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!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS

I should try to answer questions more often. I don't seem to have the time to both blog on new topics and answer questions that come up. I wish I did, because my readers ask valid questions that others are probably interested in also. I'll try and do better with this.

        "I became a Christian three years ago. Why do bad things still happen to me? My life is a mess, why?

For one thing, we live in a fallen, messy world. The Bible doesn't tell us that life will be perfect if we are a believer. The truth is, "God didn't come to fix your life, He came to forgive your sins." This is a quote from a message I heard recently. Let this truth sink in. Jesus Christ came to redeem a lost people - that's us. "There are none righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God." Romans 3:10. 
        We can never be righteous in God's eyes by trying to keep the Ten Commandments perfectly. This is not possible. He gave us the 'law' so we would "become conscious of sin" and know we needed a Savior, Romans 3:20. We have a righteousness apart from the law "through faith in Jesus Christ", Romans 3:21.
        God is focused on what is spiritual and eternal. We focus on this world and what is material. I recently saw this statement on a marque, "The best proof of love is trust." There will be no peace if you are judging God's plan. If you love the Lord, you will trust Him, if you trust Him, you will experience peace even though your life is far from perfect. The Lord most certainly is interested in every detail of your life; He's even counted the hairs on your head, Matthew 10:30. However, He didn't come to fix your life according to your plan; He came to remove your sin so you can be righteous  before God - Jude 24.
        God is interested in the long-term. He's not growing us like mushrooms that spring up and then soon rot in the ground. God is growing us into oak trees - strong, sturdy, stable and able to withstand adversity. It takes a long time to grow an oak tree, be patient. Have you ever watched a tree grow? It appears that nothing is happening, but in God's time, you discover a lovely tree, and you realize that God has been working all this time that you've been fretting and anxious. If you are 'in Christ' the Holy Spirit dwells in you and you are eternally His.

        My sister is gay. She says she's a believer in Jesus and will go to heaven. I'm not so sure. Doesn't the Bible say homosexuality is sinful?

Let me ask this. . .if you know a believer who admits he stole something one time, would you be worried about him going to heaven?  Probably not. If he's a believer, his sins are forgiven. Isn't that why Jesus died on the cross? Of course it is, no problem. Then why would you not believe that your sister isn't forgiven? Sin is sin. The Bible lists homosexuals right along with the greedy and swindlers, I Corinthians 6:9 - 10. There are none righteous, we all need Jesus.
        Keep in mind that God is sovereign - that means He's in control of what happens. Sovereignty is the most pervasive doctrine in the Bible. This being true - if God didn't plan for there to be homosexuals among us, there wouldn't be any. Neither would there be thieves, liars or drunks. I don't completely understand this, but this is what the Bible says and I trust God's word.
        It's never pleasant to be 'different'. I think we innately desire to be like others. I'm grateful that I'm not blind or deaf, or homosexual. I did not experience making a conscious choice concerning my sexual orientation, nor a choice as to whether I can see or hear. I am who I am. Historically, there have always been gays among us. We can find no documentation however that there have been cultures who have sanctioned 'same sex' unions, as in a marriage. We do find a lot of evidence of bigamy, the Scriptures are a source, men having multiple wives.
        I believe problems with homosexuality arise because of a small percentage of gays who are almost militant and in-your-face concerning their sexuality. All through history there have been people who had no desire for the opposite sex and preferred their own. They accepted who they were and others probably did also.  Now, some insist on not only 'equal rights' but special rights. The behavior of the few makes it difficult for the many. I don't believe that we have a choice as to our sexual orientation, but we do have a choice concerning our behavior.
        Sin is sin. The wages of sin is death - hell is eternal death, heaven is eternal life, Romans 6:23. When we become a believer, the Holy Spirit in us moves us away from sin, not according to our plan and time schedule, but God's. Again, we need to trust Him. There is only one 'unforgiveable sin', and this is the sin of unbelief. Romans 4:21 tells us that God has the power to do what He has promised.
        We are not called to judge one another, we are called to love one another. . ."My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.", John 15:17. Will the Lord reject a woman who has had an abortion because 'Thou shall not murder'. No, not if she comes to Him - He is faithful to forgive.

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I John 1: 8 - 9

        Given this truth, if you are one of those who consider homosexuals as having committed a sin which cannot be forgiven, think again. Your sin, in God's eyes, is just the same and we are all in this together. . .without our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are in big trouble! Paul said, "When they measure themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. II Corinthians 10:12. When we fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author of our faith, Hebrews 12:2, life is infinitely better.

Lord, help us to keep focused on You and Your promise to redeem the lost sheep out of this world and into Your Kingdom. Please shed Your love in our hearts so we can love each other.

       




       

Sunday, June 22, 2014

FATHERS - A GIFT OR A CURSE









 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”  Proverbs 1:7

Father’s Day was celebrated recently. My father died many years ago; I miss him.  This is a photo of us celebrating a new century, 2000. I had a great father, and he had a great father. My dad and grandpa were loving, kind, protective and firm – all things that contribute to a child’s sense of security and well-being. Best of all, they loved and respected their wives, mother of their children. Present statistics show that in the United States, more than one half of all children are missing a father in their home. The fall-out has been tremendous and the impact on individual lives horrendous. Ninety percent of men and women who are in our jails and prisons have grown up without a father in the home.
         If you are a young woman dating a man who may someday be your husband, ask yourself – ‘Will this man be a good father?’  Will this man put a child’s needs before his own? Is he mature enough to care and provide for a child, or is he still a child himself?  It absolutely amazes me how casually women make babies with men who are not fit to be a father. And, they usually know that and do it anyway. The baby they bring into the world suffers, sometimes terribly.

         A stable, loving relationship between a mother and father is one of the most important things we provide for our children. Children sense when things aren’t ‘right’ between mom and dad. They become insecure and fearful. We were with a group of people from our church one day. One of the men shared something his youngest daughter said to him the day before her wedding. He asked her if she needed anything from him. She looked her dad in the eye and said, “Yes, love my mother.”  This man did many ‘good’ things. He went on missions, shared the gospel anywhere and everywhere, was involved in a jail ministry – just generally lived his life for the Lord. But the one thing his daughter saw missing was a love and respect for her mother. That’s all she wanted from her dad; to love her mother.

When you marry, you need to grow up fast or you’ll have problems, many problems. You can no longer look at life as a self-centered child. You might say a transformation must take place. You transform from a self-focused, selfish young person to an adult who willingly takes responsibility. It can be difficult putting other’s needs first.  Instead of give and take, it often feels like give and give. Human babies are so very helpless. They would die quickly if someone didn’t care for their every need. The Lord has planned it this way so we have the joy of nurturing our baby and in this way become bonded, cemented in love. When we had a houseful of teenagers, I often thought I couldn’t have dealt with that time of their life if I hadn’t cared for them as babies and small children needing me to keep them safe, healthy and alive.
         I know 'parent love' doesn’t come naturally for all people. That puzzles me, but it’s true. Self-focused people have a difficult time parenting. Only the Lord can ‘transform’ us into who He wants us to be. We are HIS children – He knows all about this ‘daddy’ stuff. In Romans 8: 15 – 16. . .      
“. . .you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

We need to go to the Lord and ask for help with parenting as with anything that is too hard for us to do on our own. Fathers discipline their children. They have an obligation to do that, not harshly, but justly. Hebrews, chapter 12, has some interesting information on ‘discipline’. I hope my kids remember me reading these words to encourage them. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11
        Recently we heard a pastor speak about the fact that Jesus, God in the flesh, was in need of an earthly father. God choose a virgin to conceive His son; He also chose a hands-on father. Joseph endured much because of this, but God gave him the wisdom and grace to follow the plan He had set in place. Jesus learned his trade as a carpenter from his father. He had siblings. As best we know, there were five boys and two girls in his family. Most of all, this man Joseph willingly chose to live out God’s plan honorably, forsaking his own desires. We don’t have the  words of Joseph recorded in the Bible, but his righteous actions tell his story.

All God asks of us is to “Train a child in the way he should go…”  He doesn’t hold us responsible when a child fails to honor a righteous life. But notice there is a promise given with this command…and when he is old he will not turn away from it.” Proverbs 22:6  We can trust God’s promises when we seek His wisdom. Most of us will not be here at the end of our children’s lives to witness the result of our ‘training’, so we need to have the faith that God will do as He has promised.
Fathers – be a gift to your child, not a curse. Grow up, man up! Love and respect your wives. When this is hard to do, ask your heavenly Father to help. You are so very important. Women, don’t get involved with immature men. Your life and the life of the children you bring into the world will suffer. The fact that half of all the children don’t have a father in the home is because of poor choices women have made. For children who’ve had a terrible father, or no father at all, remember you have access to your Father in heaven. He will guide and comfort you through His Word. Learn to love the Bible; your life will be more peaceful and satisfying.
Becoming a parent doesn’t make you ‘able’ to be who you want to be. We are all sinful and flawed in many ways. We are weak and falter – so we go to God and ask for help.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory…” Ephesians 3:20
I believe this verse is one of the most profound in the Bible. Think about what it tells us –
·      God is able

·      God can do more than we ask or can imagine

·      God’s power is at work within us

·      God gets the glory

Lord, we thank  you for Your Book of Wisdom, for your grace in taking the form of a Heavenly Father as an example to help us through one of the most important and difficult parts of life; being a parent.

        

Thursday, June 12, 2014

BELIEVING: FROM A MALE POINT OF VIEW

 
 
 

This is a photo of my husband Van with our little dog, Rudy. I've been busy editing a manuscript for a book so Van offered to be a 'guest blogger'. Men have a different way of communicating. I think the male readers, as well as the women, will enjoy his comments on the subject of 'Believing'.







 
With this blog I hope to cover the Biblical subject of ‘believing’ since we are  admonished over and over in the Bible to ‘believe’.  Some key questions’ are:  WHAT is it a believer believes?  WHAT happens to cause a believer to believe?  WHO are the believers?  We want to understand this important topic, for without believing there can be neither forgiveness nor salvation.  God has forgiven and forgotten our sins as shown in Hebrews 8:12.  The promise of salvation and eternal life with Jesus is clearly given in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.”

Believing is so important that the Book of John was written “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”  John 20:31.  I Corinthians 15:1-5 presents the gospel quite concisely.  Jesus died for our sins, was buried, was resurrected, walked the earth for forty days, and was seen by over 500 people, then ascended into heaven.   He was crucified to set us free from sin and death.  That is what we are to believe.  The result is we are saved from our sins and given salvation and eternal life in heaven.   This is a finished work; it has already happened.  Romans 8:30  
        Can we choose to believe?  NO!  We are dead in our transgressions and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)  Dead men can do nothing!  How can we believe if we are spiritually dead?  We can’t!  First we need to be ‘made alive’.  Some reason that, “We believe and then we are given faith”.  They’ve got the cart before the horse.  Since we are ‘dead’, spiritually speaking, something must happen prior to our believing.  We need to be given the faith to believe.
        Some make the assumption that our achievements, or works, can help us win favor with God. No, like choosing, works require a spiritually dead man to do ‘something’.  The belief of many professing Christians is that good works will earn them a place in heaven. This appears to be reasonable, but it’s not Biblical.    
        Two age old views exist that suggest ways to achieve salvation: works and grace. Some say it’s a little of both. The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace alone, not works.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” 
 
Salvation happens when God gives His free gift of faith. What a gift!   Incomparable! This gift is given by grace, not through our choice, and not through our works. There is no room for both grace and works as explained by Paul in Romans 11:6, it’s one or the other.
James wrote, ‘Faith without works is dead.’ (James 2:17)  Implied in this truth is that faith comes first, then the works. What ‘work’ do we do?   It is a singular ‘work’; it is the ‘work’ of believing. Some think that when on balance their ‘good’ deeds outweigh their ‘bad’ deeds, they will make it to heaven.  There are fundamental problems with ‘works’ counting toward salvation.   How much is enough?   How do you know for sure you’ve passed the test? Whose criteria for ‘good’ are you using?  How is it measured? These are serious questions, the answers to which are fraught with problems.
When we are given a new heart we become alive in Christ. We are dead spiritually until then.  Ezekiel 36:26-27 tells us what God does.  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…I will put My Spirit in you…” This is called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  In Luke 3:16, John the Baptist writes, “I will baptize you with water.  But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.   He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” 

We aren’t aware of our spiritual life until ‘something happens’.  God has a time in His plan when He will bring you into the kingdom. It is as if He turns on a ‘faith switch’.  At that time, we are quickened,  we are sparked to life, we are born again - whatever terminology you select, the result is the same, we are now able to discern Spiritual truth.  It is those God quickens who will believe.  Jesus speaks these words in John 3:7, “...you MUST be born again.”  When we’re born again we go from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive.  God has given you the faith to believe.   It's the most important day of your life; knowing absolutely you will spend eternity with Jesus.  No longer will we just think we will go to heaven, or ‘I hope so, on balance I’ve been pretty good’.  Now we know.  Some of us know the exact moment this happened, others are only vaguely aware that ‘something’ has happened.
I had heard the gospel many times, but I just didn’t pick up on it.  My belief, and fear, was that Jesus had turned His back on me. I knew I wasn't perfect. Then it was explained to me that Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:13).  I soon found myself on my knees at the altar of the Little Church in the Pines in Bass Lake, CA, accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  This was July 25th, 1972.  I had been given the faith to believe and life has never been the same.
First the faith, then the believing.  Without faith we can neither see, hear, or believe spiritual truths.  We get our faith from Jesus.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”    Hebrews 12:2
Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:6 tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God.” It does NOT say “without believing it is impossible to please God!”  Jesus wants us to walk by faith, not by sight.  The object of our faith is pleasing God.  ‘Believing’ is doing the work of God.
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29
Can’t we just call on him, ‘LORD, LORD’ and be saved?  NO!  Matthew 7:21,  Jesus speaking: “Not everyone who says to me ‘LORD, LORD’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven.”   His will is for us to look to His Son and believe, John 6:40.   Those who will be saved are those whose names are written in the Book of Life.   Revelation 21:27, “Nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” This is the divine ledger, God’s list of those destined for eternal life. God sees the believer as ‘perfect’ in His Son. Jesus has removed all that isn’t perfect. This is why we praise Him.
Share the gospel.  It’s a simple message - Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection provides forgiveness of sins and salvation so we can have eternal life with Him.  We may freely love those who don’t believe, knowing the Lord is the One who opens eyes and hearts.  It’s His business.  Luke 24:45, “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the scripture.”
Why did He do it this way?   Who knows, but He did, for His own good pleasure. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15 and Exodus 33:19)  If this all seems beyond our ability to grasp, be reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.   “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  
Thank you Father for sending Your Son so we can believe in Him and what He has done for us.  Please give us wisdom to understand the important concept of believing and that it’s Your desire to give us the faith to believe.






Thursday, May 29, 2014

PRAYER - YOU'VE GOT TO ASK

"We do not know what to pray for. . .but the (Holy) Spirit intercedes for the saints (believers) in accordance with God's will."  Romans 8: 26-27

Prayer. This subject always evokes deep thought, gives rise to many questions and causes us to search for what is true. We think of prayer as asking for something. I never consider this subject without remembering an incident that happened years ago when my children were very young.

        I was so fortunate to have my parents and grandparents live  close to me for many years. My mother would stop by often and take one of my boys to the store with her. This was a way she could spend a little quality time with her grandchild. She never took more than one child at a time. The older one, Steve, would seldom ask for anything. He was happy being with grandma and going to the Market Basket in Whittier. The younger one, Gerry, always asked for something. He'd come home with a box of Popsicles, a coloring book, new crayons - something. One day my mother came  to take Steve with her to the store. When they got back Gerry ran to the door and immediately asked, "What did you get?" Steve shrugged his shoulders and said, "Nothing". Gerry was amazed, maybe a little angry. He shouted, "Steve, you've got to ask!" At three years old, he seemed to understand that if you don't ask for something, you don't get anything. Jesus told His disciples pretty much the same thing in John 16:24 -

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:24

        There are things we truly desire to understand, but are hard to grasp. But when we do, we can announce, "Now I understand!" Prayer is like that.
        How do we find truth? I believe our natural tendency is to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We search and re-search, finally coming up with an answer that we can live with. A better approach to chase down a spiritual truth might be to simply ask God to direct us. We do that with prayer. We are asking for direction, and we are also praising God.
        It's very good for us to look around  everyday and acknowledge His provision. Do you have a family to love? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food to eat? We all can find something in our lives that we are grateful for. You will be blessed when you praise God for His goodness in prayer.
        We bring our concerns to the Lord, and then we wait. This is the hard part. But in God's time, and in His way, truth and direction will come. He may draw you to Bible passages you've never seen before and open your mind and heart to a new understanding. Often the Lord paints a picture of truth for us using daily experiences. It's like He's saying, "See, this is what happens when you trust me", or "Can you see now that the pieces of your life are fitting together and My plan is good?" Maybe God will point out that we often want what is not ultimately good for us and He has a better way. Jesus, who has all the attributes of God and is God, tells us . . .

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. . .learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Matthew 11:28

        Rest for our soul. Don't we all want that? I recently had an e-mail conversation with someone who has been diagnosed with metastasized cancer; she's frightened. I shared Psalm 16:8.

"I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

My friend replied "I defy you not to be upset with this diagnosis." I do not take her pain and fear lightly. Fighting cancer is like being at war; the struggle is all consuming and the end result may very well be that life on earth will end. Even so, those who've been given the faith to believe can have rest for their soul and this is what defies explanation - not fear, but faith in the One who has promised eternal life.
        How many times do we pray to have something 'fixed' in our life only to discover God isn't going to change anything? He has a plan, you might call it a blueprint for our life prepared for us "before the creation of the world" - Ephesians 1:4. David wrote "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." - Psalm 139:16
        Let me again point out, God is sovereign. The sooner you learn that truth, the sooner your soul will be at rest.
        We wonder sometime, why pray? Over and over in Scripture the believer is told to pray. This is how we communicate with the Lord. True, He already knows our needs, but He wants us to come to Him and acknowledge His power and presence in our life. God is our heavenly Father, and like any good father, He wants His children to be free of worry, to be confident of His love and most of all, He wants to have a relationship with us. Christianity is all about a relationship with God, not about being 'religious'.

        You will find what we call "The Lord's Prayer" in Matthew 6: 11-13. My comments are in italics.

"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed (holy) be your name,
your kingdom come, (Jesus will return)
your will (not our will) be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread (trust Him for your daily needs)
Forgive us our debts (sins - believers are spiritually re-born  and have already been forgiven, but Jesus encourages us to come to Him daily, not for His approval, but for our peace)
As we also have forgiven our debtors (those who have sinned against us - knowing we are forgiven, we need to forgive others)
And lead us not into temptation (we all have temptations, come to the Lord daily and ask Him to remove that which tempts you and causes pain in your life)
but deliver us from the evil one (Satan, who is alive and well roaming the earth searching out those who are vulnerable to his attacks)

        Somewhere along the way, these words have been added to the Lord's Prayer. They were not in the original manuscripts, but sum up the essence of this prayer so beautifully.

"And Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever. . .amen.

        Lastly, by coming to the Lord in prayer we are showing that we are humble before Him. We concede to God's power. He is God Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

"Cast your anxiety on him, because he cares for you."
I Peter 5:7

Lord, we thank you for who You are. We are grateful for your love and protection and that You alone can give us rest for our soul.







Sunday, May 11, 2014

BEFORE YOU WERE BORN, I LOVED YOU




"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the power of love."
Maureen Hawkins

My husband and I were strolling along the main street of Coronado Island when I saw this in a store window. I loved it. I took a photo. I understood these words. This is something I want my children to know.
 
        I realize not every mother feels this way - wish they did. I know becoming a parent, especially a mom, isn't easy. The child will legally be an 'adult' when eighteen, but as mothers, our commitment is for a life time.
        We may, or may not, be rewarded for being one who cares. It doesn't matter; we do what is right. The Lord has perfectly designed this child you gave birth to - for you, just for you. And, He knew that you'd be the kind of mother that would  mold this child into the person He wants them to be, regardless of the mistakes we think we made. Trust this to be true.
 
Wishing all you mother's a special happy day and a renewed desire to depend upon the Lord for daily guidance.
       
 
       


 








Thursday, May 1, 2014

LIFE HAPPENS


Do you ever have a day when most everything goes wrong? Sometimes you may have two or three days like that in a row.
        Last week we arranged an early morning appointment with a security alarm company. We got a call telling us the appointment would have to be postponed until late afternoon. So, we had to change other plans. That same day, I had an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my driver license. After waiting in line with many others, we were told that the computer system was down. They were unable to do anything so we'd have to come back another day. I couldn't get another appointment before my license expires. Oh well!   
        The words to a popular song, "You Never Promised me a Rose Garden" recorded by Lynn Anderson in 1970, kept running through my head. This song resonated with many and it became a very big hit, not only in the United States, but all over Europe, also in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. My world and security as I knew it collapsed a few months after the song was released. I found myself alone with three very young children, one disabled. I would play the record often and take solace in the fact that none of us are owed a perfect life.
        Actually, the Lord warned us that life on earth wouldn't always be good, let alone perfect.

"In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 6:33

        Jesus was referring to the fact that believers are safe because the Holy Spirit resides in us. The book of Colossians explains what it means to be "in Christ".  We have what Jesus has, so if He has overcome the world, so will we. Try to keep this in mind when your life goes astray and you feel helpless.
        You don't have to look far to see chaos and tragedy all around you. The Malaysian airline that disappeared taking many lives into the ocean, a group of high school seniors in California on their way to visit a college campus killed in a bus accident, the boat that capsized in waters of South Korea so many young people drowned, and the destruction in the United States caused by violent weather - tornadoes sweeping through neighborhoods leaving total wreckage behind.
        When all about you seems so out of control, it's good to take a deep breath and trust the Lord to plan our days according to HIS good pleasure. He's God and doesn't owe us an explanation of what and why He does what He does. Our Christianity is based on faith - believing in what you can't see.  

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."  Proverbs 16:9

        When you begin to understand this key principle of our faith, life becomes more pleasant, less tense and puts our daily struggles, both big and small, into perspective. We learn what it means to trust the Lord and once we can do that, all fear is gone.

        When I get a check from my publisher for books sold, which
is a meager amount; I get $2.00 per sale, I am reminded that I should mention my book now and then. How else will you know about it? Those who have read it, enjoy it as a devotional type book. It's a compilation of many of my blogs. I cover subjects such as -
  •  Bible Basics
  • Why Study the Bible?
  • Knowing Truth
  • Fact or Fiction?
  • A Sovereign King
  • Graduation - A Turning Point
  • The Power That Rests on Us
  • Married - To Be or Not to Be
And, many more topics. Some have used this book for a Bible study at home or church. You may also go back into the 'archives' and read these on the blog.
        The book can be purchased at Amazon.com or  Crossbooks.com, also available as an E-book download. Or is it an 'upload'? I never know. I am currently editing a new book for publication, hopefully by summer's end.

Thank you Lord that You are true to Your Word. You quell the anxiety we feel as we begin to trust You and come to know that whatever is happening in life comes from Your hand.


       



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.