Infectious Exuberance

September 1
Delving into Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love, I was fired up by Publishers Weekly's comment…
"Chan writes with infectious exuberance, challenging Christians to take the Bible seriously."
That comment alone was life changing.
Am I living with infectious exuberance?
Ha, we are living with something bizarre. The other night at dinner a woman came up and offered to take a family group shot for us.  Introducing ourselves, we came to realize she and her husband live in our cove.  As we explained where we lived she responded, "Oh,  you are those Bible people."
Well, we've been called a lot of things, but Bible People was a first!

This photo of our son and grandson is one of my favorites. It's speaks to the importance of parents guiding their children into the future.  My prayer today is that this next generation will guide their children with an infectious exuberance  which is pleasing to God.

This passage from Paul and Timothy in Philippians 1:3-11 sings of infectious exuberance!

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God.  Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer.  I find myself praying for you with a glad heart.  I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present.  There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
It's not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality.  You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece.  All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God.  He knows how much I love and miss you these days.  Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well.  Learn to love appropriately.  You need to use your head and test your feelings so that  your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush.  Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone invoked in the glory and praise of God. 

Everybody Can't Be Right

Sorry, I'm late with my Jesus time. 
Had to get the barbecue going early!
We do appreciate this pig's sacrifice!
You will eat the fruit of  your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Psalm 128:2

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

August 30-31
Last night I saw a church van from DC with this logo…Everybody can't be right.
My first thought was do they mean some people are left winged?  
(As the van was from DC, made sense to me.)
Then the more I thought about it, which was what they intended people to do,  I realized the hope was that people would come to see that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one will come to the Father, except through Christ.  Thank You Jesus for the sacrifice you made for my sins.

Enjoy this long Labor Day weekend. We are praying our daughter in law literally goes into labor and delivers a healthy baby boy.

Senior Day…

Senior Day at Shiloh
 Christian Heritage Academy Class of 2015


The Head Dude (as the Andrews boys call him)

August 29
Living in a resort retirement community, Senior Day at Shiloh, would have more of a geriatric ring to it than a bunch of 17-18 year olds running around!  My husband is The Head of a nearby Christian school and we started a tradition of having the seniors to our home for a bonding day, the first week of school.  The temperature was in the 90's, the sun was shining bright and spirits were high!
The students arrived and got to listen to my husband and me be a bit nostalgic in our sharing, which always ends up with me teary eyed. Looking at these precious lives, knowing a little bit of the challenges and heart ache they have already faced, as well as all that lies ahead, I can't help but have a heart full of emotion.
Watching them walk the scripture trails, I prayed God's Word would penetrate their hearts and stay there forever.






Stop and pray for the students in our nation.  Pray they will come to know truth and desire to be one nation under God!

A Story to be Told



We miss this bunch already. 
August 28
My husband wandered in from the pitch black dark this morning.  I had asked him to not do his elliptical machine for a few days, because when he does it at 4:30AM it tends to awaken our house guests.  There was the option of a treadmill on the other side of the house, but instead he opted to go out with a flashlight and hike our half mile driveway each morning…in search of adventure (or a story to be told).
While playing down by our beach area a couple days ago, our son notice a LARGE pile of goose feathers…my response…there is  probably a fox in the woods with….a story to be told and a full belly.
Everyday while the grands were here there were precious moments of exploration and stories to be told.

Yesterday, at a spiritual disciplines study I attend, there was story after story to be told of how God had shown up in AMAZING ways during the previous week.  One member inquired, "Why don't we tell more often of what God is doing?"  So true! There are stories to be told of his deliverance, his provision, his loving discipline and his salvation!  Be sure to tell someone your story today!

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.
Psalm 66:16

Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord
has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
Mark 5:19 

Bible Verses Make Me Smile

August 27
Yesterday morning I was sitting out by the lake rocking this wee one and started reciting 
Philippians 4:8 to her:

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

I must have said it 30 times and she would just smile and smile and smile. She particularly liked…

pure, LOVELY, admirable!

Anticipation



August 26
Visiting a dairy farm yesterday it was evident those ladies were utterly full of milk and anticipating their milking moment as they lined up in the barn.  The two year old grandson in this photo has anticipated each adventure we have gone on. We have a grandson who is due to enter this world September 3rd.  As this date is drawing close I find myself full of anticipation and excitement each time my cell phone dings!
I can only imagine the excited anticipation the angels in heaven have as they await the arrival of someone entering heaven!
There are polls which tell us how many people are born a minute in the world. I wonder if it has even been chartered how many people come to a saving knowledge of Christ a day! Let's pray for that with a positive expectancy today.  Being all knowing, I wonder if God experiences excited anticipation!

But our citizenship is in heaven.
And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20 

God's Creatures





August 25
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of  your creatures.
Psalm 104:24 

We don't just sit and ponder the marvelous works of the Lord enough. Yesterday, we took one of our grandsons to a nearby petting zoo. It was such a delight to just step back and watch the joy unfold as this youngster marveled at all God has made.

Take time right now to look at your body and outside and tell God 10 things which He created that you find to be absolutely marvelous!

It Will Happen

I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Acts 27:25
August 23-24
Picking up Streams in the Desert on August 17th, I marveled at a story on those pages about a journey George Mueller was taking aboard a ship.  He went to the sea captain and explained it was necessary he reach port by a specific time. The sea captain replied there was no possible way because of the dense  fog.  At that point, in the captain's presence, George Mueller stated:

"My eye is not on the dense fog, but on the living God who controls all circumstances of my life."
Next he prayed a simple prayer and told the sea captain to go outside and check the weather.
The fog was GONE!

Do we pray BELIEVING…it (God's will) will happen!


If our love were just more simple. we would take Him at His word;
and our lives would be all sunshine, in the sweetness of our Lord. 
(Not sure who wrote this.)

What can you pray right now in the name of Jesus and believe by faith you will see come to fruition?

Check out Adrain Roger's sermon on Victorious Prayer-Learning how to pray.
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/

Make the Faith Visible




Dear friends, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, 
even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.   
3 John: 5 (The MSG)

August 22
The summer season is winding down and the pace of hospitality offered at Shiloh will most likely slow down. (Most people prefer to come when dipping in the water is good.)  For my husband, who is head of school at a nearby Christian school, the pace of offering hospitality picked up immensely yesterday morning as the students reported for the first day of school!  Thirty-six new faces stepped onto campus and this sweet man was there to welcome them with an assuring smile and encouraging words.
Today my prayer is for Christian teachers across our nation to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and make their faith known!  It could change a life for eternity!














Infectious Bibles




For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 

August 21
A small community in Alleghany County, VA has had a ruckus of their own going on.  Lewis Gale hospital system removed all the Bibles from hospital rooms saying they can carry infectious diseases.
Me oh my.  I'd like to think that Scripture is contagious.

A pastor from the tiny town of Iron Gate, wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper and the hospital has been scurrying to clear up any misunderstanding.  They have moved the Bibles to the nurses stations and a patient can ask for one and then take it home.  They have even added that they will place a laminate card (which can be cleaned and not spread germs) relaying this information  in the drawer where Bibles previously were located.  My guess is this infectious angle will fuel the fight to remove Bibles from any public place as well, making the association that they paper pages are germ carriers.

I tell you friends, this world is not our own…we are foreigners here and it is getting stranger every day. I'm curious if every type of "paper" material has been removed from the lobbies and waiting rooms of hospitals and doctors offices as well. Better just do away with magazines. I'm guilty of picking one up in a grocery store line and then placing it back in the rack. If probably done that at some point in my life on a day I had a cold.  I guess they all must go and we can just plug into our Smartphones and iPads while we wait.
Phone books, magazines, hotel directories, and hotel note pads would be in this same category.  Do they put a new roll of  toilet paper in every hotel room?  Is every towel removed, even if it appears to not have been used.  Do they Lysol the chair cushions and wash every bedspread? What about the curtains?  I think my husband sneezed near one last weekend on our trip.

The Bible is infectious. The love and guidance inside can spread quickly!  May It forever be a contagious document.

Praise God for the man in Iron Gate, VA who stood up to protect the ministry of the Gideons and God's Word.



Life's Little Reminders



August 21
There are so many Bible translations available to us.  I saw a reference to The Voice translation. That was a new one to me, but this particular verse in that translation really sank in well.  It is the 3rd time this week (and it's only Wednesday) that the command Listen has jumped up and grabbed me.  Guess I better put my ears on, as I used to tell our children.

“Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, 
and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, 
my brothers and sisters” 
(James 1:19, The Voice).

What an excellent self-check verse.
1) Listen, open your ears.  (Shut your mouth).
2) Harness your desire to speak. (Ha, bite your tongue.)
3) Don't get worked up into a rage so easily.  (Cool your jets.)

Whew, sisters loved by God, my guess is we are going to face each of these temptations in the next week.  I wish as a twelve year old, I had been given these three tips on a business card to carry with me at all times as a life reminder and survival guide!

God's Word is filled with so much wisdom. He truly has our best interest at heart.  His discipline and advice are for our good.  Walking with a friend yesterday we touched on the topic of discipline and  how children long for boundaries.  She said her mother had been one to let her do whatever she wanted to do.  "I longed for her to say "no" to me,"the friend shared.  For in that "no" was love, concern and a true interest in shaping her daughter's life.

The Shelter of His Wings


August 19
A friend from PA sent this fabulous photo, which speaks volumes to Psalm 61:4
Aren't our senses amazing.  This photograph exudes love, concern, provision and protection.
All characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

I  long to dwell in your tent forever and 
take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Now scurry off to your prayer closet or go sit by the water or under a tree and dwell with the Lord today!

M.O.T.T.

Our newest granddaughter!  10 weeks old.
August 17
A happy heart makes the face cheerful.
Proverbs 15:13

Laughter is good for the soul and my husband is always making me laugh.  Yesterday was a double hitter.  Right back at cha.  We were driving home from a romantic family wedding weekend in Charlottesville, VA.  Looking at him I began showering him with accolades. 
I love just being with you.
I love how comfortable I am with you. 
I love the way you protect me.  
I love the way you make me laugh.
Then I said, "I love the way you love me…most of the time." 
Well, that last phrase cracked him up.  M.O.T.T. (most of the time) is going to be added to his famous list of acronyms.  It works best in a low whisper after your compliment.

I love the way you cook…shhhh…most of the time.
I love being with you…most of the time.

We were both laughing so hard!  He added,  "The only time M.O.T.T. won't work is when it comes to Jesus' love, for he loves us ALL THE TIME."

Rainy Days and Mondays






August 16-17
They arrived in the rain on Friday and the sun didn't come out until Tuesday afternoon. On Saturday we had houseguests with an 18 m onto old and finally filled up the baby pool under the deck with buckets of warm water from inside and let the children splash.  By Sunday my husband was trying to stay positive and singing the lyric from a country song…."Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey, whiskey makes my girlfriend, a little frisky."  Not this girlfriend.  It would put her flat to sleep.  Monday afternoon, I need some fresh air, so we grabbed our boots, slickers and umbrellas and headed out for a couple hours of rainy day fun.  Before the fun ended the two year old was in the lake in his diaper and jammy shirt!
.
The news of Robin Williams death this week was so sad.  I've been there more than once, begging the Lord to take me home. Biblegateway has some excellent articles related to depression and how we as the church can help others.

https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2014/08/robin-williams-death-an-opportunity-to-look-at-depression-in-the-scriptures/

David gives us many an example of how to "cry out" to the Lord.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
Psalm 34:17 

Paul taps into a scenario in 2 Corinthians 7:1-10 (The MSG) related to distress which is worth the read.

"With problems like this to pull us on, dear friends, let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.
More Passionate, More Responsible
Trust us. We've never hurt a soul, never exploited or taken advantage of anyone. Don't think I'm finding fault with you.  I told you earlier that I'm with you all the way, no matter what. I have, in fact, the greatest confidence in you.  If only you knew how proud I am of you!  I am overwhelmed with joy despite all our troubles.

When we arrived in Macedonia province, we couldn't settle down.  The fights in the church and the fears in our hearts kept us on pins and needles.  We couldn't relax because we didn't know how it would turn out.  Then the God who lifts up the downcast lifted our heads and our hearts with the arrival of Titus.  We were glad just to see him, but the true reassurance came in what he told us about you: how much you cared, how much you grieved, how concerned you were for me. I went from worry to tranquility in no time!

I know I distressed you greatly with my letter. Although I felt awful at the time, I don't feel at all bad now that I see how it turned out.  The letter upset you, but only for a while.  Now I'm glad-not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around.  You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him.  The result was all gain,  no loss.

Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation.  We never revet that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full or regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets."

May our hearts be stirred right now to pray for the deliverance of those battling depression.

49 Commands

This was either on Facebook or Pinterest.  :-)

August 15
Channel surfing, my husband lingered on a local church program.  A panel discussion was taking place and the topic was teenagers leaving the church.  One woman deduced the problem was that we teach our children Bible stories (Noah and the Ark, Moses in a Basket, David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lions' Den), but we fail to teach them who God is and the promises he has for them.  I went Internet surfing and before God's promises popped up, these 49 General Commands of Christ appeared and caught my interest.

A dilemma followed.  While the content was excellent, I recognized the author of the article and knew he had recently been accused of stumbling in the area of sexual inappropriateness.   The accusation was not for anything physical, but some other sort of conduct.  So my dilemma…Do I post something from a minister accused of sin?  I opted, "Yes" for these reasons.
1) What he has to say is purely scriptural.
2) I sin everyday and still  hope the Lord can use me.
3) God is in the restoration business.  He certainly continued to use David after he repented and turned 
    back to the Lord.
Printing these off, I've found the chart to be a great guideline on how to walk with Jesus.

http://billgothard.com/teaching/commandsofchrist/49commands


49 General Commands of Christ

What are 49 Ways to Love God and Others?

The theme of all Scripture is to love God with all of our hearts and to love one another. (See Matthew 22:40 and John 13:34.)
  1. Repent—Matthew 4:17Humility
  2. Follow Me—Matthew 4:19Meekness
  3. Rejoice—Matthew 5:12Joyfulness
  4. Let Your Light Shine—Matthew 5:16Generosity
  5. Honor God’s Law—Matthew 5:17–18Love
  6. Be Reconciled—Matthew 5:24–25Responsibility
  7. Do Not Commit Adultery—Matthew 5:29–30Self-Control
  8. Keep Your Word—Matthew 5:37Truthfulness
  9. Go the Second Mile—Matthew 5:38–42Deference
  10. Love Your Enemies—Matthew 5:44Creativity
  11. Be Perfect—Matthew 5:48Sincerity
  12. Practice Secret Disciplines—Matthew 6:1–18Faith
  13. Lay Up Treasures—Matthew 6:19–21Thriftiness
  14. Seek God’s Kingdom—Matthew 6:33Initiative
  15. Judge Not—Matthew 7:1Discernment
  16. Do Not Cast Pearls—Matthew 7:6Discretion
  17. Ask, Seek, and Knock—Matthew 7:7–8Resourcefulness
  18. Do Unto Others—Matthew 7:12Sensitivity
  19. Choose the Narrow Way—Matthew 7:13–14Decisiveness
  20. Beware of False Prophets—Matthew 7:15Alertness
  21. Pray For Laborers—Matthew 9:38Compassion
  22. Be Wise as Serpents—Matthew 10:16Wisdom
  23. Fear God, Not Man—Matthew 10:26Boldness
  24. Hear God’s Voice—Matthew 11:15Attentiveness
  25. Take My Yoke—Matthew 11:29Obedience
  26. Honor Your Parents—Matthew 15:4Honor/Reverence
  27. Beware of Leaven—Matthew 16:6Virtue
  28. Deny Yourself—Luke 9:23Determination
  29. Despise Not Little Ones—Matthew 18:10Tolerance
  30. Go to Offenders—Matthew 18:15Justice
  31. Beware of Covetousness—Luke 12:15Contentment
  32. Forgive Offenders—Matthew 18:21–22Forgiveness
  33. Honor Marriage—Matthew 19:6Loyalty
  34. Be a Servant—Matthew 20:26–28Availability
  35. Be a House of Prayer—Matthew 21:13Persuasiveness
  36. Ask in Faith—Matthew 21:21–22Patience
  37. Bring in the Poor—Luke 14:12–14Hospitality
  38. Render to Caesar—Matthew 22:19–21Gratefulness
  39. Love the Lord—Matthew 22:37–38Enthusiasm
  40. Love Your Neighbor—Matthew 22:39Gentleness
  41. Await My Return—Matthew 24:42–44Punctuality
  42. Take, Eat, and Drink—Matthew 26:26–27Thoroughness
  43. Be Born Again—John 3:7Security
  44. Keep My Commandments—John 14:15Diligence
  45. Watch and Pray—Matthew 26:41Endurance
  46. Feed My Sheep—John 21:15–16Dependability
  47. Baptize My Disciples—Matthew 28:19Cautiousness
  48. Receive God’s Power—Luke 24:49Orderliness
  49. Make Disciples—Matthew 28:20Flexibility

Sincere Faith



August 14
While walking the other morning,  the phrase sincere faith popped into my mind.  "Is that from the Bible?" I inquired of my walking partner.  The reply, "I assume if anyone has faith it is sincere."
The conversation ended, but arriving back home the words were still with me.

Searching the Bible I was encouraged by the words I found and then led to a powerful lesson by John Piper on Faith in God's Grace.

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in your also.  2 Timothy 1:5

First deduction…A sincere faith can be passed on to future generations.

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a  good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)
The whole point of what we're urging is simply love-love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.
1 Timothy 1:5 (MSG)

Second deduction…A sincere faith isn't self serving, it exudes love and delights in God's grace.

John Piper writes in reference to this passage:
"Faith in God's grace expels from the heart the sinful powers that hinder love."

It is exciting how God can give us a simple thought, such as the words sincere faith,  and lead us to a place to learn a great lesson.  The remainder of Piper's article is below.  
"If we feel guilty, we tend to wallow in self-centered depression and self-pity, unable to see, let alone care, about anyone else’s need. Or we play the hypocrite to cover our guilt, and so destroy all sincerity in relationships. Or we talk about other people’s faults to minimize the guilt of our own.
It’s the same with fear. If we feel fearful, we tend not to approach a stranger at church who might need a word of welcome and encouragement. Or we may reject frontier missions for our lives, because it sounds too dangerous. Or we may waste money on excessive insurance, or get swallowed up in all manner of little phobias that make us preoccupied with ourselves and blind us to the needs of others.
If we are greedy, we may spend money on luxuries — money that ought to go to the spread of the gospel. We don’t undertake anything risky, lest our precious possessions and our financial future be jeopardized. We focus on things instead of people, or see people as resources for our material advantage.
Faith in future grace produces love by pushing guilt and fear and greed out of the heart.
It pushes out guilt because it holds fast to the hope that the death of Christ is sufficient to secure acquittal and righteousness now and forever (Hebrews 10:14).
It pushes out fear because it banks on the promise, “Fear not, for I am with you. . . . I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
And it pushes out greed because it is confident that Christ is greater wealth than all the world can offer (Matthew 13:44).
In every case the glory of Christ is magnified when we are more satisfied with his future grace than we are with the promises of sin."


The Devil's Having a Heyday


August 13
First of all, I originally wrote "hay day".  That comes from the influence of living in a rural community with so many farmers cutting hay about now.  Looking at the phrase and realizing it wasn't correct I went to Merriam Webster for the definition of heyday.  "…used to express elation or wonder.

Then, checking out The Message the word heyday was there.

First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday.
Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they'll mock, 
"So what's happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried,
and everything's going on just as it has fro the first day of creation. Nothing's changed."
2 Peter 3:3-4 

Here's where the whole heyday hunt started.  My husband had arrived home early from work in hopes of relaxing on his last afternoon before his faculty reported back for a new school year.  Vertigo had been raising its ugly head in my head, so I was in a sitting position on the floor cleaning out the bottom of a refrigerator.  At that level numerous overdo cleaning projects were popping into sight.
Let's just cut to the chase and the bottom line is... the atmosphere got testy.  The next thing we both realized was our lovely afternoon together was in a rapid downward spiral.  Being the spiritual leader of our home that my husband is, he grabbed me in his arms and said, "Let's both acknowledge the Devil is having a heyday here and start over!"
Praise the Lord we both know what it means to "Be on the alert for spiritual danger" and the Devil's heyday come to a HALT!

Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

Don't let the nasty dude get ahold of you and have his way!

A Faulty Fast


August 12
Reading Sex and the Soul of a Woman, I was challenged to do a fast from solid foods for a day.  Around 3:30 hunger set in and I convinced myself that a yummy Halifax cantaloup, once chewed up thoroughly, would go down like liquid!  Reaching for the melon the Spirit said, "Why are you doing that?"  My reply, "Because it is there and it is good." God spoke, "I am here and I am good too!"
I spit the piece of melon out in the trash.

How quick we are to substitute what is good for who is truly GREAT!

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.  Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom…Psalm 145:1-3

Drop Area


August 11
One Monday morning, my husband and I acquired permission to walk the golf cart path at a nearby golf course. I about collapsed in the heat and hilly terrain, but loved the adventure.  At one, high point, I told my husband I felt like I was getting turf toe, banging my toes into the ends of my shoes going down the hills.  He said, "Then walk backwards."  Brilliant idea, I just needed him to hold my hand as the incline was quite steep.

Ha!  When we are walking backward we certainly need Jesus to direct us to the correct path!

Reaching the bottom of this route and hole number 17, there was a pond and sign.  Maybe from the picture above you can see there is quite a drop and a pond before the green.  The sign said, "Drop area."  Not being a golfer, but a Jesus lover, I dropped right in that area and prayed thanking God for keeping my alive on this trek!

Today's verse on Biblegateway took me back to thinking about the signs and arrows we saw along the path that day.

How can a young person live a clean life?  By carefully reading the map of your Word. I'm single-minded in pursuit of you; don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.  I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living. I'll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth; I delight ar more in what your tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches.  I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you've done it.  I relish everything you've told me of life, I won't forget a word of it.  Psalm 119:14 MSG

Know Us By Our Love

August 9-10
Taking a challenge from my Spiritual Formation group I was to read a chapter from the Bible a night, so I picked 1 John and it's 5 chapters.  The NIV Bible headlined the book
Making God's Love Complete
The key verse selected in the introduction:
No one has ever seen God: 
but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:12
That same week this song came on godtube.  

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=W6L667NX&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08/06/2014

How are we living out…1 John 3:18?
Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

You LOVE Jesus


August 8
Some friends stopped by with a delicious strawberry pie to share on the dock the other night.  While serving the pieces, my girlfriend shared this story.

They had hired a man to do a wallpaper job in their home.  On installation day, he brought his 5 year old son along on the job.  Admiring the finished product, my friend exclaimed, "I love it!"  The little boy looked up at her and said, "You LOVE Jesus. You REALLY LIKE the wallpaper!"

What a great self-checkin process. The next time we think we "Love" something, let's replace the thought process with "I like it very much, but I LOVE Jesus."

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Matthew 22:37

We love because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19

God is all I Need

Cherished role models from Florida
August 7
First of all, please don't take offense that I am inferring that any of you reading this devotional site are old!  :-) 
I'm sending it because I think it is one of the most insightful teachings I have received this summer and I like to share GOOD things with people I love!  
Especially those of you who love God and what he is up to!  A mentor of mine says, 
"God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!"
A mentor of mine and her man dancing at one of our son's weddings.

Because I am older  I couldn't sleep the other night and was up reading emails at 2AM.  There is a gentleman in his 90's, who lives in Minneapolis, whom I befriended several years ago in an Apple store in MN.  Reading an email from him, which explained he may have to leave his condo and move to a nursing home, I could hear the disappointment over leaving his home in the words he typed. He wrote,  "The space is 470 sq. feet and I cannot take all my things or all my pictures on the walls."  
I began praying about ways to encourage him.  Later that day, I stopped by a friend's home.  She and her husband have been facing aging issues this summer and her son had sent her a John Piper quote and the following article (of unknown source) related to aging being a sanctifying process.  It was an answer to pray, for I knew it would minister to my friend.

Dear friends, loved by God, there is no need to be anxious, instead we should rejoice in the sanctification taking place in our lives.
Love, love, love this!  God is all we need!  Each day we are a step closer to heaven and that's where the real rejoicing is going down!

Hope this blesses you!
John Piper stated, "I want to learn that God is all I need, before God is all I've got."
"Although society considers growing old to be a curse, the Bible speaks of old age as a blessing from God.  (Ex. 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:33; Proverbs 16:31)
Aging provides an opportunity to experience God's power in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
In an article titled "Thank God for Aging," professor Chuck Dolph shows how God uses aging to sanctify us:  "Aging strips us.  If we live long enough, we lose our beauty, our strength, our wealth, our independence, the control of our bodily functions, our pride, and perhaps our very self.  These are our idols, all the things that we trust in life to make us attractive, valuable, and self-sufficient.  If our aging is successful, we will end our lives stripped of everything but God, totally naked and helpless, utterly dependent on Him and the love of others.  Everything that we trusted in life for our worth will have been stripped away. What a blessing to finally find our right relationship to God!  Thank God for aging."

"The elderly and the weak have opportunities to experience God's power being perfected in their weakness."

The suggested verses:
Honor  your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12
Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.                       Deuteronomy. 5:33
Gray hair is the crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.           Proverbs 16:31
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Double Whammy-True Colors

Addition to August 6
You know when you feel like God is preparing you for something?  Well, I don't know what is ahead, but God has used godtube clips from the past two days to remind me to look on the inside of people, not the outside.  Please don't miss this one!
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=W6KKZPNX&utm_source=GodTube%20Must-See%20Video&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08/06/2014

Hold On

August 6
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=W6K76WNX&utm_source=GodTube%20Must-See%20Video&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08/05/2014

Watch this video and see where the Lord takes you.  There are so many lessons within this clip. In addition it is a fabulous Jamie Grace song.  If you can't pull it up by this link, go to godtube.com and type in Christopher Duffy Hold Me.

Inclusion-And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  Matthew 18:5

Courage- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Love- A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  John 13:34

Value-Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matthew 6:26

Joy- Be joyful always.  1 Thessalonians 5:16

Gifts-There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.   1 Corinthians 12:4

Encouragement-Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

Marvelous and Wondrous Things

August 5

This is God's Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, 
known everywhere as God: 
"Call to me and I will answer you. 
I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.  
Jeremiah 33:2-3 

I want to know marvelous and wondrous things!
I'm totally comfortable with the fact I'm not capable of figuring out God!

Are you able to figure out this isn't a real dear in my kitchen?

If we quiet ourselves and call to God, he will answer us.

Think it Through


August 4
Being that our family is in baby making mode these days,  I hear all the latest terminology.  Push presents, if given, were not called such 30 years ago.  Baby brain, wasn't a pregnancy symptom I recall having the privilege of using for excusing my mental lapses.  I do recall having a brain freeze and being unable to think through the following comment from the hospital representative, who was gathering birth record information:  "Is your husband the father of your baby?"

Repeating the phrase back to the woman, I was stumped for a minute.  Was this like the tricky phrasing of questions on the driver's license test?  Is my husband the father of my baby?  Ah, yes.  Seeing that she'd thrown me for a loop, she apologized and informed me that I'd be surprised how often that isn't that case.

Can I claim to have grandmother brain?  The kids have been here for five days and now I can't remember where I wrote this quote down from.  I'm fairly certain it is from Solo, The Message related to the book of 1 John.  I've read it over and over, thinking it through.  It's a deep thought.

"The love we've already experienced is chasing away fear, which often keeps us from loving others."

Who is fear keeping us from loving?  Christ's love outweighs any fear we can have.

Every God-begotten person conquers the world's ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.  The person who wins out over the world's ways is simply the one who believers Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:4-5

Accomplishments



August 2-3
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
James 1:22 

The above verse was on Biblegateway today.  It made me remember we have been given the Holy Spirit, not only as a friend and comforter, but for the purpose of equipping us "to do" what God has preplanned for us to accomplish to bring him glory.

This week we've been enjoying a couple of our "grands" and watching all their accomplishments.  One wanted roller skates.  Before the purchase we discussed the discipline of "never, never, never give up." I have a song that goes with that phrase that we've sung with a long strand of obstacles from potty training to trying to get basketballs in hoops!

Our three year old princess wanted to paint.  The particular piece you are viewing here is of God's creation! She has the sun, flowers, water, grass and a few more objects I missed in translation!  She was so proud of her accomplishment.

What is it you hear God calling you to accomplish today?
Is there a since of apathy or insecurity in battling in your mind?

I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all thing for me.
Psalm 57:2

I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.

The Cry of Our Hearts #2

August 1
Lord, we come to you asking for prayers for godly men to step forward and be courageous.  Raise up husbands who will pray for their families, who will lead them to church on Sunday and lead them to study the Word at home.  Ignite passion in the lives of fathers that has them studying the Word, seeking men to mentor them and be accountability partners.  Stir the hearts of men of all ages to pray fervently for purity of speech and of conduct.  Fill our homes with men who love you Lord and are noticeably different.  In Jesus Name, Amen