Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WOYWW: FEARLESS!

 From this picture...
to this!
I needed to draw Jesus as the Good Shepherd,
and I replaced the lady with a sheep.
 After all, we are all sheep!

  If we would like to be FEARLESS
then we would have to meditate, chew on,
read again and again and yet again, Psalm 23.

How can we fear anything at all,
if we know, absolutely know
from the bottom of our being
that the Creator of the Universe has our back?

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall NOT want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
he LEADETH me beside the still waters.
He RESTORETH my soul: 
he leadeth me in the paths of 
righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea,THOUGH  I walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will FEAR NO EVIL: 
for thou art WITH me; 
thy rod and thy staff they COMFORT me.
Thou PREPAREST a table before me 
in the presence of mine enemies: 
thou ANOINTEST my head with oil; 
my cup RUNNETH OVER.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
ALL the days of my life: 
and I will DWELL in the house of the Lord for ever."

 "It is easier for a camel to pass through 
the eye of the needle than for one who is rich 
to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24

There is an urban legend (which I wish were true) 
that this is about a small gate in Jerusalem 
called the "Needle's Eye" at the time of Jesus. 
It is so small that if a man on a camel 
were to pass through, 
he would have to get down, 
remove all the baggage from the camel 
and drag the camel through, 
kneeling on its haunches. 
So for a rich man to enter heaven, 
he would have to divest himself of his earthly goods, 
and kneel humbly before God.
But there is no such gate in Jerusalem 
in Jesus' time and so Jesus did not mean this.

He literally meant it was impossible 
for a rich man to get to heaven on his own merit. 
Wealth was a sign of God's favor in Jesus' time, 
and even today. 
So the disciples were astonished, bewildered, 
exceedingly amazed, dumbfounded, 
when Jesus flat out said that the wealthy had 
no chance, zilch, of going to heaven. 
"So who can be saved?" they asked.

Jesus then says it is impossible for men.
 It is not only impossible for the rich, 
but also for the poor. It is impossible for any one. 
Because we would have to give up not only our wealth, 
but also our children, our parents, our spouses, 
our lands, our work. Everything. 
We would have to put God first.

But Jesus does not leave us without hope. 
He said- "With God ALL things are possible." 
 In Ephesians 2:8 we read, "For by grace you 
have been saved through faith. 
And this not of your own doing, 
it is the GIFT OF GOD!" 
Whew!!!! See you in heaven!




Blessings!
Patsy

Monday, August 18, 2014

Not Perfect by Forgiven!

"Create in me a clean heart, O God!" Psalm 5:12

I've been rather "masungit" lately! (bad tempered)
I barked at the janitor because 
he put brooms and dustpan in the lobby, 
 I scolded an employee because she did not follow procedure, 
I was ready to fight the bank teller and video him 
for not accepting my check to pay for my mom's estate tax. 
But I remember always reminding my mom 
that "it is better to be kind than to be right."

What's happened? I haven't been watching my heart! 
We have to keep and guard our heart with all vigilance 
because in Proverbs 4:23 it says, 
"from our heart flows the springs of life." 
And I do want life to flow from me to others, not garbage!

In Revelations 3:19, it says, "Those whom I dearly love, 
I tell their faults, and convict, convince, reprove and chasten. 
I discipline and instruct them. 
So be enthusiastic, earnest and burning with zeal, 
and repent, changing your mind and attitude."(Amplified Bible)

I love this! God doesn't condemn us! 
If there's a condemning voice in our head, it's not Him! 
He wants us to learn and move on! 
Yes, Lord, I will be enthusiastic, 
and eager to put Your words into practice today!

.
 In Revelations 3:19, it says, "Those whom I dearly love, 
I tell their faults, and convict, convince, reprove and chasten. 
I discipline and instruct them. 
So be enthusiastic, earnest and burning with zeal, 
and repent, changing your mind and attitude."(Amplified Bible)

I love this! God doesn't condemn us! 
If there's a condemning voice in our head, it's not Him! 
He wants us to learn and move on! 
Yes, Lord, I will be enthusiastic, 
and eager to put Your words into practice today!

 
 "Woman, great is your faith! 
Let it be done for you as you wish." Mathew 15:28

This is one story in the Bible where 
Jesus was intentionally unkind. 
 Why did Jesus reject the Canaanite woman 
in her great need? 
She called out to Him, "Have pity on me! 
My daughter is tormented by a demon!" 
Jesus was so rude, 
He actually compared her to a dog!

There is always a lesson in what Jesus does and says. 
And the obvious lesson here is 
the power of persistence and not giving up. 
 The degree to which we are willing 
to persevere and hound God, 
will be the degree we will get what we want from Him. 
I am reminded of the time I felt rejected by God 
when He did not answer my prayers right away. 
I persisted in praying for my mom's healing. 
I felt like I was in the dark, with no answer, no light.

 But when I got out of the dark room, 
I saw the picture God was developing. 
It was a picture of great love, and my greatest wish. 
For when all is said and done, 
my greatest desire for my mother, 
for me, and all my loved ones, 
is to be with the One who loves us most! 
And God is so powerful, 
nothing is impossible with Him! 
When my mother went to be with God, 
I was soooo ecstatic for her!

Indeed, when we feel God's rejection, 
we need only to look beyond what we see, 
persist in prayer, and never give up!
 
"If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have
and give to the poor, and you will have 
treasure in heaven. Then come follow me."

Now why did this rich young man have to ask Jesus,
"What do I still lack?" ???
He could have just said, "All of these commandments 
I have kept and observed."
And that would be that!

But I believe, like this rich young man,
we should ask Jesus every day,
"What do I still lack?"
There is always something more we can do
to become "perfect".

 Although I doubt very much if selling all 
the possessions I have in the world 
would make me perfect!
For one, I would be too anxious,
and I would have to deal with
my son's anger and frustration with me! Ha ha!
Plus I would not be able to do what God 
has put me here on earth to do!

Right now, let's just say,
I am not perfect but forgiven....
and loved!
After all, "With men it is impossible
to get to heaven, but with God,
ALL things are possible!"
Matthew 19:26





Friday, August 15, 2014

PPF: Faith or Fear?

 "Should you not have pity on your servant 
as I had pity on you?" Matthew 18:33

My favorite saying about forgiveness is Lewis Smedes- 
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and 
discover that the prisoner was yourself."

And my favorite story is about 
Corrie ten Boom's struggle to forgive 
the prison guard in Ravensbruck. 
She had just given a talk about God's forgiveness 
and she saw him walking forward. 
Suddenly she was brought back to the huge room 
 in the concentration camp. 
She could see his blue uniform with the 
leather crop dangling from his belt. 
She remembered the shame of walking naked past this man, 
her sister Betsie before her, frail, 
her ribs jutting against her parchment skin.

And here he was, holding out his hand. 
"I have become a Christian," he said. 
"I know that God has forgiven me 
for the cruel things I did there, 
but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. 
Fräulein, will you forgive me?"

Corrie Ten Boom wrote, 
“I had to do it—I knew that. 
The message that God forgives 
has a prior condition: 
that we forgive those who have injured us. 
‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, 
‘neither will your Father in heaven 
forgive your trespasses.’

 
 “I knew it not only as a commandment of God, 
but as a daily experience. 
Since the end of the war I had had 
a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. 
 Those who were able to forgive 
their former enemies were able also 
to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, 
no matter what the physical scars. 
Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. 
It was as simple and as horrible as that."

 "Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you
by the Lord would be fulfilled."
Luke 1:45

It must have been frightening for Mary
to receive a message from an angel.
And even more frightening
to realize that her whole life was
about to take a radical turn.
Her response?
"Here I am, the Lord's bondslave,
His handmaiden.
Let it be with me as you say."

How many of us would have had the courage to say that?

 Instead of fear, Mary faced the future with faith.
Faith is believing God, rather than
giving credence to what we think, what we feel,
 or what others say.

We all have to face our own destiny and in
Romans 12:3 we learn that God gives each of us 
a measure of faith with which to face
whatever is handed out to us.
We have a choice whether to grow that faith
or to allow it to wither.
And the way to grow and make our faith blossom is,
"to HEAR the message of Christ."
Romans 10:17 
 
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You are appreciated!
Patsy