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I HATE WEEDS!

IMG_7554 I hate weeds!  Do you mind if I say that a little louder?  I HATE WEEDS!!!! We have had a bunch of rain, so much that I couldn’t even get into my garden without sinking into the mud!  Finally, today was the day to weed; however, by now, the ground was still wet and hard! It was A LOT of work just digging up the ground!  And then there are the weeds!  IHATE WEEDS!  Why do there have to be weeds?  Why do I even do this to myself?  Why plant a garden?  Those are the questions I asked my dear husband who was kneeling at the raised bed and weeding it for me.

So now the job is done, and when I look out the window and see those beautiful rows of various shades of green, AND NO WEEDS, I love it!IMG_7555

Weeds. They have taught me so many lessons that I really should be thankful for them!  Today’s lesson is this:

Do I hate my sin as much as I hate those weeds?  If I could come up with a way NOT to have any weeds, I be so happy (and rich: who wants weeds?)  I know they make herbicides, but I really don’t want to fill my garden with chemicals.

Is there a way to keep sin out of my life? No—this side of heaven, we will ALWAYS struggle with sin.  Both weeds and sin are part of the curse.  However, I have learned that if I hoe hoe hoe my garden once a week, it nearly eliminates the backbreaking task of pulling weeds.

Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow!  AND it will keep sin at bay!

Who could love weeds?  Who would love sin? ME!  Ugh!  Do you have a “pet” sin that you just don’t want to part with? Wouldn’t it be ridiculous to have a “pet” weed in your garden?  And then there’s that “besetting” sin – the one that keeps coming back!  That would be the mint in my garden!  What an annoyance!

There are so many “kinds” of sins: sneaky sins that catch you by surprise; little sins (in our eyes) that we are tempted to ignore; secret sins that really aren’t that secret because God knows everything!  I shudder to think how the garden of my heart looks to God at times!

IMG_7556Praise the Lord for 1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confessing sin, keeping our hearts right is an even more beautiful sight than a weed-free garden!

abigail

His Way is Perfect – a short story about Abigail

Our Sunday School class is studying women in the Bible, using Life Principles from the Women of the Bible (Book Two).  It’s been a wonderful study and prompted a short story about Abigail and Nabal.  What a wonderful example of God’s difficult-to-understand yet perfect way!

His Way is Perfect – a short story about Abigail is my attempt to fill in some of the details which the Bible doesn’t supply.  So, once again, they are just MY imagination at work!  Just click on the title–hope you are blessed!

Thanks, Dad! I Love You!

Father’s Day.  I’m so thankful that we have this holiday worked into our calendar.  As I watched my son-in-law fold his six feet two inch frame into a kiddie car with his two year old son, I was so proud of him and felt so blessed!  That action spoke volumes to his son!

Some of you may be like me: My dad passed away six years ago.  That doesn’t seem possible!  It seems like yesterday that he was lifting me up on the pony and giving me a ride.  As a family of four and having two daughters, my dad was sorely outnumbered!  He wasn’t a perfect dad, but I’ve noticed something:  When you lose a loved one, you have the choice of either remembering the good or the bad!  I’ve chosen to remember the good, and I can’t tell you what a blessing that is!

Whenever we would play cards as a family, Dad and I were always partners.  I remember making a fuss about it, but down deep I was always glad because we’d usually win!  Dad was a great card player—he wasn’t afraid to take chances.  I remember telling a joke once and making him laugh until he cried.  In his later years, there were long spells of silence; however, every once in a while, he would begin to share memories from his younger days which I had never heard .  Those times were so special.  One particular day in the last year of his life, I took him out to eat. It was the only time I ever did it. He was sitting at the kitchen table and was having a hard time getting up, and he looked at me and said, “I’m getting old,” and it made me sad to realize that he was right. He always called me Freddy.  He’s the only one that called me that, but when I was a teen, I wouldn’t answer him until he used my right name.  I’d give anything to hear him call me Freddy just one more time.

I always felt safe with my dad.  For those of you who have abusive fathers, I really can’t help you.  I can’t even imagine such a travesty!  I’m so sorry! I really can’t think of anything that would do more damage to a child’s character, except perhaps an abusive mother.  There’s only one hope for such a situation, and His name is Jesus!

I’m not sure what the point is for this post, but I needed to write it.  I’m so sad that he’s gone.  I wish I would have taken more time to know him better, to listen better, to be a better daughter. Daughters, find the best in your dads. Walk in their shoes just a little.  Pray for them. Dads, you really don’t have to do much, but do something!  It’s amazing to me how resilient children are!  You don’t have to be superman—just be dad! Just a little smile, just a little hug, just a little word of encouragement, just a horsie ride once and awhile. Tuck away some memories. Give them an open heart while they’re young, and when they’re teens, you may have a chance to make a difference!

My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Proverb 23:26

Wow!  What a challenging verse!!!

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Swinging the Biblical Baseball Bat

ID-100262129May 26th!  That’s the last time I posted!  I haven’t taken an intentional break—life just got busy.  And now I have several posts swimming around in my head, and I’m trying to decide which should float to the top!

After looking at several articles about Caitlyn Jenner, aka Bruce Jenner, which was prompted by my wonderful state of Pennsylvania’s choice of physician general, perhaps something needs to be said on that issue.

Depending on how involved you are with this world, you may not realize that it is now a badge of honor among young people to proclaim homosexuality, bisexuality, or even transgender thoughts. You may throw your arms up and cry, “What is happening to America?”  You may bemoan the fact that we no longer live in a Christian America, and wonder where it will all end.  How did we get here?  How did all this happen on our watch, and how do we react as Christians?  I’m not sure I have any answers for all those questions, but I rest in this: God makes no mistakes!

When you are confronted with these issues and are trying to discern the rightness and wrongness of them, how do you decide?  On my last day of subbing, I had thirteen Junior High students there for chorus, because of a field day at an amusement park, and decided to do a survey with them. I also wrote a tract for them called, OTB—Outside the Box.

Out of the five that declined, two girls were incredibly obnoxious, mocking me about asking them about Jesus.  I told them that the survey was completely optional and walked away; however, after about ten minutes, they called me back to ask me questions.  One question was, “Is it wrong to…you know?”  These were her exact words.  I was surprised at her hesitation to say the word sex. My reply: not if you are married.  They continued to ask questions: What if you’re not married? What if it’s with someone of the same sex?

A wise man once said: Questions can open hearts but accusations often harden hearts. So, I asked them if they believed the Bible and explained that my beliefs came from the Bible.  Amazingly, they said that they did believe the Bible, and then one girl proceeded to ask me if she would go to hell for having sex before marriage. My answer: Sin is sin.  All sin condemns us to hell, but God sent His own Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins. Unfortunately, by then the bell had already run, and they were gone.

Transgender, homosexuality, drunkenness, immorality, lying, cheating… The list of sins is endless, but all are sin because our Heavenly Father gave us Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. How would we know what was right and wrong apart from an all-knowing, completely righteous God?

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;

male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27

Wow!  I have to stop at the beginning of the verse and praise God for that wonderful statement: We are made in the image of God.  If we would just stop and dwell on that amazing concept, it would solve a LOT of our problems.  He made us male and female.  If we couple that Biblical truth with the fact that He is a perfect God Who makes no mistakes, homosexuality and transgender ambitions are clearly sinful.  Science may support a “gay gene,” but it can’t override Biblical truth.

This generation is awakening to new thinking for several reasons.

  1. Science – scientist are making amazing discoveries all the time, many factual ones; however, all science cannot be trusted as true. If that were so, then we would still be holding to Ptolemy’s theory that the earth was the center of our solar system.
  2. Inaccurate Biblical Conclusions – We have used the Bible to support arguments where the Bible is silent, allowing our biases to rule our decisions. For example, many who were adults in the sixties remember the bearded “hippies,” and for years, beards were thought of as evil.  But there is no Biblical basis against beards.  “Well, I just don’t like it,” is the answer I often hear from some people. If we can’t support our position from the Bible, we are on dangerous ground!  I am not throwing out such verses as 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? That verse certainly does not say a person ought not to smoke, but it does say that this body is not my own and I ought to care for it as God’s temple.

When we are unable to prove our position against sin with no more than “I just don’t like it,” our children walk away confused.  And when they rebelliously tell us that they are listening to ungodly music “because they like it,” they have learned from our poor example.  When we wield the Bible like a battering ram instead of living it before each other in the home, the results are deadly.  I challenge you to know what the Bible says and stand firmly upon it!  There is no better antidote for this world’s travesties and social ills.  We rest in Jesus when we stand upon His Word.  We develop a right spirit when we read His Word, and we experience the peace, hope, and joy of the Lord when we graciously share God’s Word with others.

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

John 18:38

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Nathan's anniversary breakfast

Trust in Fact – Oswald Chambers

Another golden nugget from my dear friend who is enjoying the unspeakable joys of heaven!  Can’t wait to meet him!

220px-OswaldChambersIt is not easy to say that God is love when everything that happens actually gives the lie to it.  Everyone’s soul represents some kind of battlefield.  The point for each one is whether we will hang in , as Job did, and say “Though things look black, I will trust in God.”

It is very easy to trust in God when there is no difficulty, but that is not trust at all, it is simply letting the mind rest in a complacent mood; but when there is sickness in the house, when there is trouble, when there is death, where is our trust in God?

God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side.  It is all very well to know in theory that there are things we must not trust in, but another thing to know it in fact.  When God deals with us on the Nathan's anniversary breakfastdeath side He puts the sentence of death on everything we should not trust in, and we have a miserable time until we learn never anymore to trust in it, never anymore to look anywhere else than to God.  It sometimes happens that hardly a day passes without God saying, “Don’t trust, there, that is dead.”

Samuel

Leaving the Comfort of the Womb

 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.John 3:3Samuel

As I held our newest grandchild in my arms, I was once again amazed at the creation of God!  One line from one of my favorite songs says, “Creator of the galaxies—You hear the baby cry…there is none like You.”

Little Samuel can see very little. He can’t bring his own hand to the place that itches.  He would starve without the wonder of his mother’s milk.  Each little finger and toe is perfectly formed, and I read someplace that his intestines are no bigger than the lead of a pencil.   His brain, which is soaking up an incredible amount of information, cannot tell his lips to form words.  His smile is just a reaction to a good feeling, like passing those little gas bubbles. And ye he has all the capacity to become all that God wants Him to be.

Until three days ago, his normal was complete darkness.  His home was a cozy, albeit cramped, cocoon floating in water.  He rode around on his head, but it didn’t matter, because that’s the way God designed it to be.

Then, within a matter of minutes, his entire world changed.  Now he must breathe air to live and his food must be digested and leave his body.  His skin is exposed to the elements and he MUST get used to wearing clothes. He can see and touch the one whose voice was as much a part of his live as life itself.

I’ve often thought that this life is just a longer version of pregnancy.  We are on this earth for seventy years, much like we’re in the womb for nine months: we “see through a glass darkly.”  (1 Corinthians 13:14) Then, through the sometimes painful event of death, we are thrust forth into a new and totally different world!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

And yet, the real reason for this post is another parallel: How much did your life change when you were born again?  Did you step out of the darkness and into light?  Did you begin to hunger for the milk of the Word?  Did you put on clothes, not only the clothes of righteousness given to you by your Savior, but the clothes of holiness as well?  And have you come to hear and see the One Who sustains your very life—the One whose voice was as much a part of your life as life itself, even though you didn’t know Him?

After just three days, I can’t even imagine Samuel back in the womb!  As I watch him flail his arms and stretch his little legs out straight, I doubt seriously that he would choose to reenter the womb.  ( I know his mother wouldn’t!)

Dear Christian, why do you long for this world?  Why would you ever go back it’s darkness when once you’ve walked in the light? Why do you starve yourself?  There is no direct pipeline from God to His creation except the Word of God. If you are a babe in Christ, allow other’s to feed you!  Learn from them and grow until you are able to feed yourself!

And dear older Christian, do remember that babies are messy!  All your shouting and looks of disapproval are completely lost on them! They cannot get it any more than Samuel would understand the admonition not to throw up on Mommy’s shoulder!  Just love them, and hold them, and care for them, and PRAY for them, and help them to grow in their timetable–not yours.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.John 3:7

Finally Home 

When engulfed by the terror of the tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before you roll;
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home.

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

~ Don Wyrtzen

 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever.
1Peter 1:23