Friday, January 29, 2016

Paint Party Friday: The Devil's Playground

 "...from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful..." 
2 Samuel 11:2
Who does not know the story of David and Bathsheba? 
This mighty man of God, a "man after God's own heart" falls into sin after sin after sin. 
And not the small sins either, big 10 Commandment sins, and all premeditated. 
It's a lesson in how to get into the dark pit of sin from the first verse of 2 Samuel 11. 
" the spring, when kings go out to battle..."  
Kings and armies go to war in the spring, not during harvest, not during winter, 
but King David takes a break. 
He has been fighting battle after battle. 
He has just come from fighting the Arameans where 
David killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 horsemen. 
It is no wonder he wants to take a break. 
He sleeps, and when evening came, he goes up on the roof, and from the roof, 
he sees a woman bathing. A beautiful woman. Does he turn away? 
No, he continues on his break from fighting. 
"Idle hands and idle minds are the devil's workshop!"

All this time, David had been fighting FOR the Lord, 
and fighting FOR the things of the Lord. 
He loved God, praised God all the time, composed songs for Him. 
But when he saw Bathsheba, he stopped fighting. He succumbed. 
"When we don't fight, we lose sight of what's right!" 
Sometimes when we have been so busy, we had such a chaotic week, 
with our schedules back to back, we want to take a break. It's but natural. 
When my son is studying, he stops now and then to watch a video. 
How many times in the middle of working on something at home, I think, 
"I'll just take a minute to peek at Facebook or Instagram," 
and that minute becomes 10, 20,and then an hour? 

That may not be a sin, but the road to destruction, starts with when we stop fighting. 
A little office flirtation. That's not a sin, we think. 
A little lying.  A little stealing. A little peek at pornography. 
We need to continue to fight, in the spring, in the winter, during harvest time. 
We should never allow the devil to make our minds his playground! 

 "A lamp is not brought to be put under a peck-measure, is it, or under a bed?" 
Mark 4;21
In the original Greek, Mark wrote this passage as, 
"Is a lamp come into the house to be put under a bushel or under a bed?" 
Obviously a lamp does not come into a house by itself, 
but perhaps Mark meant something else altogether. 
In John 3:19,we read, "the light is come into the world..." 
In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, "I am the light of the world; 
he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." 
The lamp, the light is a person,and that person is Jesus, who came into the world, 
not to be hidden, but to be exposed. 
Sometimes, we like to keep our faith secret. 
We believe in God, His promises, and try to obey Him. 
But we do not like to tell others, preferring to be an undercover Christian. 
especially in this age of political correctness!

When Jesus instructed the disciples in the 10th chapter of Matthew, 
He told them, "What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light." 
The precious mysteries of God, our faith, should not be kept to ourselves. 
Lord, help me to share the treasure I have found in you, the light of the world!


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WOYWW: We are God's Garden

 Here is my desk. On it you can see my 2016 planner.
I like putting washi tape, stickers, and all sorts of clippings.
On the right side is my "Magic Book" with my collection of 
embellishments. I also use this when I make Artist Trading Cards.
If you like to see my 2015 planner, here it is!

 Here are the pages for January 26 and 27.

 And these are the pages for January 23-25.
I think putting stickers and prettying up your planner,
makes it more fun to organize your day.
It also makes me look at my planner more often
so I don't forget what I need to remember!!!
These pages are still works in progress.
I am still going to doodle in it and try some calligraphy!!!

 "Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow..." Mark 4:3

This is how Jesus introduces the Parable of the Sower- LISTEN!  Hear my words! Then he proceeds to share about a farmer who sows seeds on different kinds of soil, and depending on the soil, the seed either gets eaten by birds, or gets scorched by the sun, or gets choked by thorns, or bears abundant fruit. Usually we think of the soil as different types of hearts, and how different kinds of people receive the Word of God. But I think most of us receive God's word differently at different seasons of our life.

In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Saint Paul says we are God's field, God's garden. He is the sower, the farmer planting seed. In God's garden of our hearts, He finds different kinds of soil at different times of our life. Sometimes we are very receptive and eager to listen. And His Word finds a place in our heart, but only for a short time. At other times, we are so busy, or so anxious, and God's Word, perhaps given by an office mate as advice, goes out our other ear. But Jesus says, LISTEN! Hear my words! Don't just pick and choose when you want to hear it! Prepare your soil, prepare your hearts to receive My Word. 

If we want a good harvest, a bountiful harvest, we need to prepare our hearts the same way a farmer prepares his soil. A farmer digs up the soil and breaks up the lumps in it. He takes out the rocks, the roots, the weeds. That means we need to examine our life. Is there someone we need to forgive? Is there some wrong doing that needs to be corrected? Lord, I want to bear abundant fruit! Let me see what I need to do in order to have a heart ready to receive Your word with joy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WOYWW: 5 Stones and a Slingshot

I do so enjoy painting flowers.
It does not require much thinking,
just having fun!!!

Putting dots, lines, squiggles...
it's just like embroidery without the thread and the needle!

Sometimes however, I put just TOO much!!!
I need to learn when to stop!!!

  So I stopped! 

 Here's another one I finished yesterday!

 "The battle is the Lord's..." 1 Samuel 17:47

Who does not know the story of David who used 5 stones and a slingshot to kill the Israelites' most feared foe, Goliath?  Even school children know the story of David and Goliath! But we each re-enact this story in our lives. We all have Goliaths. It may be a supposedly "incurable' disease like my Pemphigus Vulgaris, or a BIR problem that likes to roar at me like a lion, a spouse or child who needs conversion or saving from an addiction, a huge debt, a failing business, etc. 

How do we face our Goliath or Goliaths? Do we face them with fear like the Israelites? They did not want to fight Goliath and it paralyzed them to do nothing. Or are we like David, knowing that the battle is the Lord's and we need to trust Him? Sometimes, like Saul did with David, we get offered 'armor' from the world, a way to deal with our problem, that is not from God. A BIR man said to our accountant it would be so easy to solve our problem. He was obviously saying we could just bribe our way out of it. Like David, we refused Saul's armor, preferring to trust God to save us! We should all remember God's saving power as David remembered how God saved him from lions and bears. As God helped us before, He will do so again, and again, and yet again! 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Monday, January 18, 2016

God's Favorite!

"I am God's favorite and He will fill me to overflowing". 
The verses in Exodus 33 about God saying to Moses, 
" have found favor with me, and you are my friend," 
and that God spoke to Moses "as a friend", 
found a place in my heart as my One Word for 2016 is "favorite". 
How God loves to surprise me and give me confirmation that I am indeed His favorite!

I remembered that I was a favorite of my Grade 4 teacher in UP, 
and she gave me the responsibility of taking attendance. 
But one day, I forgot to do my homework, and right away, 
I had fallen from her good graces and the responsibility was taken away 
and given to someone else. 
I felt so bad. I am so thankful that God is not like that. 
Even if we mess up, He is quick to forgive and continues 
to show His love and faithfulness!!!!

But it does not mean if you are God's favorite, that everything will be rosy! 
As Saint Teresa of Avila complained to her best friend Jesus about her troubles, 
Jesus answered, "Teresa, that is how I treat my friends!" 
Saint Teresa retorted, "No wonder you have so few friends!"

I believe we are each God's favorites, the apple of His eye, His friend, 
and He wants to fill us to overflowing 
if we can see beyond our troubles and challenges to the gold hidden there!

 "Obedience is better than sacrifice." 1 Samuel 15:22

God ordered Saul to completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, every last one of them, even their cattle, their sheep, everything.of  But Saul did not obey. Instead, he offered the best of the sheep and cattle of the Amalekites in sacrifice to God, thinking God would be pleased.  God became so mad, He rejected Saul as King of Israel and gave the responsibility to someone else. Sometimes we do not understand the mind of God, especially if we have not been trained in His ways since childhood, or if we have not received formation from men and women of God. That's why it is important to join a Bible based church or community. How can we obey if we do not seek God's will? How can we obey if we do not hear His voice? 

I so admire people who are able to obey even if what God asks is difficult, impossible even! In our community, we have a prophetic message for the year, and this year our word is "Expand your Heart, ...Your Reach,...Your Mission". One sister took this word as her own and accepted into her home the daughter of her son's girlfriend even if this was not her son's child! She said she did not understand the Lord's purpose and it is so difficult for them because they are not well off, but she felt the Lord's prodding. I do believe that with obedience comes blessing, and much blessing is in store for their household because of their obedience! And sacrifice as well!