All posts by wmac620

Who am I? So many labels can be applied to any of our lives. I'm a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, a pastor's wife, an author, mother, grandmother, musician, and blogger. "Beyond Common Sense" is a place where I share lessons that I have learned while walking with Jesus. I have found that not only is God everywhere, but He teaches us through our experiences and through common, ordinary examples from His world. From the inchworm to the tragedy of my husband's fall, all of these hold timeless truths handed to us by our heavenly Father to draw us closer to Him. How wonderful! What a privilege to share some of those lessons... with you!

New Year’s Resolution

How is yours going? I’m not a great believer in New Year’s Resolutions; however, I do love a new start to a new year.  Whether it’s the beginning of a calendar year or a new school year or the first day of our children’s Bible club (Master Club), I love a new beginning!

This year I did give some thought to goal-making for 2020. Where could I improve? The list was endless! So, where should I start? Bible reading? Prayer? Memorizing Verses? Discipling? A skill improvement? All of the above?

Before I could get too discouraged, I talked to the Lord about it, asking where He thought I needed the most improvement? Do you really want to know what He said? Can I be transparent enough to share this? (Gulp!) He told me to work on being a better wife! I have to say I was immediately smitten. He was right! So… in 2020, Tom comes first (right after God!) Not right after the kids or grandkids. Not right after my agenda! (Lord, is that why You had me cancel my trip to SD to see the kids and grandkids there???? Wow! I never thought of that!)

When we make a commitment to God, we should take it as seriously as He does! (Man, do I need to hear this!) It shouldn’t just be words on paper! Commitment—do you realize how committed God is to you? He is so committed that He died that I might live!

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Why would I want to be a better wife? I mean, we’ve had 38 great years.  We are still growing in our relationship with each other and the Lord.  What more could God possibly want from me?

He wants me to be serious about this because…

  • It’s the best way to live life—putting Tom first in our marriage (any marriage with two heads is just that: a two-headed monster!)
  • We need to set the example for our kids, our family, our church people, and our neighbors
  • It’s biblical!
  • It’s the best way to be happy.

Now, we often say that happiness should not be our goal in life. True, but when we live in accordance with God’s word—reading it, memorizing it, meditating on it, applying it and obeying it—that WILL bring more than happiness to our lives. It will bring peace to our hearts and home.

“But how do I do that? Is there any help out there for me?”

I’m SO glad you asked! I’ve just revamped Far Above Rubies which was my smallest book containing Matthew Henry’s notes on Proverbs 31.  His notes are excellent; however, as I worked through them with a friend, I realized how difficult and archaic some of his writing can be.  So, I’ve changed any wording that didn’t make sense and also added some of my thoughts, placing any changes in brackets. It’s all yours, ready to order! I really can’t think of anything that will make you more successful in this life and the next!

Oh, and it has a new name: Good, Better, Best https://www.amazon.com/Good-Better-Best-Wife-Devotional/dp/1660289408/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=good+better+best+wife+macavoy&qid=1579815257&sr=8-1Wife. Hope you take a look.  And if you have any questions, just contact me!

Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates. Pro 31:31

Parenting 101: Spanking (Part 1)

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“I wouldn’t want to be raising my kids in this world!” Doesn’t every parent say that?  I remember saying it and I remember my mom saying it to me! As the world seems to get crazier and crazier, what a wonderful, blessed assurance that our Lord Jesus NEVER changes!

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Not only is Jesus the same but the Word of God is as well:

Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89

Amen!  Do you have your hanky waving yet? Maybe I should end this post while I’m ahead!

Parenting in 2020 is NOT easy, but perhaps the first question in Parenting 101 is this: What does “turning out right” look like? We all have our own opinions about what that means, but I think that as born-again believers we will all agree that we want our children to love the Lord and follow His commands.

I’ve recently finished reading the book “Why I Didn’t Rebel” by Rebecca Lindenbach. This young lady makes a lot of good points. Her easy-to-read honesty is refreshing.  She has done a lot of research. However, I have one big concern with her book. In chapter 6, Discipline, she makes some wonderful statements. The subtitle, “Keeping the End Goal in Mind” is excellent. However, she quotes several leading psychologists who have written books and done loads of research about spanking. Their conclusion:

“What she [Dr. Romano] found was that spanking does not have any positive outcomes.  There was only one neutral outcome, which was immediate compliance.  But there were thirteen other outcomes that were all negative. These include increase aggression, a less close parent-child relations, and an increased risk of mental-health issues during childhood.1

1Rebecca Lindenbach, “Why I Didn’t Rebel,”  Nelson Books. (2017)p. 102.

Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.

Do not withhold correction from a child,

For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.

You shall beat him with a rod,

And deliver his soul from hell.

Proverbs 23:12-14

 (Wow! Could God have expressed the importance of discipline any stronger? I once heard a preacher say that when we warn but never follow through with correction, a child may possibly hear the preacher warning him about hell and not respond because he has been conditioned to believe that punishment never comes!)

Please don’t miss her point. When we are out of control with discipline or correction, when we proceed with red-hot anger, when we put more emphasis on correction than instruction, then we have lost sight of the goal. But God clearly gives us a mandate. Notice that prior to God’s instruction about discipline He commands, not suggest, that we apply our hearts to instruction.  It makes me think of the care I take to apply makeup. I even bought a magnifying mirror so I could really see what I was doing! It’s a tedious process! Our study of God’s Word—checking it out, studying it and then applying what we have heard to our lives—should be as well. THEN WE ARE READY TO CORRECT AND INSTRUCT OUR CHILDREN.

When “the rod” is outlawed from a loving parent’s hand, he loses a most valuable tool. I recently asked a young mother of a 4 and 6-year-old about spanking and she said that most of the spanking happens when a child is between the ages of 1 and 3. Even now, she is reaping the benefits of early discipline in her children. They are well-behaved, self-controlled, kind, and loving. They honor their parents and love them dearly. They have a healthy respect for authority because their parents have spanked them in a loving, biblical way.

I often run into parents who want this kind of child but will not take the responsibility to train their children. It is a very sad thing.

So, today’s tip for parenting: Love them enough to discipline them.  The benefits are out of this world!

A Closer Look

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Happy New Year! It’s just around the corner and I hope you are taking some time to think about your devotions for 2020. Do you have a plan or are you going to shoot from the hip?! I realize that, if you are like me, shooting from the hip is a way of life in many areas.  Sometimes that can work, but if we consider the importance of Bible study (I did NOT say Bible reading), we will take it a bit more seriously.

God often uses the physical to explain the spiritual.  In fact, that is what the parables are all about: an earthly message with a heavenly meaning. So, think of daily time in the Bible as your nourishment for the day. Physically, how much you eat, what you eat, and how often you eat affects your appearance and performance.  The same is true about your Bible study as well (I did NOT say Bible reading). Why do I keep saying that? So glad you asked! Because just reading the Bible like you would read a newspaper article will not affect any change.  That’s like reading the nutrition label.  You must digest the food for it to have any affect!  THAT’S Bible study or meditation. Take it into your heart and mind and let it change you!

  • How much will you eat? Can you eat too much of God’s Word? I don’t think so!
    • 2020 goal: Get FAT spiritually!
  • What will you eat? Will you be satisfied with a verse and a little fluff for the day? Reading devotionals (and blog posts!) are great but get beyond the baby bird stage where mama bird digests the food and then feeds it to her young. YUCK! Man up and feed yourself!
    • 2020 goal: Be discerning about WHAT you read.
  • How often will you “eat God’s Word?” Try to take just 5 minutes of alone time with God. If that’s all you can manage on a DAILY basis, but it’s more than you did in 2019—GREAT! (And don’t forget church! It is SO, so important! I can’t stress it enough.  We just had an older lady start coming to our church and several times she has said to me: “I wish I would have come sooner!” Did she attend church before? Absolutely! She faithfully went to church, but not what I would call a Bible-preaching church!  That makes all the difference!
    • 2020 goal: I will be faith to God’s Word, God’s church, and God’s people. After all, is there any other way to show God our faithfulness?

Several weeks ago, I was vacuuming and I noticed something for the first time: I noticed how to turn my vacuum off. I’ve had this vacuum for over five years, but I never took the time to really look at the switch to see which way was off. I know that sound pretty dumb, but the Lord used that lesson to convict me about my Bible study.  I was challenged to take a closer look. Oh, what joy! The Bible is so rich! It can change your life if you will take the time to digest it!

  • 2020 goal: Take a closer look into God’s Word.

If you need any help in doing that, just drop me a line! Happy New Year!

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12

silent–holy–calm–bright

A manger at night with bright glowing lights.

I’m sure you recognize those words taken from the most popular Christmas carol world-wide.  I won’t bore you with statistics, but the above statement is a fact not just my opinion.

As we draw near to this most special night of the year, can we claim these four adjectives and use them to describe our Christmas celebrations?

Though we may not know the circumstances which inspired Joseph Mohr to pen the words of “Silent Night,” these words can be an inspiration to us 100 years later and make this special season more of what it should be.

Silent—Be sure to take some quiet moments to share with your heavenly Father.  Talk to Him. Thank Him for His unspeakable gift—the gift of His only Son—the Champion of our faith who has the power to silence every terror of our souls.

Holy—Please, please, dear child of God, be certain to keep this day holy! The world crowds in on every side screaming at us to reduce this treasured “holy day” to a godless frenzy. Keep it holy.  Keep Christ in Christmas

Calm—Ah! Just speaking the word seems to shatter the chaos. All is calm. That may take some effort, but once again, make it part of your holiday.  You may have to wait until the kids are all in bed or before the household awakens but take make some time to drink the Living Waters of the Word and allow it to calm your soul!  Your calm will spill out into the lives of others, creating a peace in the midst of holiday madness!

Bright—I wonder if Joseph Mohr looked out across the snow-covered trees and rooftops of his 17th-century village, all bathed in the splendor of a billion stars and was overcome with the beauty of starlit snowflakes? All is bright—more than the physical brightness, let the glorious Light that illuminates your soul shine forth.  If Jesus is in your heart, let Him out! Shine! Shine brightly so that others will see the way to…

  • A silent—quiet spirit
  • A holy—blood-washed soul
  • A calm—peace that passes all understanding
  • A bright—heavenly destiny!

f-f-F-Fanksgiving!

“I wuv Fanksgiving,”
“Why,” I asked.
“Because I get to eat wots of food and there’s wots of people at our house.”

There you have it! I can relate to this little fellow.  I wuv Fanksgiving too.  It has always been one of my favorite holidays, mainly because it has been spared from all the hype that is poured upon so many of our other special days—so much so that the original intent of the celebration often gets clouded over by the glitter and the “gimmies.” But as I thought about past Thanksgivings and what makes the day so special, I came up with three main ingredients:

1.       Food—as I taught music in an elementary school this past Monday and all the songs were centered around the upcoming holiday; I asked the students why the day was so wonderful. “I get to eat and eat until I’m stuffed,” was on reply.  He is right! Most of our tables will be overflowing with good things to eat.  That’s a real treat for any child, no matter how old! What a wonderful way to celebrate our thankfulness.
.2.       Family—this treasure is even more of a blessing than a bountiful table. In fact, David tells us: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred” (Proverbs 15:17). How blessed we are to be able to share our table with family and friends—another reason to give thanks!
3.       Faith—I couldn’t help asking the students: Who were the Pilgrims being thankful to? I was pleasantly surprised to hear many of them say, “God.” As born-again believers, we have the greatest gift of all: salvation! And with that treasure come an anchor, a high tower, a shield…a Heavenly Father! Oh, the blessings of having faith in a Provider of all things, both good and evil. What joy to be able to trust in the Hand that guides our lives. Who do we thank if we do not look beyond ourselves for our blessings?
If you are blessed with these three gifts, then you truly have so much to be thankful for! And if not, as a believer, you may be facing one of the hardest “trust” times of your life! Even in the darkest hour, are we able to find something to be thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving! 

Psalm 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me,

then the LORD will take me up.

Problems, Problems, problems

SPOT ON! Thank you, Days of Praise!

BY HENRY M. MORRIS, PH.D.  | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2019 “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.” (Psalm 55:6)

The 55th Psalm is a psalm of “complaint” (v. 2) by David and gives an insight into his thought process as he tried to deal with the great problems and burdens that were overwhelming him. His first instinct was to run away from them, flying like a dove far off into the wilderness.

The prophet Jonah (whose name means “dove”) tried that strategy years later, only to encounter even worse problems (Jonah 1:3, 15). One does not solve problems by fleeing from them.

Then, David decided to berate those who were causing him trouble and to complain about them to the Lord. “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). The words “pray, and cry aloud” here actually mean “complain and mourn.” “Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues” (v. 9). “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell” (v. 15). His burdens were all the heavier because those whom he had trusted as friends and colleagues were now using deceit and guile against him (vv. 11-14), and the injustice of it all was almost more than he could endure. But complaints and imprecations were also unsatisfying: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

Finally, the Lord gave him an answer, and David found the rest for which he had been so fretfully searching. Here it is: “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). The last phrase of the psalm is “but I will trust in thee” (v. 23).

The way to deal with burdens and problems is not to flee from them or to fret about them but to turn them over to the Lord: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). HMM

simplicity from confusion

In this Age of Confusion, this simple truth can bring rest to the weary and strength to the fainthearted!

It’s a Wonderful Normal–podcast

Well, here it is–my first podcast! It’s a little rough. Hopefully, the adage “practice makes perfect” will be applied. As I listened to it, I realized that you can hear my cuckoo clock in the background!

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/19809693

Simplicity from Confusion

Jesus Loves MeMy life is simple. I hold to this one truth and it clears up so much confusion.  The one truth is this:

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.

This is not scripture but so much common sense about belief is wrapped up into this child’s song.

  1. Jesus—the only Son of God, God himself, loves me. Jesus, the Creator of all that we see and don’t see, Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus, the great “I AM!”
  2. Love—Agape, the self-sacrificing love of God. This love which goes beyond the physical or emotional “love” that this world offers, is poured out upon me!
  3. Me—not my brother or my sister, but me! Me!
  4. This I know—how simple! How completely wonderful to know something to the core of my being. I know this better than I know anything else, and this knowledge brings everything that is good into my life: peace, wisdom, joy, direction, hope.
  5. For the Bible—that Book of all books! God’s love letter to His creation. Inspired—God breathed—into the hand and heart of its writers, the Bible is my anchor, my love letter from my Savior, heavenly Father, Creator, and Best Friend
  6. Tells me so—that’s why I read it every day. That’s why I study it every chance I get. That’s why I MAKE the time to study it when life gets too busy.  That’s why I sit under its preaching every time my church opens its doors. That’s why I love it, believe it, and defend it.

It’s so simple and yet most people miss it. This world is confusing.  This world is cruel.  This world (kosmos—the world’s system of thinking) and its ruler, Satan, wants to ruin life. God wants to give life. Satan is the deceiver. God is the way, the truth, and the life. So simple! That anchor of simplicity holds me fast when the storms of life HOWL!!! That tower of truth allows me to rest at night and then face another barrage of confusion which life spews forth!

Won’t you join me in the simple life?

For they have [said], Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Jer 8:11

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. Ps 119:73

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14: 6-9

“Ah, but Wanda, your site is called Beyond Common Sense. Why is that?”

“I’m so glad you asked that.  Because common sense tells you to play it safe and stay where you are. To have this simple comfort and security you have to go beyond common sense to FAITH!  There is nothing commonsensical about faith! But all the blessings of God come when we step out in faith, trusting God completely—that what He said He will do!

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Mt 11:28-30

His yoke: Faith and Trust! Only then do I have that Friend that sticks closer than a brother to lift my burdens and carry them for me!

It’s a Wonderful Normal

 

selective focus photo of person holding book
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Are you one of the fortunate ones, one of the blessed? I am, and I am so glad! My wonderful normal is that on Sunday morning you will find me in church. It has always been my normal and I thank God for a mom that made sure that our family was in church. It wasn’t until I was in 1st grade that my dad started coming with us.  In fact, my mom tells me that there was an Easter morning that my dad plowed his fields. I don’t remember.  All I remember is our family sitting in church together. Oh, what wonderful memories, what a wonderful normal!

That normal has had such wonderful ramifications:

  • The habit was developed early
  • The habit was passed down to the next generations
  • And the next generation
  • I am well-fed in the Bible
  • I love church!
  • I have the privilege of serving Jesus every Sunday! (In fact, I was going to write a blog about the fact that one Sunday my skirt was on inside out and this Sunday my shirt was on backward! Why don’t I notice these things? I’d like to think it’s because I’m thinking about playing the piano or organ, or the special music, or the offertory, or the Sunday school lesson! 🙂 At least it sounds good!)
  • My church are my extended family.  I know they pray for me. How wonderful to have a network of people who share each other’s burdens. BUT, you really need to BE THERE for that to happen.

Attending church on Sunday has been a long-standing tradition as you can see in the following verses. If this is your wonderful normal thank the one who makes it possible and then thank the One that makes all things possible. AND, if it is not your wonderful normal… it can be!  How wonderful is that?!!

At the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. Matthew 28:1 

 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. John 20:19

 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, Acts 20:7

 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 1Corinthians 16:2

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10: 25