The Power of Consistency

baked pastry
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Ah, is there anything more delicious than a spoonful of rich, creamy, smooth-as-silk chocolate pudding?  Well, perhaps it’s a chunk of velvety  melt-in-you-mouth chocolate fudge.  Rich, creamy, smooth, velvety – these are all adjectives describing the consistency of pudding or fudge, and the consistency can make or break our enjoyment of the treat.  This truth was brought home to me last month when I tried to make fudge for our son who is away at college. I goofed the recipe, and although it tasted delicious, the grainy consistency spoiled the effect.

          What can consistency do for you? Where are you consistent, and where is your inconsistency spoiling your effect on others – mainly, your family?  Consistency – always behaving or happening in a similar way – brings results.  I consistently water my plants and they grow.  I consistently “water” my soul with God’s Word and I grow. I consistently brush my teeth and my teeth stay healthy.  I consistently refresh my spirit every time the doors of the church are open, and I stay healthy spiritually.  It’s the law!

          Unfortunately, the adverse is also true: I don’t water my plants, they wilt.  I don’t read my Bible consistently: I wither.  I don’t brush: my teeth rot; I am inconsistent in church attendance, and my life gets clogged with all the fruit of the unholy spirit!  AND, my example sends a different message to my children than the one I am speaking.

          Oh, the power of consistency!  God spoke of Abraham’s consistency: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD,” (Gen. 18:19) He knew he could count on Abraham to teach his children and his household to “keep the way of the LORD.”  The question is: can God count on me…or you?

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15: 58

          As I watch my Bible Club students recite this club verse with motions every week, I wonder, will they get it?  Will they remain consistent and steadfast – ALWAYS abounding?  Or will they forget and go their own way, ruining their lives with wrong choices and inconsistencies; and, will they find themselves living with the consequences of inconsistency?   It’s not hard to understand.  Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said it best: “Do right though the stars fall!”

 

The Perfect Potter

I’m in the hands of the Potter:

My life was useless clay,

Until His gentle hands took me

From the storage room that day.

He took this hardened lump of dirt

And squeezed again and again;

I really did not know Him then

Or what was in His plan.

And when my heart was ready –

My will and life would yield

To the hands of the Perfect Potter –

He took me to His wheel.

I could not see what His eyes saw,

To me, this lump was a mess;

What could He possible do with it?

I am clay – no more, no less.

But He proved me wrong upon His wheel,

For as He pressed this clay,

I became just what He planned for me –

Complete in Him that day.

My clay is now His vessel;

He uses it as He wills.

My life – His plan, My will in His hand:

Perfected upon His wheel.

“…as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine…”

Jeremiah 128:6

Common Sense and Sneakers

This past week, Nike released to the public a new basketball sneaker which caused quite a sensation.  In New York, people slept on the street for seven days just to get a pair.  In Orlando, more than 100 deputies in riot gear had to break up an unruly crowd.  All for a sneaker?  Take a closer look.  This same $220 sneaker is now offered on eBay for over $2,000!  So there’s the catch – this is one highly valued sneaker!  What makes it so valuable? Nike will only make so many of the star-flecked purple and blue gem, keeping them “hot.”

            Sorry folks, but there is no common sense in this one!  It’s amazing to me in this economy that anyone would pay $220 for sneakers, much less $2,000!  I realize that some folks make a career of buying and selling, but sitting on the cold cement of New York City in February for seven days – there’s got to be a better way to make a living!

            Can we learn anything from this bizarre tale true-life situation?  Just one – how precious is the Word of God to you?  Another way to put that is: How precious is Jesus to you; because Jesus IS the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”  (John 1:1).  This Sunday when you struggle to get out of bed and go to church, be glad that you don’t have to sit on hard cold pavement for seven days just to hear God’s Precious Word preached!  If you start to roll over and say, “It’s too cold, I have nothing to wear, my friends aren’t going, I stayed up too late…” ask yourself how precious is God’s Son to you?  If you made other plans, why not change them and spend a little time at God’s house with His people?

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (or footwear!) Job 23:12

Uncommon People

Are you one of those ‘uncommon people?’ 🙂 Who are they, and how do you know if you are one? What does it mean to be uncommon?

If you haven’t already noticed, I rely heavily on two books: the Bible and the dictionary!  Uncommon is defined as: not ordinarily encountered – unusual.  It can also mean remarkable or exceptional.

Uncommon people, therefore, are those who are not ordinarily encountered – someone who stands out in a crowd.  Well, we see enough of those, but do I really want to be one of them?  My “Uncommon Crowd’ are not unusual because of a shockingly colorful outfits or a wild hairdo!  What makes you fall into my category is that you are a Christian who lives what he or she believes.  Unfortunately, you are uncommon because so many believers hide their faith for one reason or another.  Why would anyone hide their faith? Peer pressure, weak faith, consuming thoughts about anything but Christ would name just a few.

How can we get beyond our faulty reasoning that presses us into a normal category and be transformed into the uncommon, remarkable, or exceptional?

First, realize that we do not create the uncommon in us, but Jesus Christ does!  We are uncommon because He is uncommon, and He lives in us. 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

It’s like learning a foreign language.  At first, all we hear is gibberish, but as we learn the language, the words become sentences, and then the sentences actually form thoughts and conversations that make sense.  As I yield my thoughts: my “language” over to God, His “language” is heard coming from my mouth; His thoughts translate into my thoughts, and I shine for Him.  I say comments that He would say if He was standing in line at the store instead of me.  I speak His words instead of my words or my silence when someone uses His name in vain.  I am uncommon because I am no longer just me, I am living in Christ stead: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7) 

Common Sense and Exposure

            While we’re in the doldrums of February’s winter season, think back or ahead with me to those wonderful summer days at the beach.  The sun is hot, but the ocean breeze combined with an occasional dip cools you and allows you to bake longer in the sun. That exposure tans the skin, which some seek in extreme and others avoid in extreme.  Exposure to the sun produces a tan; and we all know that too much exposure results in the pain and damage of a sunburn.  Common sense tells us to limit our time in the sun.

            And to what do you expose your soul?  “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1Co 15:33)  As I sit at a desk in a public school monitoring a tutorial (For those of you from the older set, a tutorial is what we used to call a study hall), I wonder at the constant exposure these students have to “evil communications.”  Several of the students are plugged into an iPod which is no doubt blasting their ears with rock music filled with foul language and unimaginable filth.  Another set is discussing the terrible injustices of domestic violence and the unfair treatment of men, police and any other authority.  Some of the couples are lounging on each other. One student is asleep.  Some have gone to the library and computer lab to do work lest you think the whole time is a waste!

            Is the constant exposure to sex and violence affecting our teens?  I don’t even have to answer that questions – the statistics are out there.  I’m not sure where it will all end; and without sounding too simplistic, what they need is exposure to the Gospel!

            And what about you, dear Christian?  Are you exposing yourself to gossip or the God’s Word; griping or thanking; negative or positive thoughts or statements?  Check it out.  Listen to your speech and thoughts and see if perhaps you need more exposure to God’s Word to flush out the affects of evil communications and build up “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Col.1:27)

            Compare these verses on the word  daily – they run the gamut, but make the case for daily exposure to God’s Word.

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” Pr 8:34

After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: it shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.” Nu 28:24

And he taught daily in the temple.”  Lu 19:47

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Lu 9:23

Are you getting “burned” with the Bible? 🙂

Why I wrote Twelve Smooth Stones

What do you like to read?  Are you tired of the same old boy-meets-girl scenario, where their meeting is ruinous, and you spend the rest of your time reading about what you already knew would happen?  I did, so I wrote Twelve Smooth Stones.  For Christians who are attempting to live a holy life, many books that do have a great story line are also filled with foul language and intimate scenes with too much information.

My purpose for writing books is threefold:

  1. I wanted to give the Christian world a good read – a plot that twists and turns to a surprise ending.
  2. I wanted to keep it clean, so that a sanctified reader wouldn’t need to worry about what he or she might read on the next page.
  3. As a lover of history, I chose to write an historical fiction, so that my readers would not only be safely entertained, but would learn something as well.
  4. I want to write about genuine salvation: what it looks like, and how the struggle unfolds into the best decision a person can make.

Twelve Smooth Stones sprouted from the seed of this thought:  Is there any correlation between the twelve stones upon Aaron’s breastplate, which represent the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve foundations of heaven, representing the twelve apostles?  What if a young Jewish girl owned a locket – a family heirloom, which bore the twelve stones of the Israeli tribes?  What if that same locket helped her to see heaven’s foundations, forcing her to consider the apostles’ leader Jesus, as the possible Messiah?

Then the idea came to write a story, which placed the life of Queen Esther from the Bible into a 20th century setting.  The result was Twelve Smooth Stones, the story about Esther Ruth Raul, a sixteen-year-old Jewess living in Amsterdam in 1944.  She and her family are brutally forced from their home and end up at Auschwitz, where SS Officer Kurt Gerstein chooses her for a special task because of her beauty.  Herr Gerstein is a Jewish sympathizer whose plan is to save lives, even if only a few.  What will happen to Esther after the war, now that she is Kurt’s wife?  How did she get to Israel and then America?  And what about her high school sweetheart, Gabriel Bachman?  How can he face the unknown about his family and Esther?

Common Sense for Uncommon People

Common sense –  dictionary.com describes it as sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.  (Normal native intelligence?  That’s scary!)

Yesterday, as I watched a man stand beside his car and blow his nose in the cold and snow instead of getting into the car and out of the weather before taking care of the task, I wondered where the common sense was in that.

Is common sense a dying art in America?  Are we teaching common sense in our schools?  If common sense is practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge or training, then how do we gain common sense?  Are we really calling common sense instinct?  Even in the act of finding a good definition of a word, we must use common sense!

As I started writing about common sense based on that definition, I didn’t really agree with it. Soooo, I looked it up under oxforddictionaries.com.  Wow!  Read on: common sense: good sense and sound judgement in practical matters. (No wonder I’m always misspelling judgment!  I must be English!)

Now I’m on a roll!  At dictionary.cambridge.org, common sense is defined as the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.

The bottom line is this: where do we get common sense?  Are we born with it?  Does it hinge on the disciplines of our parent’s parenting?  Does it come with experience?  Is common sense the same thing as wisdom?

Take a look at dictionary.cambridge.org’s definition of wisdom: the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgments.

Oxforddictionary.com: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

Put the two definitions for common sense and wisdom side by side, and we see that they are very similar. So, we throw out the first definition realizing that we must gain wisdom or common sense through knowledge as well as experience.  Is common sense in the Bible?  No, but wisdom certain is!  In fact, it is mentions 226 times.  Would it seem reasonable to say that the waning evidence of common sense in our society is directly related to the waning interest in the Bible?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

 a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:

 his praise endureth for ever.  Psalm 111:10 

Perhaps the children’s song is for all of us:

Read your Bible pray every day

and you’ll grow, grow, grow! (in common sense!)

Coming Soon! Twelve Smooth Stones

Twelve Smooth Stones is in publishing mode.  What does that mean?  I’m not sure, but I do know that it has been an exciting and challenging process.  I read several articles which stated that writing a book wisthe easy part.  That is very true!  If you would like to be informed about Twelve Smooth Stones publishing date, just check the email box and you will receive the word almost as soon as I do!  Are we excited???? Just a little!  Thanks for your support.

What Is Salvation

I cannot explain why I wrote the book Twelve Smooth Stones.  The Holocaust has always been an impossible subject to me. I cannot read about it or watch anything concerning its horrors without weeping.

Although it may sound trite, I believe with all my heart that God wanted me to write this book.  It would not have been my choice; however, if Galatians 2:20 is to be lived, then I do what He bids me to do!

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

 and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Beyond the tears shed about the Holocaust, my heart also breaks for His people, the Jews.  They are His chosen people, but they are so blinded.  A recent trip toIsraelonly solidified this fact in my mind and heart.

My prayer is for you, dear reader – that as you read about the struggles that Esther endured to find the truth – that you too will be drawn to Jesus Christ, the true Messiah.  Would you consider all the proof given here contained in the Word of God?  Would you allow Him to break your heart, Jew or Gentile, and receive His payment for your penalty of sin?  Would you allow Him to purchase you from the slave market of sin to become His rightful heir?

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:9-12

 

Salvation is a decision to give your life to Jesus Christ.  At some point in all our lives, we realize that this world is just temporary.  Life may have lost its purpose – you may be discouraged or disillusioned.  Our world says, “Get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can.”  But then what?  There must be more to life than getting and enjoying all you’ve gotten!  There is: Jesus Christ.  He died that we might live.  We realize that eternity is real: every person who has ever lived and died on earth is there now – in heaven or in hell. To me, this life is like our time in the womb – its whole purpose is to prepare us for REAL life!   Where will you be when it is your time to break forth into eternity?  Only Jesus Christ can pay the price for eternal life.  Ask Him into your heart.  It’s as easy as ABC:

AAdmit that you are a sinner (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23)

BBelieve that Jesus died for you (But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8)

C – Commit your need for a Savior to Him. (That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9)

It’s as easy as ABC, and as difficult as XYZ:

XExcuses as to why you don’t need this (Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. Acts 26:28)

YYour pride (The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Psalm 10:4)

ZZone out: put up all the barriers and keep Jesus from coming close (O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Mt 23:37)

Hello world!

Welcome to Common Sense for Uncommon People.  At my home here in web land, you will find a variety of articles: my thoughts couched in the Word of God.  It would be nice to sit around my kitchen table with a nice hot cup of tea and our Bibles to talk about Common Sense issues, but that isn’t possible for many of you dear friends that are scattered here and there.

If you would like to know more about me, just check out About Me. (That was easy!)

The initial reason for this blog was my book entitled Twleve Smooth Stones. Take a look at that category for some ‘Behind the Scenes’ information as well as an opportunity to sign up for the release date.

For most of you, I probably do not have to say that I’m new at this – it’s more than obvious!  I think I’m doing pretty good for an old lady!  Who said you can’t teach the old gray mare (better known as the Silver Fox in my Noxen days!) new tricks!  (Did I get that cliche right? 🙂 )