ID-10036003A few weeks ago, my computer was really having problems.  Generally, I run my computer like I run the car – if it goes, I go!  Occasionally, I do remember to look at the gas tank and make sure it’s filled!

So, I went to two sources: my son-in-law and my dear hubby.  Seth helped me to clean up my computer (whatever that means) and Tom defragmented it.  Both actions worked wonders on my computer!  It’s faster, which is the important thing to me; however, I’m sure if I understood the workings of a computer, I’d understand the importance of keeping it clean and defragmented!

Defragmentation is a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation. It does this by physically organizing the contents of the mass storage device.  If I understand it right, it’s like my desk.  Sometimes I get all this stuff: pieces of mail, papers, notes, etc., and pretty soon, I can’t even see my computer much less use it! I need reorganize my files – that’s defragmenting!

Yesterday, I did some cleaning and defragmenting of my own and boy, did it feel good when I was done!  I’ve been ‘defragmenting’ the shelves downstairs for months; and with company coming over the weekend, it was PAST time to clean!

I know this might sound strange, but as I was fixing supper, I felt so much better!  My house was clean, AND just knowing those shelves were ‘defragmented’ made me feel better!

No wonder we get bogged down at times.  All that I’ve mentioned were physical processes.  Do I need little cleaning up and defragmenting spiritually?  You bet – every morning!  I go to the Word and it cleanses my soul – Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Well, that’s pretty clear!  Do you see the action needed?  Am I taking heed to what I read?  And what about defragmenting – getting rid of all the little useless thoughts that just slow me down.  Are my thoughts organized in a way that pleases my Lord?   Am I holding on to useless pieces of information or hurtful thoughts such as bitterness, selfishness, anger, resentment?  Do I need to clean up what’s coming IN to my mind?  Remember: trash in, trash out!!  Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..

The New Year’s coming – perhaps we’d all do well to do some internal cleaning and defragmenting, welcoming 2013 with a clean heart and pure mind ready for the King’s service!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!ID-10010307

8:00AM As I sit here this morning in front of the tree (don’t you sometimes stop and ask yourself why we put a tree in our living room and then decorate it!), I look beyond the tree upon a beautiful winter wonderland – the serenity of a White Christmas, and all is truly calm and bright.

I’ve already said a prayer for all those families connected to the Connecticut tragedy and realize that it is not calm or bright for so many people this Christmas.  So many thoughts whirl in my head; in fact, I was up at five this morning because of all those thoughts that just wouldn’t let me sleep, and fled to the only place of blessed quietness: God’s Word.

6:00PM Now the day had been well spent with family: eating, laughing, talking, playing and even praying.  Again, I think of all the blessings that God has poured out upon our family – my heart is blessed.

Why did He come to earth?  I believe most of you know that answer.  Earlier today, I was thinking about Thor.  I’m not sure how many of you have seen the movie about the super hero – it’s not really my type of movie, but I did enjoy watching it with Nathan!

For those of you who don’t know, Thor is a Norse god who is often associated with his powerful hammer, thunder and storms.  In the recent popular movie, Thor comes to earth, dies and is then resurrected by his father, ultimately gaining the power to destroy the enemy of a mankind!  Doesn’t that sound familiar?  (Believe me, that’s where the similarities end!)  But as I thought about the parallels and watched on as Thor did the impossible, I was again reminded of how amazing the Christmas story truly is!  Jesus came to earth, not by some mysterious bridge connecting our world to others, but by the power of God!

He is spending this Christmas with His Father with the angels, looking on as we do our thing!  (Like bringing a tree into the house!)  I can’t help wondering what He thinks of our activities as He celebrates His birth with the heavenly hosts in perfect surroundings.  What a wonderful thought – and we will be part of that celebration some day!  Hallelujah!  Merry Christmas!

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Gal 4:4-6

Keep Looking Up!

ID-100120186Well, today’s the big day – the end of the world!  And why do we know?  Because the Mayan calendar only went as far as 12/21/12.  Are you worried?  I hope not.  I often tell people that as of today, we still have 1,007 years to go before God will truly destroy this world: if the Lord came back today, those left behind would have seven years of tribulation before Jesus comes to reign on earth for a thousand years. How do I know?  That’s what the Bible teaches; however, this logic doesn’t work for anyone who doesn’t believe that the Bible is truly the inerrant all-inspired Word of God.  Have you ever thought about what that statement means?  How can anyone believe that the Bible is inerrant, much less all-inspired?

For me, one of the most profound facts about the Bible is that out of the 2,500 prophetic statements in the Bible, 2,000 have already happened exactly as the Bible foretold.  What other book can make that kind of statement?  Who could ever write a book like that except an all-knowing God?  And if the Bible is truly written by God, then wouldn’t we be wise the heed its message?  Imagine – a Book written by God given to us!  It truly is:

               B – Basic

I – Instruction

B – Before

L – Leaving

E – Earth

Would you be ready if the world ended today?  Where would you be?  Would whatever you are believing in be enough to carry you safely through eternity?

If you have any doubts about your eternal future – where you would be if this world were to end tomorrow, plug in ‘salvation’ into the search box, or just ask – I’d be glad to explain it all again!  There’s no greater joy than to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Even though such predictions are ludicrous to the believer, they still give us opportunities to break out of our earthly routine and look up!

 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Mt 24:36

Twenty Kids in Heaven

Someone sent me this poem through email.  Perhaps some of you have already seen it, but I thought it said everything that was in my heart, and more!!!

twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Welcome Home!

Nathan’s home!! Whoopee!! He’s been away at college, for those of you who don’t already know, and that means he’s twelve hours away; but now he’s here!

A strange phenomenon happens when he comes home:  I miss him while he’s gone, believe me, but once he’s home, I realize just how much I REALLY missed him! As my heart sings, and my step is a bit lighter because he’s here, it made me think of my Heavenly Father. Will He be happy to see you and me when we come home? As we read about the prodigal son, we see the father’s response when he sees his son afar off, coming home:

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

He saw, he had compassion, he ran, he fell on his neck or pulled him into an embrace, and kissed him.  Sounds pretty happy to me!

What does that do for you, today?  Have you ever thought about the reception you will receive from your Heavenly Father when you go home?  At times, all of us feel like that prodigal son – totally unworthy of the Father’s love and acceptance; and yet there it is. He’s watching and waiting and looking for us to come home!

His own Son was away from home for thirty-three years, and we often think of what a wonderful reunion that must have been as Jesus, the Risen Savior was ushered into heaven having accomplished his task of making the way to eternal life possible for mankind; however, do we consider the other part of the Trinity which has been away from the Father for over two thousand years?  That Person of the Holy Spirit that dwells within your heart if you are a born-again believer also longs for home.   He’s ready to rejoin the Father and the Son.  Oh, what a happy reunion that will be.  It’s happening for Him piece by piece as dear believers depart from this world, but there’s coming a day when our wonderful Father will say, “Enough, come home – my Son’s bride is ready!”

Are you ready?ID-10024152

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Mt 25:21

The Power of Pruning

IMG_5843This is our Christmas tree.  We cut one every year if we can.  Over the years, we’ve tucked away a lot of precious memories.  We’ve cut trees in all sorts of places: from near Mechanicsburg, PA (anyone in that area – if you’ve never been there, it’s a WONDERFUL place with wonderful people!) to the side of a mountain near Williamsport, to our present location just ten minutes up the road, where you cut your tree and then drive to the house about a half mile away to pay!  (That’s called the honor system!)

As our friend told us about this tree place last year, we were very impressed with the trees – well shaped, any size, and only $20; but this year she commented that they hadn’t pruned the trees yet as a warning to what we might find.

The Lord gave us a wonderful day – another memory maker – with all our children except our son-in-law who is in boot camp; however, I did notice that the trees were a bit more ‘natural’ looking, which suits me fine. Ah, but there is a lesson there for us!

This is only one year’s growth – in whatever direction nature willed.  What will they look like next year, or the next if no one prunes them?

The ‘natural look’ is fine for trees, but as Christians, the ‘natural look’ is a warning sign that we haven’t been trimmed by the Master!  He does that with the pruning shears of His Word.  We read ” Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16) or “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” (1 Peter 1:15), and the Lord lays something specific on our hearts that He wants to prune away.  What is our response?  Do we make excuses as to why it’s alright for us to keep that branch, or do we allow Him snip it off?

IMG_5849Pruning is painful.  It takes humility.  It takes sacrifice, but it makes such a difference in our lives.  We may look at what the Lord wants to prune and say, “But that’s too much!”  We’ve all had that experience at the hair dresser’s!  But praise God, He knows exactly how much to prune, when to prune and He sees the finished result: a life shining for the Lord, in the beauty of holiness instead a that natural look! (Gotta love a face like that!!)

Thank you, Matilda!

gpsI learned SO many lessons last Friday!  Tom and I drove a dear lady from our church to Philadelphia where she will begin radiation treatments after the holidays.

First, may I say, as we drove by the Children’s Hospital and then to the Perelman Center, I thank God that I have never had to be to either of those facilities personally.  Even as I write this, I can’t help thinking about those who are dealing with such difficult circumstances while I sit here healthy and cozy in my little corner of the world.  God alone has the exact amount of grace we need in every situation.

But one of the most interesting lessons I learned was from Matilda.  She’s the lady that tells us where to go – or better said: our GPS voice.  (Why is it always a woman’s voice?  Is it because men love it when women to give them directions?!  NOT!) What a wonderful tool! We would have literally been lost without her.  In fact, on the way home, she was trying to help us out by sending us on an alternate route.  By that time, we knew where we were going and ignored her advice until we came to the traffic jam she was helping us to avoid.  Then things got really dicey!  I was driving and took the wrong exit.  (That really shook her up!)  That was after the driver that was also taking the exit at ninety miles an hour behind me nearly hit me and then communicated his thoughts to me on his horn. However, it was only a little snag and soon we were on the right way once again – thanks to Matilda!

You know, she never raised her voice.  She never called us names.  She was never frustrated or thought that we were idiots!  No cursing or swearing or POUTING!  No silent treatment!  All she would say was “system reprocessing.”  What a wonderful example.

Yes, I realize that she does not have feelings or a mind or a will in the matter, but it was a rebuke to me to be more careful with my actions – and even more: my reactions!

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1