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Thursday, October 01, 2015

He Always Will Be God

God is God
And He always will be God
He's God of the fiery furnace
He's God of Abraham
He's God of the Hebrew children
He's God the great I AM

Nelcia and my daughter Karon

So go the words of this song my now-deceased mother-in-law loved to sing. Nelcia passed away this week at the ripe old age of 95. She had long lost her eyesight, most of her hearing and her memory, but she had not lost her voice. Whenever we went to visit her, she would ask us repeatedly who we were, but she never forgot who God is and that He will always be God. And then she would treat us to her rendition of the above song. I suppose that thought comforted her throughout those dim, dark days of her dementia right down to the moment when she sailed away to be forever with the great I AM.

Do you know that God is God and that He always will be God? That He is with you in the fiery furnace, the lions' den or any other crisis in which you may find yourself? That you don't have to worry or fret over anything, because He is in control? That He is the same God yesterday, today and forever? If you don't, why not get to know Him today? Find a Bible-believing church, listen to the sermons, read the Word, talk to Christians and ask God to teach you what you need to know. Then you can sing like Nelcia, God is God, And He always will be God."


This month marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of my book Women For All Seasons. To celebrate the occasion, I'm giving away five copies randomly from now until the end of the month when you subscribe to this blog. So don't miss out on your chance. Sign up today.  


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thou Art Loosed

The story of  Jesus raising Larazus from the dead is one of the best known in the Bible. Before this
incident, we hadn't heard much about Lazarus. We knew that he had two sisters Mary and Martha and that when he took sick his sisters sent word to Jesus, expecting that He would come immediately since Lazarus was His friend. But the Bible tells us that when Jesus finally showed up, Lazarus had been dead four days. Still, Jesus asked to be taken to the burial site where He called Lazarus' name loudly and Lazarus came out of the grave.

The scripture tells us something that is significant. When Lazarus came out of the tomb he was bound hand and foot in graveclothes; even his face was bound with a napkin, as was the custom in those days.

Jesus said, "Loose him, and let him go" John 11:44).  

Had Jesus not loosed Lazarus it would have been impossible for him to get very far. Those graveclothes would have tripped him up.

The Bible gives us another illustration of a woman who had been bowed together for eighteen years and could not lift herself.

And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. Luke 13: 12.

In our world today many people are bound - by sin, drugs, alcohol, negative thinking, false beliefs. The list can go on and on. These things can cripple you and prevent you from making progress, but you don't have to stay bound. Jesus can loose you. He wants to loose you and set you free. 

John 8: 36 says,  "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." 

Do you want to be free? Then call on Jesus. He'll set you free. 

The Bible tells of another woman who was bound by demonic possession. Her name was Mary Magdalene. She was set free by Jesus and went on to become the first person to proclaim the good news of Jesus' resurrection. You can read about her here.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Light That Never Fades

I had a strange experience driving home from work one day last week. It was after seven and the sun was setting. At first it seemed like I wouldn't need my shades, but as I turned westward, the sun burst upon me with a blinding glare. I hastily put my shades on, but then the  road became dark while the glare of the sun was still in my face.

Afterwards when I thought about that experience several passages of scripture came to my mind.

For now we see through a glass, darkly ; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known .1 Corinthians 13: 12.

Through my shades, everything around me seemed dark, even though the brightness of the sun was never diminished. Could it be that we are "seeing through a glass darkly," so that we miss the brilliance of the Son shining down on us? 

We live in a world that seems to be getting darker and darker, and the more we look at it the darker it seems, but if we turn our eyes away from the things of the world we would find that the light of Jesus shines as brightly as ever. 
Sin is on the increase. We call wrong right and right wrong, and Christians are fast becoming an endangered species. But let's not be discouraged, His light still shines. 

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. Exodus 34: 29

 Moses had to cover his face in order to speak to the people. But when he went in to speak with the Lord, he removed the veil. 

We need to remove our veil, our shades - everything that prevents us from seeing clearly - and get into the presence of the Lord. Let His glory shine down on us and then we can face the darkness of this world we live in. God bless.

If you love reading novels, here's my recommended reading for this week, and some music to cheer your heart.

Friday, September 04, 2015

A Night With The King

Esther and the King
Esther and the King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The story of Esther is one of the most loved of Bible stories. Some may even classify it with the fairy- tale love stories we grew up with. When you read the book of Esther, you will find everything to delight your fiction taste buds: a king falling in love with an ordinary girl, a bad guy trying to stir up trouble and being justly punished, and a happy-ever-after ending to the story. But if you are a Bible reader, you know that behind every story is a much deeper meaning, and Esther is no exception.

Many things stand out for me in this lovely story, but in this post I want to focus on one point in the plot. When King Xerxes decided to choose a queen to replace Vashti, girls were brought in from all over the land to prepare to spend one night with the king. The girls had to go through a whole year of preparation before they could meet with him. After that night, the king would decide who should be his queen.

The story says, "And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace" (Esther 2 : 13).  

"When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her" (v 15).

"Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti" ( 17).  

Esther did not go out of her way to impress the king. She went through the required preparations, but she asked for nothing other than what Hegai suggested. And yet, the king loved her more than any of the others. The Bible does not tell us if she was more beautiful than the other girls, all it says is that she won the king's favor. In fact, of all the girls, she was probably the least likely to be chosen because she was a Jew. But she kept it a secret as her uncle Mordecai had instructed her.

The word "favor" is mentioned 117 times in the Bible. Psalm 5 : 12 says, "For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield."

When God gives you favor, you don't have to worry about whether others are pleased with you. Esther found favor with the king because God was with her. Later, when the wicked Haman sought to destroy the Jews, God again gave Esther favor with the king and Haman's plan was miffed. Do you have to meet with someone important, or carry out an important assignment? Don't look at what is against you, look at Who is for you. Ask Him to bless you with His favor and see what happens.

Want to read more about Esther and other famous women of the Bible? Click on the image below: 

And here's a video for you to enjoy;

Friday, August 21, 2015

National Senior Citizens Day

If we look at some online calendars, we will see some special days mentioned other than the regular holidays that we are familiar with. I happened to stumble across this one while looking at one of these calendars, and I'm glad I did, for we live in a society where the elderly are not always shown the appreciation and given the care they deserve. We owe a lot to our elderly. Their wrinkles, gray hairs, work-worn hands and frail bodies reflect years of loving, caring and all the hard work they put in to build the solid foundation that we take for granted today.

Look at your own family history and you will recall stories of heroism and courage your ancestors displayed. Take time today to go through your keepsake boxes and family albums with pictures of your parents, grandparents and maybe great-grandparents. Then go a step further -- call or visit at least one of them. Depending on their health status, they may not recognize you, but that's okay. Just your words, your smile, the touch of your hand will bring comfort to that person, and God will bless you for doing it because He cares for the elderly.

He says, "And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made , and I will bear ; even I will carry , and will deliver you" (Isaiah 46: 4).   

The psalmist prayed, "Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth" (Psalm 71: 9) . 

In the Bible, not only did care for the elderly, but He used them to carry out His work. Noah was six hundred years when God called him to build the ark. Abraham was a hundred years old when his wife Sarah, ninety, gave birth to their son Isaac. You can read about them here. Anna, an elderly widow, and Simeon waited in the temple until they had seen the baby Messiah and pronounced a blessing on Him. And more can be said of Moses and Caleb and Israel and others. 

So today,  let us show appreciation to our senior citizens. Let us drink from their fountain of wisdom, let us treat them with gentleness and kindness and not abuse them or cast them aside, but cherish them as your Heavenly Father does.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Parental Mistakes

As parents, we all make mistakes. I know I have made more than my fair share, but I know that God
does redeem our mistakes, and I thank Him for that. One of the saddest examples of parental mistakes recorded in the Bible is King David's reaction to the rape of his daughter, Tamar.

In case you are unfamiliar with the story, it goes like this: Ammon, Tamar's half brother was so infatuated with her he could think of nothing else. His friend, noticing his depression, asked him what was the matter. Ammon told him, and his friend came up with a plan. He told Ammon to pretend to be ill and when the king asked him what was wrong, he must say he was ill and could Tamar come over to his quarters and make some cakes for him.

Ammon did as his friend advised, David instructed Tamar to go over and bake the cakes for her brother and, you guessed, he raped her. The Bible goes on to say that Tamar begged Ammon not to send her away because she was now a disgraced woman. However, he now hated her more than he had loved her, and had her thrown out of his house. Read 2 Samuel 13: 1 - 20.

The Bible describes King David's reaction in a very short sentence: "When King David heard all this, he was furious" (v 21). In my Bible next to this verse I wrote, "And he did nothing."

The following verse reads, "Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar" (v 22).

David failed to deal with his son's wrongdoing and as a result Absalom (another son) killed Ammon, revolted against David and was later killed. David lost two sons because of his failure to act when his son did wrong.

Maybe David was very busy running the kingdom, but there is no record of him ever confronting Ammon about what he did, or having him apologize to his sister or try to make amends. He simply allowed  Ammon to go his merry way, and suffered the consequences. 

David is not the only father in the Bible who neglected to discipline the sons. Remember Eli, the priest? You can read about him and his sons in 1 Samuel 2: 12 - 26.

 Parents, we must discipline our children in a way that fits their age and their wrongdoing. We can't brush things aside, hoping they would just resolve themselves. This is not the same as what I wrote earlier about leaving our children alone. You can read that post here. This is something that happened under David's roof, and affected two of his children. He should have got involved. 

If we are unsure of how and when to discipline our children, tiny or grown, we can ask God to show us what to do, and He will. 

Sunday, August 09, 2015

He Cares About Everything

Recently, while doing the grandma thing while my daughter and hubby were away, I came across a
snag - literally. As I combed through my granddaughter's abundant hair - and I do mean abundant -  in preparation for church, the rubber band I had put in the day before became tangled. It looked like I wouldn't be able to get it out without tearing some of her hair. I also feared we might be late for church. Then, almost without thinking, I said, "Jesus, help me with this." Instantly, the rubber band came away in my hand. I stared at it in amazement. That was as profound a moment as I've ever experienced in answer to prayer, and it reminded me of something I already knew:

 Jesus cares about everything that concerns us.

After his groundbreaking achievement of separating twins who were joined at the back of the head, Dr. Ben Carson, world-renowned neurosurgeon, wrote of his experience in Gifted Hands. He said that when he attempted the task of separating the blood vessels in the twins' brains, they seemed like a glob of spaghetti. The slightest mistake could result in one or both of the twins bleeding to death. He said he prayed, and it seemed like God's hands took over, separating those blood vessels one by one. The operation was successful. Read my post here.

Not many people in the world are faced with the task of separating blood vessels, but whatever challenge you're facing, know that God is able and willing to help you if you would ask Him. He parted the Red Sea, shut the lions' mouth, rescued the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace and performed countless other miracles. Those are big things, you say, but He also removed a little rubber band from my granddaughter's hair.  Trust Him.

1 Peter 5: 7 says, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.