Wait Till You Ride the Phoenix

Last week I spent a wonderful day with my daughter, daughter-by-choice, five grandchildren and an “adopted” granddaughter. The children’s ages ranged from four years old down to ten weeks!  What fun!  Blessings upon blessings.  The Lord granted us a gorgeous PA day with low temps and no humidity.  The amusement park wasn’t crowded and we had a blast.

But as I watched the excitement in my grandchildren’s eyes while riding the Helicopters, especially noticing Connor (4) as he discovered that by moving the bar, the thing would go up and down, I thought, “Wait until you can ride the Phoenix.”

The Bible is custom-made to meet our needs no matter where we are in our Christian walk.  It’s full of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered.  I remember dreading the book of Job until I was going through a difficult time, then Job became my favorite!  John has always been a blessing, but when I really wanted to concentrate on being a better witness, looking at John and learning from Jesus’ example changed my perspective.  Acts came alive as I studied it to teach to our Children’s Bible Club a few years back.  Joseph became my hero when I did a character study of his life.

If you would choose to study one book of the Bible every year, it would take you sixty-six years to do it!  Duh!  I know that’s a pretty dumb statement, but that’s a long time, and our time is limited.

Each decade of our lives contains different challenges. Generally speaking, in our twenties we’re finding a mate, having children and establishing our homes.  Making time for Bible devotions can be difficult as we deal with newlywed drama and diapers. New moms need to snatch a quick tidbit of the Word whenever possible, much like the snippets of sleep she needs to steal just to keep functioning.  The thirties bring toddlers and elementary age children, and the schedule starts getting packed with appointments, ball games, and trips to the park.  If a habit of daily Bible reading has been lost, now’s a good time to pick it up and plan it into your schedule.  The forties, we find ourselves parenting teens, attending sports games and music programs and graduations, and then they’re off to college.  WARNING!  If you are not spending time in the Bible, then your spiritual tank is empty; and there is no time in your life when you will need to be drawing strength and wisdom from God, as much as when you are raising teens! And by the fifties, our nest is empty. What happens when you’ve made your children the center of your life (ooh!  Sounds like a god to me), and now they’re gone?  Oh, find that Friend that will never leave you!  He’s in the Book!  My point? There’s always an excuse NOT to take the time to learn about God, and there’s never a better time to study God’s Word than now!

This summer we’re having a “Five Minute Team” for the children at church.  I’m challenging them to spend five minutes a day reading the Bible, using Patch the Pirate material.

Five minutes out of the one thousand four hundred forty minutes that God gives us every day!

That’s pretty puny! I often tell the children that I didn’t become faithful to my devotions until I took the challenge not to eat until I read my Bible. That worked!

So take the challenge, somewhere within the pages of God’s Book there may be a Phoenix just waiting to be discovered by YOU–a story or a thought or a phrase that you’ve never seen before. And once you “ride” it, you’ll never be the same!

 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

 

Spiritual Food Pyrimad

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We’re probably all familiar with the food pyramid and its benefits,  helping us to understand which foods we should eat. But could we use it to see what benefits the Word of God supplies for our spirits?  We find some interesting parallels between eating food and feasting on the Word.

Starting at the bottom of the pyramid, we see that we are to drink eight glasses of water a day. How many of us do that? That’s a LOT of water. If we consider a sixteen hour waking day, then we need to drink a glass of water every two hours! What if we applied the same strategy to the Word of God? Imagine reading or at least thinking about God’s Word every two hours—what an effect that would have on our walk with Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

Next, comes the breads and pastas—six servings! Those are the building blocks upon which all the other foods rest. Spiritually, these would be called doctrine. That word may have a negative connotation t you, but it’s simply the teachings of the Bible: fundamental truths like the Deity of Christ, God the Creator, and the Resurrection. Knowing what we believe is absolutely necessary, especially in this day when our core beliefs are being challenged. Do you KNOW what you believe, and are those beliefs grounded in the Word of God?

Next are the much-needed fruits and vegetables, combined to equal five to eight servings. These foods are full of vitamins and minerals which help our bodies to fight against diseases and sickness—a defense against the enemy! And how do we fight off our spiritual enemy? Is it not the fruit of the spirit that really makes Satan run?! Love, joy, peace, longsuffering or patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Be as full of spiritual fruit as you can, and Satan won’t be able to stay in your presence for very long! And have you ever noticed that many “diets” allow as many of these as we want to eat? Same thing, spiritually! Galatians 5:22 ends the listing of spiritual fruits with these words: against such there is no law. In other words, go for it!

Ah, the meat, poultry, fish, etc.– two to three servings. Protein builds our muscles and powers our brain. Brain food! Are you brainwashed with the Word of God?

And dairy—three servings. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Calcium, we all know, builds strong bones. Strong bones are the framework on which everything else is hinged! Do you love God’s Word? Do you desire it like a newborn? I was having babies back in the 80s, right between the non-nursing era and before nursing really caught on. I can still see Jennifer, straining her head to nurse because, at that time, the nurses would hold off bringing the babies back to mommy as long as they could, trying to hit the goal of four hours. And, they would give the babies sugar water! Poor little thing!  By the time she came to me, she was desperate for food! Oh, to be that desperate for God’s soul-nourishing Word!

And then the tippy top of the pyramid, the little triangle which tastes SO good and makes all the other foods taste a whole lot better! After all, what’s an ear of corn without butter, or a salad without the dressing? There’s no servings listed, just the word “occasionally.” This is the place for all our favorites—the things we’re constantly trying to limit because of fat and calorie intake. These foods pack on the pounds without adding much nutritional value at all. BEWARE! I hate to say this, but these are the blog posts, and the books, and the radio programs, and the podcasts. They are so good, and I’m not saying they aren’t beneficial, but be careful that they don’t replace reading the Bible. Even notes in our Bibles can make us “fat” and lazy, not taking the time to meditate and think for ourselves.

Eat well! Stay “fed up.” Drink often from the fountain of living water! Your spiritual life is depending on it!

Psalm 19:7-11

 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:

the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart:

the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:

the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:

sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them

there is great reward.

Self-inflicted Deadline!

I have several posts started but have not finished them because I’m trying to get Thy Kingdom Come up and running by the end of the month.  I’m SO close, that I when I am at my computer, I want to proof, not write!

If you haven’t taken a look at the Strong Delusion Trilogy, let me take just a moment to encourage you to do so.  I will admit that these books are not for everyone; however, I keep hearing comments like:

“I fell in love with your characters!  I hated to see…” (Well, I can’t tell you what they said, or I’d give away the ending of Angel of Light! 🙂 ) 

“After reading Angel of Light,  I wanted to know more about the End Times and started reading my Bible and other resources.”

“I have to admit, these books hit too close to home, but I needed to read them!”

“After starting A Moment in Time, I ordered one for each of my granddaughters.”

I also heard other comments, like “I want my daughter to read these, but not until she’s older.” So please beware that the content is for older teens and adults.

Someone else BookCoverPreview Thy Kingdom Comechallenged me to write about what I had experienced: like the life of a country pastor’s wife. As I considered this, I realized that I was writing about what I had experienced.  I didn’t get saved until I was seventeen.  I went to a secular college, saved but certainly not sanctified.  I didn’t experience all that Carrie Spangler does, but much of it was right across the hallway!

Thy Kingdom Come … Do we really want His kingdom to come?  How much do we know about the details of His second coming?  Will He really reign for a thousand years here on earth and will we, born-again believers, be here with Him? 🙂  How will people survive the Great Tribulation? Time for me to get busy! (This is my try at the cover, my daughter is finessing it!)

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!