Archive | December 2009

Good-bye 2009! Hello 2010!

tic, tic, tic…the days fly by like seconds… 

 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…

 September, October, November, December…

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010…

hen the hand strikes midnite, may be one of whom you say, “Well done, good and fathful servant.”  Matthew 25:21

“Like a dream he flies away,

 no more to be found,

 banished like a vision in the night. 

 The eye that saw him will not see him again. 

 His place will look on him no more.”  Job 20:8-9

Do you know Him?  Jesus, that is.

 Click the pic below for a brief introduction:

**thanks to fromoldbooks.org for the calligraphy W!

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FIRE!

“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” 1 Thes. 5:19

Wanna put out the Spirit’s fire?  Ignore Him.  Skip church, don’t read your Bible, never pray, and, of course, don’t hang out with Christians.

 Or, you can smother Him.    This might be most effective method.

Hollywood and sites like Hulu can be especially helpful here.   Just watch whatever’s the latest and coolest.  Don’t concern yourself with the rating or content.  However, the sicker and more twisted it is, the better. 

 ” If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:16

On the other hearth,  how do you keep a fire going?  Add logs, of course.

Here’s some logs to throw on your heart’s fire.  May their truth warm your soul:

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  Titus 2:11-14

The Fireplace Prayer (click on highlighted words/phrases for the verses being prayed):

“Oh, Abba Father in Heaven,  You are and You are a rewarder of them that earnestly seek You.  I am earnestly seeking you now to light a fire in my soul.  The Apostle Paul warned us not to put out the Spirit’s fire.  Help me to hold onto the good and avoid every form of evil, like it says to do in 1 Thessalonians.  Show me what is evil and what is good, ’cause sometimes it’s a little tricky and my flesh is so weak.  Thank you for your grace that teaches me to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions.  These are the ways I know that I put out Your fire, Lord– ______, ________, _________.  Thank you for being faithful to forgive me when I confess my sins to You.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

Is your hearth empty?  Click the pic below to light a fire! **

**fire image from: http://www-nlpir.nist.gov/projects/tv2003/active/topics/example.images/fire.jpg

Who’s Your Daddy?

In Israel, Chip Ingram (author/pastor), saw a little boy reaching up and tugging on his father’s leg and crying, “Abba!  Abba!”  His Abba, or daddy, as we’d say in America, reached down and scooped his son up into his lap….

It brought to life this verse:

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba,  Father.”  Romans 8:15

Imagine your Father in heaven, your dad, Abba, singing the song below to you.  It might seem silly to think of God singing a John Denver song, but the song is about love, parent to child, and He does so love us.  

For Baby

I’ll walk in the rain by your side,
I’ll cling to the warmth your hand.
I’ll do anything to keep you satisfied,
I’ll love you more than anybody can.

And the wind will whisper your name to me.
Little birds will sing along in time.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by,
And morning bells will chime.

I’ll be there when you’re feelin’ down,
To kiss away the tears if you cry
I’ll share with you all the happiness I’ve found;
A reflection of the love in your eyes.

And I’ll sing you the songs of the rainbow;
A whisper of the joy that is mine.
And leaves will bow down when you walk by,
And morning bells will chime.

I’ll walk in the rain by your side.
I’ll cling to the warmth your tiny hand.
I’ll do anything to help understand.
And I’ll love you more than anybody can.

And the wind will whisper your name to me.
Little birds will sing along in time.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by:
And morning bells will chime.  ~~ John Denver

Even Jesus called God his Abba.  Here he is in the garden about to be drug off by Roman guards.  He knew they were going to beat and torture him and hang him on the cross the next day.  In his distress, he cried out to his dad:

Abba,  Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me…”  Mark 14:36

And because he did go ahead and drink from that cup, we can call God, our daddy, too:

“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,  Father.” Galatians 4:6

The Abba Prayer (click on highlighted words/phrases to read the verses in full):

Oh, Father in heaven, Abba, daddy.  It sounds so strange to call you that, but that’s who you are.  I do believe, help me with my unbelief!  Increase my faith!  May I trust you like a child, and cling to the warmth of your hand.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Who’s your daddy?  Click on the pic below to meet mine. Maybe you’d like to make him yours:

My nephew, Eric, and great neice, Inara

“Come and see, look on this mystery…”

Come and see, look on this mystery
The Lord of the Universe, nailed to a tree

Christ our God, spilling His Holy blood
Bowing in anguish, His sacred head

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.

Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.
Sing of His faithfulness, pouring His life out unto death

Come you weary and He will give you rest
Come you who mourn, lay on His breast
Christ who died, risen in Paradise
Giver of mercy, Giver of Life

Sing to Jesus His is the throne
Now and forever,
He is the King of Heaven.
Sing to Jesus, we are His own.
Now and forever sing for the love our God has shown.

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.

Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.
Sing to Jesus His is the throne
Now and forever,
He is the King of Heaven.

Sing to Jesus, we are His own.
Now and forever sing for the love our God has shown.

Have Home Will Travel!

Amphioctopus marginatus

See the cocunut shell this octopus is carrying around?  It’s his little shelter.  Scientists discovered it in the waters around Indonesia.  “I was gobsmacked,” said a research biologist. “I mean, I’ve seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I’ve never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.” **

See for yourself:

This little coconut-carrying octopus (he’s just the size of a fist) is a creepy-crawly picture of this verse:

“… you have made the LORD…your dwelling place.” Psalm 91:9

If the Lord’s our dwelling place it doesn’t matter where we are, we’ll feel at home.  I needed to remember that recently when I was nervous at an event where I felt like an outsider.  I shared my feelings later with a good friend who said, “Gloris, you just need to make Christ your home.” 

Home.  That’s where we feel most secure, if we have a good family to greet us when we come home, and food to eat and a warm bed for sleeping.  And, no matter how big or small it is, it’s a cozy and safe place.  That’s what home should be and what we can feel no matter where we are if we carry our home with us like the Amphioctopus marginatus .

The Octopus Prayer: (click on highlighted words/phrases, if you like, to see each different verse we’ll be praying.)

Oh, Father you are my dwelling place, Christ in me, the hope of glory.  Who is God, except You, Lord?  And who is the Rock except our God?  When I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

Do you have a safe shelter when you’re afraid?  Open the door below to see how to make Christ your dwelling place:

** cbsnews.com (a great article on the coconut-carrying octupus)

Kudzu Faith

 

kudzu-covered woods

    Right after Thanksgiving, to celebrate our 22nd anniversary, my husband and I hopped in the van and left the brrr-y cold midwest for sunny Florida!   Yayyy!!  The further south we drove we noticed lots of kudzu covered trees, fences, even road signs.    

 What is Kudzu?  It’s a malicious vine on the governments list of  “least wanted” plants.  
It was first introduced to the U.S. at a world’s fair in 1876 as a lovely vine from Asia to cover old fences or unsightly posts.  Gardners soon discovered that not only would it cover the fence, but the house, the barn and even the cows if they stood still too long!
Some claimed kudzu could grow a foot an day, but I read that was a misnomer.  It actually grows two!
 
 
Summertime, it covers everything with big green leaves and purple blossoms.  Not so bad.  But when it drops those pretty leaves and flowers in the late fall and winter, it’s an ugly sight to behold  — acres of devestated woods and grounds.  Here’s some pictures showing it’s effects in all seasons: 
Why all this Kudzu talk?  Because of this verse:
 
“See to it that… no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Hebrews 12:15
 
Just as Kudzu blankets the trees, choking them and blocking the sun, so does bitterness blanket our souls.  It chokes our faith, and blocks the Son of God from shining in our lives.
And, like Kudzu, bitterness spreads quickly and “defiles many”. 
As we drove passed the decimated woods, the radio serenaded us with cheerful Christmas music.  How ironic!  It reminded me of gifts, though, which reminded me of the wonderful gift God gives us that can choke out pesky bitterness ~~ grace.  
“…his glorious GRACE, which he has FREELY GIVEN us in the One he loves.” Ehpesians 1:6Later in Ephesians it says God lavishes grace on us, just pours it out.

 The verse above, that warns us not to let bitterness take root in our lives, starts out by warning us not to miss out on grace:  “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no root of bitterness grows up…”

So maybe that’s how we let bitterness take root in our hearts in the first place — we forget about grace.  God lavishes us with it.  That means we have a lot to share.   

kudzu flower

   The Kudzu prayer:    The Bible says to bless our enemies and curse not. (Romans 12:14).  So let’s pour some blessings/grace on those who bring out the bitter in us.  We’ll do this by praying for them.  Start by thinking of the creep person. (just kidding)  See her/his name in your head?  

 Ok, now “blank it” below.  Hmmm?!  In other words, fill in the blanks below with her/his name.  You’re going to “blank it” them with blessings like Kudzu blankets the trees, but pray for better results. 🙂 Doing this small thing might just help stifle the bitterness and let the Son shine in! 

So, here goes:
  
“Oh, Father in Heaven, thank you for your grace.  You poured it out on me, help me to pour it out on others.  _______ comes to mind.  Father, please bless _______.  Please give ______ a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that he/she may know you better.  (Ephesians 1:7)  May You be his/her hiding place.  May you keep her/him from trouble.  Surround _______ with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7).  In Jesus’ name, amen.”
 
Here’s a funny, informitive article on Kudzu if you want to learn more:  The Vine that Ate the South