For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].
EPHESIANS 2:8-9 AMP
Good Morning! I have been a little under the weather and haven’t posted much this week. I tried my hand at Teledoc on Wednesday, and I’ve been trying to rest up. Although I’m not feeling my best, I miss sharing with my blogging family. It’s a beautiful day here, and I might eat my tacos outside in the sun today.
I’ve been studying the book of Galatians, which I have found to be entangled with Romans and Acts. What I’m trying to say is the Books work together to help us understand. A few months ago I took a class about the blood covenant. During that time I was like a sponge reading and attempting to understand all about the covenant. I thoroughly enjoyed the study and learned more than I ever imagined. Yet, there was one thing I didn’t understand until yesterday. My professor said God is “a blood covenant God”. I get the whole idea of the blood being the life force, but what I couldn’t understand is why killing occurred to atone, or cover sins, and in the case of Christ, redeem us from sin, so that it no longer exists.
If you remember the story of Cain and Able in Genesis chapter Four, Cain managed the crops and Able managed the farm animals. There were rules for offerings and God was not happy when Cain offered the fruits of his work. However, God was happy with Able’s animal sacrifice. I understood that Cain didn’t follow the law that was in place at that time, but what I just couldn’t understand was why a death had to occur.
So yesterday I was reading the book of Galatians. Through the sacrifices Christ made, gentiles were accepted by faith under the new law. The word “gentiles” was synonymous to “sinners”. So, the Jews, who were now Christians, wanted to have some rules for behavior. (I’m over simplifying to explain what I learned. There were a lot of things going on and it was dangerous to be a Christian. ) While Paul was away from the region of Galatia, the Judaizers were teaching the old law to the Gentiles. There is a meeting and discussion that takes place about whether the Gentiles need to be circumcised. That’s when the Holy Spirit gave me my “aha”moment. When I have these moments, it always seems earth shattering , but when I begin to explain my new-found understanding, it seems like I should have gotten it all along.
Under the old law, animal sacrifices covered or atoned for sin. Therefore, the penalty for sin was death. No one except Christ was able to keep the old law. Think of the death and blood loss. I’m not a vegetarian, but this was profound for me because it seems that many animals are self-aware. I grew up on my grandmother’s farm and deliberately avoided making pets out of the farm animals. The good news that Paul was trying to explain is that Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, His death, took away the need for further death. Not only is our sin covered, but it is wiped away when we believe. That puts His sacrifices into perspective for me. I hope this brought you new-found awareness, too.
Remember that Grace is not a license to sin. As Christians we want to please God and are given the power to overcome sin through the Spirit of God. Have a wonderful Saturday! God bless you.
You spread out our sins before you— our secret sins—and you see them all.
Psalms 90:8 NLT
Happy Friday! Do you ever find yourself looking around and wondering what is right and what is wrong? I understand this question because the news media and the world tell us one thing, and the Bible tells another. I see some people who legitimize a compromise between the Bible and the ways of the world. Others legitimize what they are doing as being right. What is right?
One thing I know to be true is the Bible. Whenever you come across a question that you can’t decide, pray and read your Bible. The answer will come.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little
Isaiah 28:9-10 KJV
Happy Rainy Wednesday! Rain seems gloomy this time of year, but our area is blessed to see the rain. Thanks be to God!
Last week, I started adding memorizing a verse a week. You can find all the verses on the Scripture Typer App under the group Hisperfecttiming. The first verse we tackled was Matthew 4:4. Did you learn it? I’m about 75% on that one. This week it’s a verse combo, Isaiah 28:9-10. In this case, the verses go together. So keep on moving forward with learning a verse a week. I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing.
Have you ever read the Bible and just couldn’t figure out what the meaning was? Have you ever learned something new from Bible study and thought it was the best thing ever, until you learned something else new? Me too! The more I study the Bible the more I understand it. So, don’t give up. Keep plowing through and building knowledge. It’s slow at first. Get involved in a Sunday School Class or Bible Study group. If you are in my area, come join mine! As I have been studying and going to school over the past year, every new thing I have learned, and every class I have taken, has been my favorite. That’s why I chose today’s verses for memorization. It’s to remind us that we are babies spiritually at first. Our knowledge is built like building blocks, “precept upon precept; line upon line, and line upon line; here a little, there a little.” It’s amazing how fast it builds and how wonderful it feels to grow in the Lord.
So, today continue learning verses. God bless you.
Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done. Luke 22:42
It’s Forgiveness Thursday and a great day to get right with God and others.
Have you ever felt like you had to choose between your family and doing what you thought was right? I know I have, and it’s incredibly painful regardless of the reason, because as children we want our parents to always accept and love us. It can be devastating to lose your family because you need to do the right thing.
Last night I was reading about the blood covenant between David and Jonathan in I and II Samuel. Saul was the King of Israel and Jonathan was the crown prince. David, who came from a peasant family, had killed Goliath and become a general in Saul’s army. Jonathan and David became good friends, and overtime they realized that they both loved and sought the will of God. So, The two entered into a blood covenant. Jonathan, the maker of the covenant, gave David his robe, armor, bow, sword and belt as gifts. This covenant was more than a promise between friends. It was a pact between families intended to cover future generations. However, their descendants would have to renew the covenant to keep it active.
Over time King Saul was disobedient to God, and was jealous of David’s popularity. So, David was forced to flee into the forest. Jonathan and David reaffirmed their covenant and Jonathan protected David from his father, who was obsessed with murdering David. King Saul’s obsession reaffirmed Jonathan’s commitment to David, because he realized that God had chosen David to be king.
The two young men grew up and married, and Jonathan became a father. Isreal’s enemies, the Philistines, attacked and both King Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle. The area became violent and Jonathan’s children, the princes were hidden. One of Jonathan’s sons, Methibosheth, was dropped on the pavement when the royal nurse was trying to escape. his legs were crushed. David became King and searched for the family of Jonathan, so he could extend the covenant to Jonathan’s children. No one would tell King David the family’s location, because they thought the King would surely harm the young princes.
After many years of searching, the young Methibosheth was found and brought to King David. The young man had been taught by King Saul’s family to hate David. However, David loved Methibosheth as if the young man was his father, Jonathan. David extended the covenant onto Methibosheth. So, Methibosheth had to make a decision between going back to his family or staying with King David and losing all that he loved. Despite his vulnerability from being physically handicapped in both legs, he took a chance and stayed with David. David loved and cared for Methibosheth as if he was one of his sons. Great story.
Christ’s covenant story is similar in some ways. He was a descendant of Adam. He turned away from the family of Adam, and entered into a covenant with God as our representative, which was carried out with his blood shed on the cross. The good news is His sacrifice allows us to be a member of a different family, the royal family of God. When we participate in communion, we are sitting at the royal table and soaking up the love of God, our Heavenly Father.
So, today remember, if you have had to walk away from your family, for whatever reason, you are still loved and adored by your Heavenly Father. God bless you.
Encourage each other and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Good Morning! Have you ever been so excited that you just can’t wait for something to happen? Tomorrow we are giving my grandson a birthday party. He turned three on the 18th, but I’m still excited. Funny, when I was a child it seem to take so long for birthdays to come around. Now, birthdays come around way too fast. We are so blessed to be able to see the world through his eyes.
I’m beyond happy this morning, but everyone does not feel the same. If you know someone with struggles this morning, build them up. If you are struggling, know that everything is temporary. I love you and God loves you. Never give up.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
It seems like we were just talking about Thursday and here we are again. Recently I have discovered that the less judgemental I am about others, the more time I spend asking for forgiveness and the less time I spend forgiving others. That just proves that forgiveness is really for us, not the person we are forgiving.
Last week I was listening to a group of people in our community talk about “how this person should do this, and this person should do that” to make the community better. Have you ever participated in a similar discussion? Of course, the answer is if everyone did their part, there probably wouldn’t be an issue. These poor people being discussed were most likely stretched too thin. Later, when I reflected on the conversation, I began to think about how this is a problem in many churches (in general terms). I must admit I have been guilty of this. Sometimes it seems like “everyone” has the answers, but “no one” really wants to be burdened with the work. It could be that only certain tasks are wanted, leaving many others undone. This must make life very difficult for the pastor, who truly cares for the sheep. Then, there are others who constantly call with prayer requests, always looking for a miracle, but never showing up.
I like Natalie Grant’s answer to this problem “it’s time to get our hands dirty . . . why sit around waiting for a miracle to come, when you could be one.” On the way to work this morning I heard this song. It is so true. If there are hungry people in your church or community, help feed them. If your neighbor is sick, ask if it’s okay to help with yard work. Visit friends, church members and family who are sick or in the hospital. Offer to help people who have lost a family member. If you have a neighbor who has financial problems, bring them dinner or pay a bill for them without telling them. Does anyone really need to know? God knows. Isn’t that REALLY enough? If you don’t work outside the home and notice children wandering around the neighborhood being a target for trouble, reach out to them. Don’t wait for your pastor or your government to take care of everything. There are so many little things everyone can do that will make a huge difference for someone else. Sometimes we all just need to know someone cares. You will find that you will feel more blessed than the person you are helping.
Today, I challenge you to make a difference in the world by getting your hands a little dirty being someone’s miracle. God bless you.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary. But what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Happy Tuesday! It’s a great day to try something new!
Have you ever felt like everyone is against you? Do you feel hopeless and afraid? Does it seem like things couldn’t possibly be worse? We have all felt this way from time to time. However, there are some challenges that are so big that we just can’t face them alone. Hebrews 12:2 says that we should fix our eyes on Jesus. As I have said many times before, we are never alone and he is always with us. Yet, there is more. When we are focused on Jesus, we are focused on good, rather than our troubles. We are focused on love, rather than the weight of the world. We are focused on faith, rather than being afraid that everything falls on our shoulders to handle. We are focused on what his pain and suffering means for us today. He can and will change the outcome of your situation, if you will give him a chance.
Today, fix your eyes on Jesus, instead of the problems of the world. God bless you.
If you forgive the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in Heaven will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others.
Do you ever have a difficult time forgiving? Do you forgive someone only to find the same thing happens repeatedly? Imagine how frustrated God must be with us. I know I make the same mistakes over and over. The truth is we don’t need to wait until Forgiveness Thursday to forgive. We should stop what we are doing immediately and forgive someone when they have wronged us. I have a professor who says he pulls off the side of the road when he begins to experience road rage, so he can get his heart in the right place. It makes me laugh. You must admit, if you are running late for work, and you have to pull off the road, you’ll get straight with God quickly. It’s tough, but it keeps your heart pure and prevents bitterness. We are so fortunate that God forgives us, no matter how many times we make a mistake or how bad it is. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness. It’s so simple that some refuse to believe.
Today, I encourage you to release your soul from guilt and anger. Ask for forgiveness, while forgiving others. God bless you.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers, In Speech, In Conduct, In Love, In Faith and In Purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I enjoyed a busy Saturday with family and a restful Sunday. I had a little time to enjoy Dominic, who is four months old and growing rapidly. He is also calming down a bit. He follows me around and watches me quietly. When I’m posting blogs, he sits near me and watches. Last night, he discovered his cat tree. It’s like an amusement park to him. The pets are becoming more comfortable with one another, although there is still a little friction. Isn’t it great watching the young make their way in the world!
Do you feel like it is tough to find your way in the world? Do you feel like others in your life never listen to you or give you a chance? Do you feel like others just don’t understand your world? Do you remember feeling this way when you were younger? It’s tough making your way in the world. You have to figure out what you believe, and deal with endless people telling you how to believe. Decisions are critical and can be life changing, and just when you think you have it all figured out, you realize your in a huge mess. If all that wasn’t enough, you don’t want to disappoint the ones who believe in you the most. It’s tough!
If you want to make good decisions, read and follow the Bible. It has withstood time and never leads people astray. There are young people throughout the Bible, who accomplished great feats. In 1 Samuel 17 a young David (about age 17) took on Goliath, and later became king. In Genesis 37 Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery. Then, the Potiphar’s wife flirted with him, which resulted in him being thrown into jail unjustly. In the end, God honored Joseph for being just and right despite these bad events. In 2 Kings 5 a little girl feared for the people around her not knowing God, and actually played an important role in Naaman being taken to Elisha the prophet for the healing of his leprosy. In Daniel 1-3 King Nebuchadnezzar casted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace after the three young men (probably between 10 and 30 years old) refused to bow down and worship idols. The soldier that pushed the three into the furnace burned up because the fire was so hot. However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked out without any pain or suffering. Don’t forget the little boy in John 6 who gave up his lunch of bread and fish to feed 5000 men (not counting women and children). For the young of heart, Daniel was about 80 years old when he took on the lion. The good news is whether you are 6 or 96, you are great too! Trust God and follow the lessons in His word. You, too, will make great decisions. Oh, and one more thing, be gentle with your parents. They love you!
I am truly honored to have been nominated a second time for the Liebster Award. This time I was nominated by When I’m with You . . . Whitney Ibe Blog. The author (Whitney) of the Whitney Ibe Blog is upbeat and full of sunshine. Whitney’s positive outlook is inspiring and I love to read her posts. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so soon, because her inward and outward beauty sparkles through in her writing. Thank you for thinking of me Whitney.
The Liebster Award is an Internet Award given to bloggers by other bloggers. The German word “liebster” means: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart. The Award is a nice way to recognize and welcome new bloggers, while allowing others to discover them, as well.
The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
1) Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
2) Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3) Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 11 blogs.
5) Notify them.
6) Give them 11 questions to answer
What made you start blogging?I love to read and write. I’ve always wanted to write books. I love the Lord above all. When I was growing up I was taught to share God’s love with others. The church I attended called the sharing I’m referring to “witnessing”. I was taught that witnessing was wonderful and that we should share the gospel through our lives and words everywhere we go. The Bible talks about spreading the gospel. That is what I did.
Over time witnessing has become politically incorrect. As a supervisor at work I was told that I had to be careful about what I said because my workplace and I could be sued. I could lose my home if I mentioned God at work. I heard others say it wasn’t appropriate to say “Merry Christmas”. “Happy Holidays” was the correct holiday greeting. Well, if you have ever had God’s love inside you like I do, you will understand when I say I was about to explode. The funny thing is, I didn’t have to say anything because God’s love just radiates out of me. Over time I just became miserable. So, I sought out another way to spread God’s love, blogging. It helped me to feel more fulfilled. I felt a little like Jesus must have felt when he traveled home and his hometown rejected him, because most of my friends and family refused to look at my blog. I have been told “that was a coincidence, not a miracle,” “you are to legalistic,” and last week “you’re a fanatic”. This doesn’t bother me too much. I feel like it’s their loss. I pray that I will have the opportunity to write and publish books in the future?
If you could visit any country in the world, which would you visit?I love to travel. If I could go anywhere, I’d visit the Holy Lands first. Books, Maps, Photography and Internet information is wonderful and I’m thankful, but nothing is quite like seeing and experiencing places first hand. I want to go to the places we read about in our Bibles.
What is your favorite food? Anything my husband cooks is my favorite food! He’s an amazing chef! I am especially fond of fish.
What is your favorite sport? I’m not a big sports fan. I enjoying watching my college alma mater football team play (Florida State). I also enjoy watching figure skating, and swimming and diving teams. During warmer months I swim and I walk year round.
Do you prefer digital or physical books? Both. It’s a wonderful convenience to be able to bring hundreds of books on a phone or tablet with you everywhere you go. It’s awesome. However, I still like to hold a book in my hands. I make notes in my Bible, so that I can pass them down. Likewise, I have a digital and physical planner. To me it sometimes seems like the digital world is fragile. I often think of the loss of information in the library of Alexandria.
What is the biggest problem you encounter while writing? I want my writing to be perfect grammatically, and inspirationally. The days I feel my writing falls short, seem to be the days I have the most positive comments.
What color are your eyes? Green. Most of the time the whites of my eyes are red from Sjogren’s Syndrome, which makes them look even greener. I’ve had people tell me that my eyes look like they are bleeding sometimes.
Recount a brief childhood story. What happened? When I was a teenager I worked for the County School Board one summer giving swimming lessons. Five days a week my parents would drop me off at 6:30 in the morning to catch a bus that would take me and a few other brave teens to Blue Springs. Blue Springs has ice-cold water in the middle of the day. When we arrived the sun wasn’t high in the sky yet, and the trees shaded the edges of the swimming area. So, most days we spent half of the time trying to get wet above the knees.
The children we were teaching varied in size from kindergarten to I haven’t been able to graduate yet. So, some of my students were larger in stature than I was. In the middle of the swimming area was a floating dock about fifty to seventy-five feet from the surrounding three shorelines. All the experienced swimmers would hang out in the middle. So, it was my goal to have my students swimming to the dock and back by the end of the summer. The problem was most of the students couldn’t put their face in the crystal clear water when they started lessons, and the shorelines dropped to about twenty-five feet deep about ten feet away from the shore.
All summer I worked with the students until the last week of lessons had arrived. I was determined that I would have at least one student swimming to the dock successfully. However, I only had one who could dog paddle a few feet. On the last day of lessons I looked up into the eyes of my six-foot tall most successful student and proudly proclaimed “today you will graduate because you are going to swim to the dock! Isn’t that great!” He shook and looked worried. So I reassured him by saying “don’t worry, I’ll be right beside you and I can save you if you can’t make it.” I was about five foot three and weighed a little less than a hundred pounds. My student looked to be about three hundred pounds. I wasn’t worried at all though. He could dog paddle now.
We made our way side by side toward the floating dock. I was glowing with pride. After all, I had taught this football player to swim. As soon as we were about waist deep, he began to panic. So, I told him to just stand up. That should have been my sign to turn back, but I was convinced he could do it, and I was a “good” swimmer who had mastered life saving techniques. We continued across. It wasn’t long before the water was deep and my student knew it. He was on top of me like I was a floating log. It’s times like these that you realize the lifeguard’s are also students, who in this case were obviously not paying attention because they would have seen me bobbing up and down with a football player on my back. I’m guessing he wasn’t as popular as he thought either, because no one was trying to save him. Finally, I slapped him as hard as I could and said, “get a hold of yourself, the water is only a foot deeper than your height. If you go down, you can jump up off the bottom.” I don’t really know why he believed this, because if you looked down, the water was clear enough to see that it was easily twenty feet deep where we were swimming.
So, we kept inching towards the dock, with my student trying to drown me. I was thinking that I probably needed to ask for assistance to get him back to the shore, if we survived the trip over. Suddenly, he began to swim with great vigor. I looked at him and realized he was looking at a beautiful face on the dock. The girl waved and smiled. I guess you could say he didn’t want to seem embarrassed, because he pointed at me and said, “hey, I’m teaching this girl how to swim. I’ll be there in a minute. She’s having trouble.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I started to speak and he said “shut up. Just get me there and I will find my own way back.” That day I learned that love will find a way. He made it to the dock and spent the remainder of the time with this young lady. Then, he swam back to the shore. The best part of this story is the two later married and are still married today.
What type of music do you like to listen to? This is a tough question for me. I love praise, gospel, hymns, pop, 70’s and 80’s tunes, and classical music. I like some country music.
Do you collect anything? If so, what is it? Yes. I love books.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself writing books, teaching and comforting others. In my free time, I will spend time with my family.