About Me

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I live in San Diego County and enjoy picking roses and strawberries in January. My husband and I love to travel and have visited many countries. We have five grown children and two grandsons. I've been active in many Bible study programs, 16 years with Bible Study Fellowship, and have taught in my community, including our local jail, for the past twelve years. I've had the honor of going to Uganda, Africa to teach in a Rafiki Girls Center and wrote a book from my journal,'How is the Day?' After over 40 years of studying the Bible, which I firmly believe to be God's Word, I continue to be captivated by its eloquence and wisdom. It never ceases to thrill me. Some may call me an activist. That may be true, as I actively ponder and pursue Biblical truth. I think in terms of what the Bible says,and resist being involved with humanistic theology and various church doctrines. God's Word is pure. I love to write, so blogs are a perfect place to deposit what God has been teaching me. I'm mostly interested in guiding people to the truth of grace and sovereignty which brings peace and joy to our life. In order to live life with passion, you need to have a passion. Mine is the Bible!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EASTER STORY - TEN IMPORTANT FACTS

On the road to Emmaus - Luke 24:13. . .
"Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him."  Luke 24:15

Jesus dead, hanging on the cross. God Himself, the sacrificial lamb, who came to pay the wages of sin for those who believe in Him. The death of Jesus is meaningless unless you understand that He was resurrected to life. Only God could come back to life after death. Jesus told His followers while he was still with them in Galilee..."The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day, be raised again." Luke 24:7

        Fact is, we have a living Savior. Almost immediately after His resurrection, he spoke to two men who were walking along a road. They didn't recognize who He was. Did His resurrected body look different than the one they'd seen? Maybe so. They invited Him to come stay with them as the day was almost over. Jesus shared a meal with them...Luke 24:29 - 31. Notice, these men were drawn to Jesus, they wanted to have a relationship with Him.
        An amazing thing happened when Jesus broke the bread, which represented His body, and began to give it to them.

"Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight." Luke 24:31

        Jesus prepares our heart to receive Him as Lord. When He comes to us, we will be receptive, and know who He is. By inviting Him into their home to share a meal, these men were actually inviting them to be a part of their lives. We invite Him into our life so we can have a relationship with the living Lord. Jesus also appeared to his distraught disciples who thought He might be a ghost. Jesus told them that ghosts don't have flesh and bones like He did and pointed out the nail holes in his hands and feet - Luke 24:39.
        Jesus asked the disciples if they had anything to eat. They gave Him a piece of broiled fish. He told them that everything written about Him must be fulfilled. And then, another amazing event; He opened their minds so they could understand the Scripture - Luke 24:45
        We can learn so much from so few verses in Luke 24.

1 - Jesus rose from the dead.

2 - He appeared to others.

3 - They recognized Jesus only after He had opened their eyes.

4 - Jesus prepares those who will receive Him as their Lord.

5 - When we recognize Him, we desire a relationship and invite Him into our lives just as the two men on the road to Emmaus did.

6 - The risen body of Christ was of flesh and bone. Our risen body will also be of flesh and bone, and we will eat in heaven.

7 - Jesus may seem to disappear from our lives. He will not always make His presence known. He wants us to walk by faith, trusting Him, not by sight. 

8 - We can understand Scripture only after our eyes have been opened. We may freely love those who don't believe knowing the Lord is the One who opens our eyes and hearts.

9 -  We will be "clothed with power from on high" - vs. 49. God will send the Holy Spirit to live in us.

10 - Jesus was taken up to heaven, vs. 51. This is called the 'ascension'. We who believe will also ascend to heaven when our earthly body dies. In fact, God sends angels to come for us. We'll never die alone, Luke 16:22.   

        I do hope all of you readers have had a blessed Easter with family and friends. I pray this blog post will help you hold on to these spiritual truths and share them with others.

Lord, 'thank you' is such an insufficient way to acknowledge what you have done for us. I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live a life that glorifies You and Your life will be evident in our own life.



       

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AN EASTER POEM


 
Resurrection Sunday


Spring, a time when
God revives His creation
resurrecting new life
nurturing what once
seemed dead.

The Lord announces His existence,
dresses the earth exquisitely
in all the colors of the rainbow.
He floods the air with
heavenly unwritten melodies
as the birds chose their mates
and build nests to
house fragile fledglings.

The message of the Son is revealed
as we witness a flower
pushing through soil,
smell fragrant orange blossoms,
gently reach out to
touch those we love.

Jesus came to show
all is not lost and gone away.
Life will be resurrected
in harmony with His unfolding plan.

He has promised to
show the way.
He is the Way,
the Truth and the Life.

~ John 14:6



 


 

Monday, April 14, 2014

THE PASSOVER

"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt . I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." Exodus 12: 12 - 13

My first understanding of  the story of  the Lord's Passover was not from a Sunday school class, listening to a pastor, or reading the Bible; it was from a movie called the Ten Commandments. This movie, made in 1956, is shown often on television, especially around Easter, and is amazingly true to the Scripture. At least as true as Hollywood could be expected to make it.

        Jews all over the world celebrate Passover as the feast of freedom for their people; free from the bondage in Egypt over 3,000 years ago. This holiday coincides with the Christian celebration of Easter and lasts for eight days, seven in Israel. It's a happy time for Jewish families, full of tradition and praise to God. Everyone in the family can participate from grandpa to a young child. Special services are held at the synagogue, and the Seder dinner is the highlight of the celebration.
        So, what exactly is the story of Passover? Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, compelled the Israelites (Jews) who'd followed Joseph to their land, into slavery. They were forced to do hard physical labor, had very little food and no freedom. Despite their difficult life, the Jews flourished and became so numerous, Pharaoh saw them as a threat to his people and country. The Egyptians worshipped idols. The Jews wanted to escape to a land of their own so they could freely worship God. 
        You'll find the story of Passover in the book of Exodus. It seems the Egyptian king was terrified of the Jews becoming ". . .more numerous, and if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." - Ex. 1:10. Because of this the king ordered all male babies to be killed. The Jewish mid-wives refused and allowed them to live. The king then ordered that all Jewish baby boys be thrown into Nile River.
        About this time, the baby Moses was born to a Levite couple in Egypt. Rather than have their son killed, the mother made a basket of papyrus and coated it with tar and pitch. She put Moses in the basket among the reeds along the shore. As usual, God had a plan. The Pharaoh's daughter just happened to go down to bathe in the Nile that day and saw the baby Moses floating in the basket.
        Moses was raised by this princess surrounded by the luxuries of the Pharaoh's court. He became the second most powerful man in Egypt. It was Moses who God chose to lead His people out of Egypt. This is called the Exodus. Moses wasn't willing at first. In fact, he asked God to send someone else. Most of us can understand; we often pull away from God's sovereign will and do what we want to do in our own way. Alas, we learn, just as Moses did, that we have a will, but it isn't free from God's divine plan.

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. . .that we might be for the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:11

This verse points out that if God allowed us to be the one with the plan and in control, we would be worthy of praise and glory. God is God, and we are not. Someone once told me that "God so loved the world that He didn't send a committee". Amen! He stands alone as the Almighty. A reminder. . .we can never look at one Bible verse and wrap our theology or conviction around it. The sovereignty of God is the most pervasive doctrine in the Bible - Genesis to Revelation. Your life will be blessed when you learn this truth.
        Back to Moses, the one God chose to lead His people out of slavery. God wasn't going to let an idol-worshipping king be the good guy. From the beginning, it was not God's plan that Pharaoh would let the Israelites go. Therefore, He hardened Pharaoh's heart, Exodus 4:21. When Moses asked Pharaoh for mercy for his people, he was rejected, and each time Pharaoh rejected the Lord, God sent a new plague to display His power to the Egyptians.

"The Lord had said to Moses, "Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you - so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt "."  Exodus 11:9

        After the ninth plague, the Lord gave instructions to Moses and his brother Aaron for a special meal, the centerpiece being a roasted lamb. Read Exodus 12 and see how very specific God's instructions were as to what should be eaten and how it should be prepared. They were to slay a lamb and put the blood on the sides and tops of the door frames so He would see the blood, and they would be saved from death. God told them to eat in haste, "it is the Lord's Passover." That very night God passed through Egypt and struck down every firstborn, both men and animals, and brought judgment on all the gods of Egypt. The Israelites were protected by the blood of the lamb; symbolic for Christ shedding blood on the cross.
        The Passover Lamb was a prophesy of Jesus Christ who would come and shed blood for those who believe in Him so they could be released from the slavery of sin and spend eternity in the presence of the Lord. In this way, all condemnation is removed from the life of a believer. . ."There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1. What a blessing to know that because Jesus died for all of our sins, past, present and future, we will never experience condemnation from God. He sees His son, Jesus Christ in us. Jesus is the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29). Again, we witness the unfolding of God's perfect plan.  

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus."  Romans 6:11

We Christians have our heritage in Judaism. God will not forget His people.

Lord, we thank you for the Passover so we can understand when you shed your blood, we no longer are slaves to sin. We praise you, Lamb of God, sent to suffer, so your children can escape eternal suffering.


       



         



Monday, March 31, 2014

FAREWELL TO MARCH

I know spring has come when I'm awakened by chipping birds, and the scent of orange blossoms drift through my open bedroom window.  Most of all, I know it's spring when what appeared to be dead comes alive!

        Speaking in terms of the weather, it is said that March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb. I hope that will be true this year because much of our country has suffered through unusual bitter cold and piles of snow. Those who live in the cold climates treasure the budding of trees, blossoming of flowers and bright spring green grass.
        My first born son Steve was born in March, and this month another baby, Braya Lynn was added to our east coast family. The NCAA College Basketball Finals, referred to as 'March Madness' are enjoyed by many and we have fun trying to guess who will win the national title.
        For the Irish, and Irish-at-heart, St. Patrick's Day on March 17th is celebrated with great gusto around the globe. It's a tradition to wear green clothing that day. Originally, the color for St. Patrick, called the Patron Saint of Ireland, was a bright blue. At some point, the blue was changed for green. Because Ireland's hills and dales are covered with green grasses it became known as the 'Emerald Isle'. St. Patrick used the native Irish clover, called shamrock, to explain the concept of one God in three persons, the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
        This may surprise you, but St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. He was born in the 5th century in Roman-controlled Britain. He was kidnapped and enslaved by the Irish when he was 16 years old. He became a Christian and after he was released from slavery he journeyed back to Britain, then returned to Ireland and continued to share the gospel and live his life for Christ. I believe the prayer of St. Patrick, written by him, date uncertain, is worthy of reading. He died in 46l A.D. and I have no doubt that I'll be meeting this saint in heaven someday.
       
Prayer of St. Patrick

I rise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Speed of lightening,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth;
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude,
Christ shield me today
Against wounding,

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of Creation.

Yes, St. Patrick, kidnapped and enslaved in a foreign land came to know God and in a very real personal way. And so can we - God has provided the way through Jesus Christ. I am very sure that St. Patrick was well aware of this verse. . .

"For in him we live and move and have being." Acts 17:28

Thank you Lord for giving me just a little time today to share this beautiful prayer written by your St. Patrick. May it bless everyone who reads and shares it with others.






Saturday, March 22, 2014

A PLACE RESERVED IN HEAVEN

It happened on a Friday evening. We were sitting at the kitchen table after dinner discussing a St. Patrick's Day party. I'd bought a large corned beef, cabbage, onions and carrots plus some wonderful Irish Soda bread and planned to invite friends to share this meal. Suddenly a confused look crossed my husband's face and he put his hand up to his chest. He received a full-force jolt.

        Nearly four years ago my husband, Van, had a  pacemaker/defibrillator implanted as he was experiencing cardiac arrhythmia. This is a potentially fatal condition. He's done so well and has been able to keep up with a busy life. When evidence showed that the device was making corrections, he was switched to another drug. He was not able to tolerate this new medicine, hence all the drama.
        It was so painful for me to watch him get 'zapped', however he claims there was no real pain involved. Shortly after the first jolt, he had a succession of four more. I'd already called the paramedics and his doctor. We are blessed to have one of the best in the country treating him. In came the paramedic team, six of them I think, looking like the defensive line of the San Diego Chargers. As they carried him to the ambulance I noticed his face was drained of all color. I thought the Lord might take him.
        It's always good to call an ambulance as they can immediately be in touch with Emergency Room doctors and start treatment. By the time I got into his ER room, he was sitting up and all the color had returned to his face. He spent the week-end in the hospital where they got his drug therapy under control, then sent him home on Monday morning. His heart is weak and challenged, but he feels stronger every day.

"In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."  Job 12:10

        Knowing this, we can have a calm and peace that God is always in control. There is nothing random about God's perfect plan. Job 14 gives us further peace when he states that God has numbered our days and counted our steps. Even though it often seems not to be true, no one leaves this earth too soon, or stays too long. We will enjoy memories of yesterday, not worry about tomorrow, and best of all rejoice in today.
        Recently I was at a gym for my bi-weekly work-out. Well, to be honest, 'work-out' may not be the best description as I barely break a sweat. I concentrate on keeping my core muscles strong. I was warming up on a stationary bicycle when an elderly man sat down on the bike next to me. I smiled, and he begins to talk to me. He soon noticed I had earphones on. As I was taking them off, he apologized saying, "I didn't know you were listening to music."
        I wasn't listening to music; I was listening to Bible study tapes made years ago by my friend and awesome Bible teacher, Glenna Salsbury. I told this friendly gym mate that I was listening to a Bible study. He was silent for a minute, and then remarked that was probably a good thing to do. I asked him if he believed in God, yes he did. "Do you know for sure if you died tonight that you'll go to heaven?" I asked. He looked a bit surprised, thought for a minute, then said, "No, I'm not sure, but I've tried to live a good life and have spent many years going to church every Sunday."
        "Then you're a Christian?" I asked. "Oh yes, for sure I'm a Christian!" he stated emphatically. Now this is sad, don't you think? We will all die. To be a Christian and not know for absolutely sure that when your numbered days are over that you will live eternally in heaven with God? I looked this man in the eye and told him I was sure of just one thing; being in heaven. I don't count on anything else in my life as being a sure thing, just this.
        I know this because I've come to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and to believe, through the gift of faith, that He died for all my sins, He paid the price for my imperfection. God sees His Son in me, not my imperfect flesh.

"Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions (sin) - it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2: 4-5

        Most of us don't understand grace, but we are very familiar with working to gain God's favor. If you believe in the One God sent, Jesus, you have attained God's favor. John 6: 28-29. We can take great comfort in this verse. . .

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no long live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

        One day, I read the following verse with deeper insight. God opened my eyes to reveal a truth that would forever change my understanding of who God is and who I am.

"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law (as in keeping the Ten Commandments), Christ died for nothing.Galatians 2:21

        Jesus did not die for nothing. He died so that those who believe in Him will live eternally. He is the Righteous One and isn't expecting us to attain our own. Our faith is in Him alone, never ourselves. If we ask the Lord to reveal this truth to us, we'll never be unsure about going to heaven. In fact, start rejoicing now. There will come a day when our imperfect human body will succumb to death and in that day, we who believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior can be fully assured that we have victory over death and will live eternally with God.
        I'm not saying that it's easy to give up a loved one. But when you know where that one is going and all that God has prepared, you will have a great peace.
       
". . .an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God. . ."  I Peter 1: 4-5 (New American Standard)

Thank you Lord for causing us to come into a knowledge of who you are and how much you love us. Thank you for allowing me to understand that your timing is perfect and I can always trust what you have planned. I thank you for each day with my beautiful man and that he knows you as Lord and Savior.



Friday, March 7, 2014

SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES

"He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29 - 31.

Last month we were inspired and entertained by watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I am always reminded of this Isaiah verse when I watch the Olympics and think of the lovely British film made in 1981 - 'Chariots of Fire'. The melody of the theme song from this movie plays in my mind as I picture the Olympic runners striding across a sandy beach with hope in their hearts and wings on their heels.

        Many elements need to fall together perfectly in order to come home with a medal. Opportunity, talent, desire and most of all, perseverance and faith. The movie, 'Chariots of Fire' was a true story about Eric Liddell, a Christian who was determined to keep the Sabbath holy and not participate in the 1924 Olympic Sunday events, and a Jewish man, Harold Abrahams.

        Eric Liddell said this, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. I want you to compare faith to running a race. I have no formula for winning the race, everyone runs in their own way. And where does the power come from to see the race to its end? It comes from within you. If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race."  
        Jesus said, ". . .the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21. "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:8. If God has given you the gift of faith, you will seek Him and be able to run a "straight race."
        As we watched the Olympics we saw dreams years in the making come true - or not. Many of these young people did not go home with a medal. Hopefully, just being there was worth all the effort of preparation and training even if they fell short of their ultimate goal. Giving something your best effort and then being disappointed in the results isn't uncommon, in fact, it's just life.

        When we can look at life through eyes of faith, we see not a single event, but a marathon with a few sprints along the way. We need to look at the total picture, not just a few select moments. We who believe, run a different race. The crown (medal) we race to win is everlasting and can never be taken away or tarnished.

"Run in such a way to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
    I Corinthians 9:24

        In the movie, Chariots of Fire, the Jewish man, Harold Abrahams, makes this statement to Eric.

"You're brave, compassionate, kind: a content man. That is your secret, contentment; I am 24 and I've never known it. I'm forever in pursuit and I don't know what I am chasing." 

        It's continually amazing to me how God's Word is living and active and applicable to my life and circumstances - today, tomorrow, and every day! Are there days when you don't feel any contentment or peace? Do you sometimes wonder exactly what it is that you are in pursuit of? Is 'joy' just a word or do you feel God's pleasure when you are running the race He has planned for you?
        We humans do stumble and fall, we grow weary. But when we have a relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He will  lift us up and we will soar on wings like eagles. We will be able to look past our worldly problems - sickness, family relations, financial worries - whatever the struggle, and keep focused on our hope, Jesus, and the promises that He's made.       
        While preparing to write this blog, I became very curious and discovered there are many references in Scripture to 'chariots'. I did some Google exploring and was so blessed to read an article by Jeffrey J. Harrison, 'The Chariot' - you might enjoy it also.  www.totheends.com/chariot.html

Lord, we thank you for giving us a place to go when we feel in need of help. You alone are the perfect One. Thank you for the richness of your word, the gift of faith, for keeping us on a straight path and for the ultimate reward - eternal life in your presence.


Friday, February 14, 2014

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

This is the perfect definition of love. . .

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13: 4 - 8

        A Happy Valentine's Day to those of you who have romantic souls and enjoy celebrating 'love'. We've pretty much dropped the 'Saint' in St.Valentine's Day, but know that there really was a Saint of God at the heart of this holiday. As with so many of our favorite holidays - Valentine's Day has Christian roots.
        I've been amused the last few days listening to people on the radio, TV, or writing in the daily newspaper trying so hard to define and describe the word love. I heard one say, "You just can't explain this feeling, emotion, or whatever it is."
        That "whatever it is", makes the world a different place for those who have it, and those who don't. We sometimes tend to judge ourselves by how many and how much others love us. We innately crave to be loved and wish to give love. Our pets so often reap the rewards of this desire. If God has put love into your heart by the power of His Holy Spirit, it's going to surface someplace.

". . .God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us."  Romans 5:5

        The Bible indicates that we don't have a love of our own, but rather God gives us His love. If He doesn't give it, we don't have it.
        We humans desire to connect with others, at least healthy ones do. Often people who suffer from anxiety and depression don't want to engage in meaningful relationships, they are not able to. Social media has become so popular, worldwide. Being connected, even in a superficial way, helps to ease 'alone - ness'. The numbers of those who participate in sites like Facebook show a common desire to have someone witness our life. I've read this is why most people marry - to have someone witness their life. I believe this to be true.
        We are unable to love someone or have them love us unless God has supplied the love. Again, we are totally dependent upon Him. I John 4 tells us God is love. When you come to accept God's love in your life, you release the desire and need for others to supply love that they are not capable of giving. You become content in knowing 'God loves me' and this keeps us from looking for love in all the wrong places. Which usually gets us in trouble.
        Somehow, when you feel assured that you are loved by God, you become more lovable. As your neediness lessens, your confidence builds and others are attracted to you. Most of us like to be around confident people - specifically, those whose confidence is in the Lord.

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." 
I  Thessalonians 5: 24

I believe this to be true. . .you will never rise above the image you have of yourself in your own mind. Those who believe need to be aware every minute of every day that they are one of the KING'S KIDS. It doesn't get any better than that. The Lord has promised He would never leave us or forsake us.

Lord we thank you for this day to celebrate love and remind us that it is Your love that we are in need of. There are so many lonely people in this world. . .you know every one of them. Please help them to feel loved today and to know of your grace.