give him brownie points and it will tie him down to move forward to more pressing issues.
I hope this becomes completely resolved. He DOES have greater issues that need his attention.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
He LIVES! He LIVES! Christ Jesus Lives today! He walks with me, and talks with me, along life's narrow way! He LIVES! He LIVES! Salvation to impart, you ask me how I know He lives...he LIVES within my heart!
There's within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low. Fear not, I'm with thee, peace be still, in all of life's ebb and flow. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know!
Fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.
What can wash my sins away? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
O, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know! Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!
Since I have been redeemed, since I have been redeemed, I will glory in His Name; since I have been redeemed, I will glory in my Saviour's Name!
Oh, what a Saviour, that He died for me! From condemnation He hath made me free; "He that believeth on the Son," saith He, "Hath everlasting life!"
"Verily, verily, I say unto you." "Verily, verily," message ever new;
"He that believeth on the Son," 'tis true, "Hath everlasting life!"
Alas! and did my Saviour bleed? And did my Sov'reign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I have done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
But drops of grief can ne'er repay the debt of Love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away, 'Tis all that I can do.
He loves me, He loves me, He loves me, this I know; He gave himself to die for em, because he loved me so.
Obviously, these are just a few and hardly scratches the surface of songs to sing! But on such a wonderful day as this, how can I stop singing??
Have a most blessed Resurrection Day!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
This season always brings to my mind Ecclesiastes 7:1 which says "...the day of death (is better) than the day of one's birth." This sounds very odd to our natural ears as we live in this world, but Solomon has something here. While Jesus' birth brought the Promise into this world, it was His death, His burial and, most importantly, His resurrection that fulfilled that Promise of reconciliation between God and man.
Living He loved me,The prophesy of Salvation is threaded throughout the Bible from Old Testament through the New Testament. Mankind has been looking forward to this Salvation since the fall of (Eve and) Adam. The promise of Redemption has been on the mind of God since He pronounced sentences to Eve, Adam and the serpent. God has always given man a spirit that longs and seeks Him, though not all do.
Dying He saved me,
Buried He carried my sins far away,
RISING He justified freely forever!
One day He's coming, O GLORIOUS DAY!
Many Christians call this time Easter, although our traditions and customs greatly differ from those of the original Pagan celebrants of the holiday Easter. Easter eggs and bunnies and baskets with all the trimmin's have nothing to do with the joyously solemn occasion of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. There seems to be a growing movement of Christians calling this Resurrection Day instead, leaving the more frolicsome customs back to our secular participants.
There is nothing wrong with this, nothing at all. What a way to experience the fullness of the Resurrection in our lives! We are reconciled to God and living in the age of grace! All we need to do is accept His gift! He is the ultimate and perfect sacrifice, and He did this willingly, with us on His mind. We are living in the New Testament because He IS the New Testament. We have new life (eternal and earthly) because of His willing sacrifice.
The Holy Ghost this signifying that the way into the holiest of all
was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet
Which was a figure for the time then present, in which there were
offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the
service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Which stood only in the meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal
ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater
and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered
in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer
sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead
works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of the NEW TESTAMENT, that by
means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were
under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no
strength at all while the testator liveth.
Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to
the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool,
and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people.
Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto
Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the
vessels of the ministry.
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without
shedding of blood is no remission.
It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens
should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better
sacrifices than these.
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are
the figures of the true; but unto heaven itself, now to appear in the presence
of God for us:
Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth
into the holy place every year with blood of others;
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but
now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the
sacrifice of himself.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that
look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Jesus' message of hope and salvation for us all would not exist if it were not for His Resurrection. Look at 1 Corinthians 15 to see what I mean. This hope is the Christian's Easter Story. He is our solid rock from old. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us so that we can have life everlasting, removing sin, reconciling God and man again. God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son, that whoseover believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
These are just a couple of hymns that pop into my mind. There are many, many more. I daresay that we could not finish singing by the end of today. The Lord wants us to worship Him, that's an easy "assignment" for me. My heart is filled with such praise and thanksgiving that it can't be contained. Enjoy this special time with the Lord, your family and friends; and if that includes an Easter egg hunt and a spiral cut ham for dinner after a sunrise worship, remember to do all of these things for the Glory of God. Last night my sons began our remembrance with Resurrection Day Story Cookies. Enjoy!
Happy Easter! Have a most blessed Resurrection Day!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Do not judge those who esteem one day above another and, likewise, don't judge those who esteem all days the same. Today seems to be a day we need for remembering everything in balance, moderation and perspective. I see a lot of extremism in regard to honoring Earth Day. This is not a nonChristian or Christian issue at all, but mankind's issue. However, from my observation, attitudes have been based on visible and sometimes stark response to this general task. This finger-pointing ought not to be.
Do Christians participate in Earth Day because it's become a socially mandatory observation? Do nonChristians believe Christians are morons who don't make the same fuss about Earth Day that nonChristians seem to make? Do we celebrate together opportunities that make our planet a better place to live? Do we acknowledge and appreciate each other's efforts, however great or small, to maintain this wonderful world we call Earth?
Does the Bible say anything about how we should care for this Earth? Indeed it does! And, you don't need to read much further than Genesis! God Himself led the example for recycling human bodies after our spirits are done with them by returning ashes to ashes and dust to dust. The cycle of life is evident every day in every plain on earth. We can learn a great deal just by watching a rotting tree in a forest or watching insects devour carcasses. Animals instinctively know what to do with what they are given. Those who are destined to "waste" are usually surrounded by scavengers to clean up what's left. Ever watch a snail clean a fish tank? Nothing is left to chance in the animal world. Our world, however, seems to be seen a bit differently.
God gives us a creation to enjoy, from the dirt to the waters to the plants to the animals to fellow mankind. God gave us this Earth to use as we needed it, whether it's through study or admiration or even mundane living (??, lol)
Leviticus is chock full of advice as to how to care for our world around us. Granted, it's mainly for every day living back in those days, but prudent followers of God's Word reaped benefits by following sound advice. We are taught how to rotate our soil so we can get the best increase. We are taught when is the best time to buy and sell property based on the qualifications of the particular year. Many cycles of various kinds are observed so that we can look forward to our routines, giving different aspects a certain share of glory.
We are called to care for our animals, both our own and those of our neighbors. Abuse was not tolerated. A righteous man regardeth well the life of his beast. At times we become aware what happens when disease is not contained and instead contaminates the food we eat and the waters we drink and bathe in.
Miracles were performed using vessels already present in the neighborhood. Remember the widow who had a neighborhood container drive so that a prophet could help her have enough oil to sell, saving her sons from slave creditors? Remember Jesus' miracle of the wine? He needed vessels filled with water and he turned it into wine. Today we use re-usable plastic bottles and home water filters to (sorta) accomplish the same feat. ; )
Remember the gold jewelry that was melted down and made into other items? From calf idol to plating the tabernacle furniture, recycling had its moments in Bible history! Indeed, recycling has its moments in virtually every culture that has ever lived.
So what about today? I think it's good that we, as a general society, have become aware of some of the idle waste that has been happening for some time. I'm thankful that we have many opportunities to make a difference in making this world better than we have found it over the years. What sometimes irritates me is when Earth Day is treated more like a man-made religion than a productive way of life. I think we should encourage each other to do what we can to reduce, reuse and recycle. I believe that we need to be attentive to our surroundings where plants and animals are concerned and do what we can to preserve that environment; however, I don't believe that we need to save the animals at the expense of humanity (I know, gets me in a heap o' trouble, I get it, lol). God has a natural and cyclical process in dealing with human and animal population; sometimes lands seem to get destroyed beyond our control, or even despite our control. And yet, the rebirth of that land and populations becomes more amazing than ever known before. I believe that we need to intelligently use resources as we discover them. I think changing our lifestyles to fit a more Earth-friendly environment is admirable, but sometimes we do what we need to do to live in this world we are living in now.
I must say that I am quite disappointed in (particularly speaking here) Christians who are simply "waiting upon the Lord's return" and nothing else~~they feel there is no need to participate in keeping things running smoothly because they feel the Lord will be here "any minute." I believe this attitude is misguided and foolish and plain unhelpful to fellow man. Also, this attitude actually can contribute to the stresses our world experiences from time to time. Yes, the world may not be a beautiful place at the moment, and heaven sounds, well...heavenly...but we have a God-given responsibility to have dominion, to replenish and to subdue this planet we call Earth. Jesus was about His Father's business until it was time for Him to be crucified. We need to be about Jesus' business, too, until He is ready to call us home, WHENEVER that may be...it could be before I even finish this post, or it can be another coupla thousand years from now. No man knoweth the hour, not even Jesus then. Can we really afford to just let things go because we're waiting for the Lord's return? Hollywood's got a pretty good imagination of what our world would look like if we neglect it. We are part of the process in preserving life as best as we can. We are to be at our work when the Lord returns, anyway...why not work at making this world a better place while we pay our rent here? We need to do our best so God can do the rest.
I got tickled at an article I read earlier this week. It's about an elderly lady who wasn't quite up on the news about plastic bags not being good for the environment. She apologized and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." It's a very good article, citing examples of just how green our former generations really lived long before our recent disposable generation was born.
Here's to a celebration that has been going on for many years longer than officiated.
Happy Earth Day!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
America...indeed the world...has lost yet another major Hollywood icon today...Elizabeth Mary Rosemond Taylor, best known as Elizabeth Taylor. May she rest in peace.
She lived life sometimes more dramatically than the roles she played. She was portrait of elegance and mystifying beauty. She had eyes, violet-colored eyes curtained with double lashes, and she knew how to use them. God graced her with hallmark traits many seek to duplicate.
She was gifted as an actress. Sure, she was a product of high society, and she used that to her every advantage; one could see that she was not a puppet to toss into a corner or played at will. She took her advantages and made her mark in a volative industry. Even as a child actress she knew what it took to succeed. She may not have been everything that one studio wanted, but what she DID have she drove full throttle with another. As she grew more experienced with life, she grew more experienced with the big screen. Acting was her life's canvas for living.
For all of her wealth and privileges afforded her in life, she suffered bouts of loneliness, ill health, loss, addictions, and trials that could break any one person. Through them all, she refused to remain down and out for any great length of time. After all, she was Elizabeth Taylor! She was an actress, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a businesswoman, a spokeswoman, a humanitarian and any other human role she took on.
Whatever she did in life, she enjoyed to the fullest possibility. She deserves the adulation she receives. May she be remembered at her best and forgotten at her worst.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Prayers must go out to these devastated people. Help must go out to these devastated people. No mere words can express the overwhelming suffering this nation is enduring at this time, with more to come. Millions, not thousands...millions of Japanese lives have been shattered over the last 72 hours. Numerous are killed, even more are unaccounted for and feared dead. My heart broke for this one lady who was hoping to find her elderly mother at home, and the only thing she found was desolate emptiness. Still, they must move on. Already they are facing damaged nuclear reactor facilities that could easily destroy whatever is left. Are we prepared for any similar events here in the United States? I daresay not.
Is there any way we could be prepared?? I don't know that it's truly possible to be totally prepared for natural disasters, wherever or whenever they may strike. We can learn from past mistakes, build things stronger and better, become educated in possible remedies, stockpile foods and supplies (which can still be destroyed), but to have foresight to withstand what can come from the movie scripts and screens into real life? I truly don't think there is any way we can preserve what we have if the balance of nature remains off kilter. However, that should not discourage us from trying.
Hollywood has been making movies about the end-of-the-world type disasters for years. Some of them seem a bit far-fetched, but are they really? Not according to Biblical prophesy. Natural earth rages have been going on for several thousand years of recorded history...every land has experienced some form of devastation. While many will dismiss these events as either flukes, man-made stupidity (is any one of us that smart and powerful??), Nature calling out w/ a Rebel Yell, Earth just doin' her thing; still others take this unfortunate moment and declare that God is passing judgment on the nations...the rains fall upon the just AND the unjust...and, like that is helpful to those who need food, water and meds. :/ I'm not definitively saying that is or is not truly happening. What is interesting to me is that these events are becoming more intense and with greater frequency in a way that I can't ignore. Biblically speaking, I believe the time of the Second Coming of Christ IS drawing nearer and nearer. I'm not concerned about whether it will be another 2 days or another 2000 years before this happens. I honestly believe that God is not slack concerning His promises, and I see this as a time for man to try his own soul and make sure he's right with God. Has he received Salvation, the free gift of eternal life from God through His Son, Jesus Christ? Will he be with Him in heaven or will he be facing (indeed) greater wrath from God? As a Christian, I cannot imagine anything more secure during times like this. I may lose my physical life here on this earth, but that is nothing to be compared to the glory of eternal life with my Saviour as a returning spirit.
Hollywood has got a fantastic imagination where end-times are concerned, but NOTHING compares to, and nothing can prepare you for, the reality of abysmal fear and loneliness such as these people struck by earthquakes, tsunamis, disease, starvation, etc, are experiencing. These people are not interested in the entertainment industry. These people are probably not interested in the religious "industry." These people are not interested in who holds political powers at the moment. These people don't give a care if McDonald's is better than Wataburger or other such petty and vain things. These people are trying to merely survive a horrible and unimaginable loss and figure out how to start their lives over. They are in desperate need of comfort and hope. In the meantime, if the Lord has opened a heart, I pray that a Christian is there to lead them to Salvation and a new life, acquiring that peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Prayer is a powerful support for these people; it's something we can ALL do. God DOES answer prayers, even in the midst of unspeakable tragedies.
I encourage you to help however you can. Two organizations that I already know are helping Japan through donations are Samaritan's Purse and Red Cross.
God bless Japan. God bless other nations who are still recovering from their destruction from natural disasters. God bless those who can help them all.
Monday, February 28, 2011
I have noticed these last few years that I tend to repeat myself, especially within a conversation. I don't know why, it's as aggravating and embarrassing as it can be, but I don't seem to be aware enough to stop it.
Maybe it's too many episodes of Winnie the Pooh or Dora the Explorer. Maybe it's reading the Bible too much (just read through Genesis, and see what I mean!). Maybe it's just being a mom. : P I dunno.
All I know is that sometimes when I think back over a conversation, I become acutely aware of how I sound after the fact. It's like my mind is stuck on a point, and not necessarily an important point, and I don't get past it until I'm finished. Sometimes it's only later that I realize that I've "harped" or "parroted" so much on my particular point that I have forgotten to say something else that might've contributed to a good conversation.
Sometimes this shows up in my writing, too. However, the blessed thing about writing is that I can edit it before sending it off to wherever it needs to go.
Needless to say, speaking is NOT one of my favorite things to do in life. Well, guess what? While I have a mouth that can speak, I need to do so.
Thankfully, my friends don't seem to mind this trait about me. I don't know if I've always had it or if I've only just become aware of it. I think sometimes my bosses get a little annoyed with me, but they've not said anything to me.
I don't know what my ultimate purpose in life is supposed to be just yet. I've been told quite a few times I'd make a good teacher. A teacher DOES need to repeat herself from time to time. Then again, I keep thinking about how God has designed each of us with special traits and unique features that fulfill a specific job like NO ONE ELSE CAN. I know I need to find that purpose. Maybe finding it is not the objective, but to act upon that objective when I discover it.
I've noticed these last few years that I tend to repeat myself, especially within a conversation.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Mary had a little lamb.....Mary and lamb, outside the nursery rhyme, have something in common: Jesus.
Jesus is ultimately the Lamb of God, and a Mary was chosen to give birth to Him.
Whose fleece was white as snow.....Jesus, as the Lamb of God, was as pure as snow, sinless.
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.....Jesus, for the most part, obeyed his mother (and father) growing up.
It followed her to school one day, which was against the rules.....it was unusual for the students to be the teacher, but Jesus spoke with such amazing authority about the Scriptures, and then Jesus read the scrolls to them He told them the Scriptures had been fulfilled that day. This was initially met with wonder and amazement; after a while this caused some religious leaders to attempt to kill Him.
It made the children laugh and play.....Jesus loved children, and the children loved Him.
And so the teacher turned it out.....to a Christian, this is a sad commentary of the world today. Jesus is not welcome in school or social life today, but neither was He welcomed in his own land among his own people then. Pharisees threw Him out of the temple with false accusations. What people DID receive Him, however, He gave them eternal life.
But still it lingered near.....Jesus has never left us, even when we leave Him. He still loves us!
And waited patiently about.....God wants none of us to perish. He is patient and long-suffering for us to come or recommit our lives back to Him. He loves us, even while we were yet sinners!
Til Mary did appear.....Mary His mother and Mary Magdalene (another prominent Mary spoken of in the Gospels) were regularly attentive to Jesus. Jesus will appear again for His bride, the church. We, as members of Christ, should be practicing the Great Commission until Jesus deems us ready to "appear" before the ceremony of the wedding supper.
Why does the lamb love Mary so.....God is Love. God the Father and God the Son are One. God loves all of us.
The eager children cry.....the multitudes were full of questions and curiosity about who Jesus was and what He taught.
Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.....a mother's love never dies. Mary Magdalene experienced salvation and expressed her love anointing him with the expensive oil.
The teacher did reply.....I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep, and my sheep know me.
Obviously I could've taken many different biblical angles to express this. These are just off the top of my head. I haven't taken the time to note the Scriptural applications I've made. It's entirely possible that I've made an observation that doesn't exactly make sense with someone else, but these are my current musings about a nursery rhyme that's over 180 years old.
Here is the original rhyme:
Mary had a little lamb,
little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb
whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
And everywhere that Mary went
the lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day,
school one day, school one day,
It followed her to school one day
which was against the rules.
It made the children laugh and play,
laugh and play, laugh and play,
It made the children laugh and play
to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out,
turned it out, turned it out.
And so the teacher turned it out
but still it lingered near.
And waited patiently about,
patiently about, patiently about.
And waited patiently about
til Mary did appear.
"Why does the lamb love Mary so,
Mary so, Mary so,
Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cried.
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,
lamb you know, lamb you know.
Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
The teacher did reply.
There have been many applications of this poem for many years. I know I'm not doing anything original, not by any means. :) I just thought I'd say what was on my mind about Mary and her little lamb, Estelle's Version. :)