Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Joy in My Heart

Our second son will be completing kindergarten this year.  I love kindergarten because it's when they learn to read!  It is always a joy when my children first start reading their Bible!  I vividly remember the day my eldest read his first Bible verse.  Our second son has an avid interest in God's Word, especially in trying to read and memorize it on his own.  My father is part of an active scripture memory program and gave my son one of his cards to keep track of memorizing a particular verse I have been working on with him.  He still has the card from Christmas time and uses it to review the verse each day.  What joy in my heart when I see my boys sitting with their Bibles learning what God has for them each day even though they are young.  I pray they will continue this habit the rest of their lives.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Read the Bible Through in 90 Days

Tomorrow I will take on the challenge of reading the Bible through in 90 days.  Have you ever done this before?  I am expecting adversity, but am praying that God will help me to complete the goal.  Another young lady and I will be keeping tabs on each other.  Let me know if you'd like to join us on our journey of spending more time in God's Word.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Exceeding the Requirements"

This past Sunday I listened to this sermon by Dr. John Geotsch.  How convicting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"I Was Lost, But You Were in a Hurry"

While cleaning out a box of odds and ends to prepare a place to start my new venture in "couponing", I ran across a devotional booklet I was given at a ladies' retreat many years ago.  It is called Tea with Grandma, Time with God by Mrs. Carol J. Phillips (Mrs. Carol J. Ackerle).  As I flipped through the booklet this entry caught my eye and smote my heart.  How often have I been too busy?

I attended your church this morning.  You wouldn't remember me--I may be eleven or eighty--but I was there--and I was hunting for something--I think I almost found it--I think I would have if you hadn't been in such a hurry.

The choir--even you in the congregation--sang hymns about a loving Lord that made my heart beat faster.  I felt a tight, choking sensation in my throat as your pastor described the condition of a lost person.

"I am lost.  He is talking about me," I said to myself.  "From the way he speaks, being saved must be very important."  I looked about at you in the pews near me--you were listening-you seemed to think the pastor's words were important.  "All these people are so concerned," I thought.  "They want me to be saved, too."

At last the minister finished his appeal and asked you to stand and sing another of the beautiful songs you know so well.  I swallowed a lump in my throat and wished I knew the joy with which you sang.  Then your pastor looked at me and repeated again how I could have this joy--but his words were drowned in a buzzing beside me.

When I glanced around, you were putting on your little girl's coat and telling her to get her things.  I looked on my other side and saw you touching up your lipstick.  Looking in front of me, I saw you frown at your watch as if time were running out.

Suddenly I didn't want to look at any more of you--my eyes burned and my throat hurt--my feet were so tired I couldn't have walked toward the pleading minister. . .You really didn't care.  This salvation the pastor had been telling me about was not important.  You didn't care that I was lost--you only wanted to get away.  I wanted to get away, too--I wanted to run--but I was afraid if I did you would wonder what I was hunting for.

I waited until the service was over and walked out among you--alone--lost.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Saw Jesus in You

by Ron Hamilton

When I enter Heaven's glory
And I see my Savior's face,
I will offer Him ten thousand years of praise.
Then I'll find that special one
In whose life I saw God's Son, 
And thru tears of joy with trembling lips these words I'll say:

"I saw Jesus in you,
I saw Jesus in you,
I could hear His voice in the words you said--
I saw Jesus in you.  
In your eyes I saw His care,
I could see His love was there.
You were faithful, 
And I saw Jesus in you."

When I stand before my Father
To receive my life's reward, 
And my soul is bathed in God's eternal day,
When this race on earth is run,
And God sees the works I've done,
More than anything I long to hear my Father say:

"I saw Jesus in you,
I saw Jesus in you,
I could hear His voice in the words you said--
I saw Jesus in you.  
In your eyes I saw His care,
I could see His love was there.
You were faithful, 
And I saw Jesus in you."


As I was preparing dinner to go into the crockpot this afternoon and my children sat at the table playing with play dough, we listened to Patch the Pirate's "Evolution Revolution".  A song that I've known for years began to play near the end of the CD, "I Saw Jesus in You".  As I listened, I was struck with the thought, "Do people see Jesus in me?"  There are a few people in my life that I can truly say that I see Jesus in them.  They are people that constantly challenge me through the way they live their lives.  I come face to face with the grim reality that far too often people do not see Jesus in me.  I was saddened and ashamed as I realized how little of Jesus shines through me.  One specific line in this song struck me as it never has before.  "In your eyes I saw His care."  Eyes have been called "the window to the soul".  So many times when "serving" and living the Christian life I have hoped that people will see Jesus through my actions which will definitely be one way that people will see Jesus in me, but do people see Jesus in my eyes?  Do I allow Jesus to live through me so much that whatever I say, think, or do comes from a soul completely saturated with Him?  Sadly, this is not so.  Today I prayed and asked God to help me to become such a faithful disciple of Him that people, yes, but more importantly God will "see Jesus in me."  How I long more than ever before to hear my Heavenly Father say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Monday, April 11, 2011

The "P" in "Peace"

What do you think of when you hear the word "peace"?  You many think of sitting all alone on the beach at evening watching the sunset with the beautiful hues of God's magnificent masterpiece washing over you.  The only sound you hear is the calming slap of the gentle waves on the soft sand and maybe a mornful boat whistle off in the distance.  As the cool wind blows your cheeks and your hair you are free to just be alone with your thoughts.  The word "peace" may bring you to ponder the turmoil in our world today with war and fighting, causing you to wonder if there will ever be peace on earth.  Maybe when you think of peace you envision yourself in yor favourite reading spot reading God's Word and drawing upon the peace only He can give you from the turmoil you feel inside.  Whatever this word "peace" may lead you to think of, God has something to tell us about peace, each and every aspect of it.  In His Word, He tells us how we can have peace with Him, peace with others, and peace within ourselves.

Here is an acrostic that will help us to remember how to have true peace in our lives:

Personal relationship with God
Every day walk with God
Always depending upon God
Character determined by God
Earth reigned by God

We cannot have any form of peace in our lives until we first have a
Personal relationship with God

Our personal relationship with God begins at salvation.  The Bible tells us that when Jesus comes into our life, then, and only then, are we able to have peace.  This peace is the most important kind, peace with God.  This peace must have been important to God because He was willing to send His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die to give us this peace.  This peace must also have been important to Jesus for He willingly suffered and ultimately gave His life so we could have this peace.  The Bible says in Isaiah 53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed."  The meaning of the word chastise is "to discipline especially by corporal punishment."  Jesus Christ was punished for our sins, yours and mine, so that we could have peace with God.  You may wonder, do we not automatically have peace with God?  After all He created us.  No.  Sadly, sin has entered the picture and taken away the peace that mankind once had with God.  The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  God is a holy God, and we cannot be at peace with Him because we are sinners.  Because all mankind has sinned, there is a gap between us and God.  Sin has a penalty, a penalty that could be paid only by death.  For us, that death would mean eternal separation from God.  The Bible says in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but he gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Praise God, through His Son Jesus Christ, He has given us the gift of eternal life.  As we read in Isaiah 53:5, Jesus paid the price for us.  He was the only perfect man to ever walk the face of this earth.  To God He was the only acceptable sacrifice.  All that yo and I must do is accept this gift God is giving to us.  Many people think that they must work to have this peace with God, but we cannot work our way to Heaven or to this peace with God.  The  Bible says in Titus 3:5a, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. . . ." God waits to give us this peace with Him, the gift of salvation, absolutely free.  Once you have accepted this free gift, you are at peace with God.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools?

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."  Psalm 14:1

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity:  there is none that doeth good."  Psalm 53:1

"Understand, ye brutish among the people:  and ye fools, when will ye be wise?"  Psalm 94:8

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:  but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  Proverbs 1:7

"How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?  and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?"  Proverbs 1:22

"It is as sport to a fool to do mischief:  but a man of understanding hath wisdom."  Proverbs 10:23

The Bible is plain.  I leave you with one question.  "April Fools" or no?

Eve--Final Update

Eve has been released from the hospital and is on her way home!  Thank you to all who prayed!