Wednesday, October 25, 2006

That's a Great Idea!

  I went over to a new journal ... well, new to me, yesterday and was very pleasantly surprised!  There I met a young man named Kellen.  He is a Senior in high school and apparently passionately devoted to Christ Jesus and to his faith...Catholicism. 

Now, many of you may gather, if you have read me for very long, that I am of a Protestant denomination.  So, I readily admit there is much I do not know or understand of Catholicism.  But, what I read and saw at Kellen's journal I do know:  a belief in the body and blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin and a calling to prayer as His disciple.

This dear fellow has a wonderful idea of praying for our country, world leaders, world peace and each other.  He has a plan set up in such a way that he can accomodate Catholics in the Eucharist and others in their own daily time of devotion and prayer.

Please go over and check this out at Faith in Roman Catholicism!  It is a wonderful opportunity on many levels:  support a young Christian in service to their Lord, encourage a fellow journaler, be involved in a wonderful prayer initiative, and perhaps learn more about your own or another religion.

Graphic from christiansunite.com 

Sunday, October 22, 2006

You Think You're Not Good Enough?

                    

The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...
 
Noah was a drunk
 
Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a speech impediment
 
Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheus was too small and was a cheat

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer... AND

Lazarus was dead!

Now! No more excuses!
God can use you to your full potential...all He needs is someone who is willing.  Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger.
And one more thing...
Share this with a friend or two...
In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use you to your full potential.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Biblical insight from the Tonight Show?!

 
Okay, so we probably all remember the story from Matt. 14:23-36 where Jesus is walking on the water on the way out to the disciples in the boat. Peter gets out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water.  At first all is well, then he begins to sink. 
 
I've always heard two themes developed in sermons surrounding this story.  The first and most prevalent, that when Peter took His eyes off of Jesus, and focused on the rough waves is the point at which he started to sink.  A very good lesson in this.  If we want to walk through the storms of life, we must keep our eyes upon Jesus.  How do we do that?  Reading the Bible and reflecting upon what we read.  Spending time in prayer and meditation.  Harkening to the Holy Spirits voice and leadership.
 
Now the second, lesser developed theme I've heard is that when Peter became aware of the circumstances around him he started to fear.  Fear lends itself to doubt.  We should never doubt our Lord's love for us.  And the most oft repeated command from the lips of Jesus is "do not fear."  We must trust him.  We should rest in that trust of his love and power. 
 
But last night as I came through the living room to cut the TV off, there was the end of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Sally Field was a guest.  And also some scientific fellow with a collection of bugs.  He was just finishing up his segment.  Had apparently showed a bug that could walk across the water.  Was telling how scientifically it is surface tension that allows this.  Then he began a demonstration with a trough filled with custard.  Barefooted, he quickly walked across the top of the custard.  Then Jay and even Sally followed.  Science man then gets back in the custard.  He walks, and even jumps on the custard!!  He stays on the surface through all of that.  BUT, as soon as he stood still his feet sank to the bottom of the trough.  And it had quite a hold on him, too. 
 
And immediately, I saw another theme in this wonderful story.  Peter froze in fear when he saw the waves.  He stopped moving.  Stopped going forward.  If we feel as if we are sinking, drowning in troubles and woes perhaps we have become immobile.  We must keep moving!  Yes, the word says to "be still and know that I am God."  But that is referring to a quiet trust.  A spiritual and mental stop.  We should always continue to grow in the Lord.  We should always continue to do the things that we know are things to do:  trust, love, learn, care, minister, worship, give, etc.  Following Jesus requires movement.   
 
 

Barbara

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Lot Like Pete and I

                                           

                                                 This precious graphic is from Dover Publications.
 
This little funny from my ArcaMax email is so very much like Pete & I that I just had to share it with you.
 
Mom's Time Out
My Parents had not been out together in quite some time.

One Saturday, as Mom was finishing the dinner dishes, my father stepped up behind her.

"Would you like to go out, girl?" he asked.

Not even turning around, my mother quickly replied, "Oh, yes, I'd love to!"

They had a wonderful evening, and it wasn't until the end of it that Dad confessed.

His question had actually been directed to the family dog, lying near Mom's feet on the kitchen floor.
 
Word on the Word:  Today, let us take a little glimpse at just a couple of the numerous promises of God being with us in and through every trial.  May it bring calm to troubled hearts.
 
"But O my soul, don't be discouraged.  Don't be upset.  Expect God to act!  For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do.  He is my help!  He is my God!"  Psalms 42:11 TLB
 
"God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble.  And so we need not fear even if the world blows up, and the mountains crumble into the sea."  Psalm 46:1 & 2  (Sounds like a line out of Stand by Me by Ben E. King!)
 
"Don't you yet understand?  Don't you know by now that the everlasting God, the Creator of the farthest parts of the earth, never grows faint or weary?  No one can fathom the depths of his understanding.  He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak.  Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up.  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:28-31
 
"Fear not, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed.  I am your God.  I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
 
Points to Ponder: 
* Circumstances are not a comment on what God thinks of me.      The cross is God's comment on how much he cares for me. 
* His love is not seen through an absence of suffering, but in the way he sees us through it. 
* God is greater than our greatest problem!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

To the Pumpkin Patch

   

A woman was asked by a coworker, "What is it like to be a Christian?"

The coworker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin.  God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.  Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.

He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.  Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

Funny and fun with a lot of Truth packed into it!

Word on the Word:  From Job 1:21 & Job 2: 10, TLB  "'I came naked from my mother's womb,' he said, 'and I shall have nothing when I die.  The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.' ... But he replied, 'You talk like some heathen woman.  What?  Shall we receive only pleasant things from the hand of God and never anything unpleasant?' So in all this Job said nothing wrong."

Accept that this is not a perfect world.  It is a fallen world.  Even if you live blamelessly, you will still encounter pain, hardship, loss, etc. even if as the fallout of another's sin.  God does not guarantee no tears here.  No sickness or illness here.  No injustice here.  No war here.  No famine here.  What He does promise is a two-fold reward for trusting Him in all things:  we will not be alone, He will be with us & we will dwell with Him eventually in Heaven were none of these things exist. 

Sometimes we spend too much time pondering "Why me?"  when we should suppose, "Why not me?"  But I am good, and kind and loving.  I stand for God.  Did that spare Jesus?  So, then why should it spare us.

Be sure that no matter what appearances may be, no one gets through this life without experiencing pain, disappointment, hardship, loneliness.  Talk to an old saint.  Someone you know has lived long for the Lord.  See them weak and feeble, perhaps even poor.  Ask them how life has been.  Most will reply their life has been blessed!  This is one time it really isn't what you have, it's Who you know.  

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Everyone Else is Doing it!

Seems all around J-land others are doing one test or another from Blogthings.  While playing along with someone else, I saw one that interested me.

 

You Are 68% Lady
Overall, you are a refined lady with excellent manners. But you also know when to relax and not get too serious about etiquette
 
 
 

Friday, October 13, 2006

Where Was I?

I did not plan to take a sabbatical, but it seems I did.  Not as much online time.  And when I have been on, been doing different things.  For one thing, I put all the Devotions on Marriage in their own journal, posted in order for easy access.  The link is in my side-bar, as well, if you know anyone who might benefit from them.

Some time back, I mentioned that when I was first journaling here I would have a Word on the Word at the end of most every entry.  Thoroughly explored one subject a verse at a time, for example our speech and anger.  I asked for suggestions as to a new topic, that I was about to pick this up again.  Of the responses I got, depression, discouragement and anxiety were prevalent.  I see a lot of it as I journey around J-land.  I hear about a lot of it in prayer requests.  I have dealt with some in the past. 

I got out my trusty Living Bible with the extensive concordance.  Seems they didn't use these terms.  But they had some that coincide with these issues:  fear, worry, affliction, discontent.  "They" say that to train to recognize a counterfeit bill, people study the real deal, not the counterfeits.  If they know the real thing inside and out they will spot all counterfei.  Much of the Bible and indeed the principles of Christianity operates in this way.  Setting your sites on the goal, whether than where you are now.  On grace, rather than sin.  On the Fruits of the Spirit whether than on worldly things.  So, going on this premise and looking at some things opposite of what we are dealing with we get:  comfort, contentment, happiness, health, joy. 

So these are some of the things I'll be examining in the Word on the Word at the end of most every entry.  This won't be a miracle cure.  It won't answer physical reasons for emotional distress.  But I pray it will be a balm to woundedsouls, a help to those who are hurting.  God promises His words does not return void.

Without any further ado, today's Word on the Word

It is not politically correct to say in this day and age, but when we are miserable one of the first things we need to check is whether it may be the conviction of the Holy Spirit trying to get us to turn to/ return to God.  It's a repeated theme in the Old Testament, His People (Israel) forgetting God in times of plenty and good; or railing against Him when befell by hardship or in the shadow of their Enemy.  We draw back from God.  We turn to other sources for our strength, our joy, our needs.  Yet He made it clear, we won't be blessed (happy) any way except in Him.  Deuteronomy 28  is our text.  When living for/with God:  "The Lord will defeat your enemies before you...prosper everything you do...He will change you into a Holy People dedicated to himself; this he has promised to do if you will only obey him and walk in His ways...The Lord will give you an abundance of good things..." drawn from vs.1-13.  But when we turn away from God and His precepts:  "Each of these blessings depends on your not turning aside in any way from the laws I have given you; and you must never worship other gods...You will be confused and a failure in everything you do...you will...flee before your enemies in utter confusion...you will not prosper in anything you do...You will go mad because of all the tragedy you see around you...your lives will hang in doubt. You will live night and day in fear." vs.14-66. Go to the Lord.  If  you earnestly ask Him to show you if or where you have departed he will be faithful to show you.  Once you see your sin as He sees it, come to agreement with Him and renounce and repent of, turn from,  your sin He is faithful to forgive and restore your relationship with Him.

Is departure from God always the reason for suffering?  No, it isn't.  There are many reasons.  But this is the place to begin.  Introspection, guided by the Holy Spirit.  Then you can knowthat God is for you and with you in whatever you face. 

 

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