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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ice Cream, My Favorite

Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

I love ice cream. My favorite dessert. But I don't especially like sauces and syrups on it. Rather just plain ice cream.

That's the way of God's Word, sweeter than honey. That's pretty sweet. Honey is pure with no additives. God's Word does not accept additives. Man has tried to attach myriads of traditional beliefs to it to make it work for them. We can gossip, tell little white lies, over-eat all we want, cheat on income taxes, but we can't steal, smoke or use alcohol. We choose the sins we think God will overlook.  Soon after we add enough things to God's Word, it is not pure to us any more, and it just doesn't work.

When we accept God's Word in its purity, and give up our will for His, then it slides right down into our heart, just like ice cream slides right down into the tummy. Mmmm! The exciting thing about God's Word is that I can't over indulge! It is a healthy thing to over indulge, but for ice cream...not even good for me to have it every day. 

Do I enjoy God's Word as much as ice cream? Do I find it sweet? Does its taste stay yummy in my life?
Do you want to know what bothers me, and has for a long time. If you want a crowd at a church event, then have food. People will come. For prayer meeting, not so much. Actually very few will show for it. Sad.

Lord, change our "taste buds."

God bless you

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Exceeding Glad?

Matthew 5:11-12 "Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

It is so painful when people insult us, make fun of us, and lie about us. When Pastor Mark spoke this morning, the words insult and exceeding glad pierced my heart. How do I react to others when this happens? I tend to back off and "hide" in my own emotions. But others will bite back. Fight it. Call out names. But the truth of the matter is, that Jesus commands us to rejoice and be exceeding glad. Really?

I've had physical pain, but also emotional pain. I think the insults and lies against me are more painful by far than physical pain. I have a responsibility in response to this. I can pretend happy, but that doesn't come close to what the command is...exceeding glad!

The message was ended with, "when our government makes being a Christian illegal, will there be enough evidence to convict me?"

To say the least I came away from the service being convicted and challenged. If I want to walk in the way Jesus walked, then I know what needs to be done. I do want to be happy, and this is the way to happiness...accept insults joyfully. Not easy!!

Have a good night
God bless you

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sticky Mess

Last night I mopped the family room and kitchen floor. The kids were in the tub playing, so I thought it an excellent time to clean things up. And it was. It was clean and looked good.

Now it is supper time, you know what is going to happen, right? Yes, Promise, who seldom makes a mess at the table, if ever, somehow dropped her little bowl, and it went splattering over the floor. She looked at me, with tears in her eyes, "Grandma, I didn't mean to break the bowl." Of course, she didn't mean to make such a mess. But it happened and it was a mess. It took a while to clean up the pieces and clean the floor. Why couldn't that have happened before I cleaned in the first place?

That's how we are. Jesus calls us children, and there is probably reasons for that. He cleans up our life, and immediately we make a mess. Then He starts over again, cleans our mess again. Hopefully with each cleansing we learn a little and become a bit more mature. But sometimes it takes many times with the "mop" before we realize God wants us clean.

Rather than wait until we get so messy and "sticky" that it is hard to walk, why not just let God do His work as He wants, and realize after all, God is in control. Why do I choose to walk around in the sticky mess, getting slivers of glass in my feet, crying for the pain, but not wanting God to work on me to get the sin out of my life!

What miserable creatures we are! But for the Grace of God! Praise the Lord for His Grace. His Love. His patience. He knows we are but dust...

God bless you

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Suffering vs Glory

Psalm 119:71-72..not word for word, but it is saying, It is good for me to suffer so I can learn the laws of God.  So I thought maybe I don't know what suffering really is. The dictionary says suffering is to experience something painful or distress.

The value or advantage of my suffering should be to know God's Word better, to know who God is in a deeper way. The result of suffering should not be anger at God, complaints, or discouragement. As I see the scripture, suffering is a positive experience, at least should be. Ouch.

God loves us so much, He wants us closer to Him. Just as parents do not give children everything they want, but will discipline them to know the rules of the house, and hopefully those rules are also the statutes of God, the principals God has set forth for each of His children. The learning process may be painful, but the end is glory.

God's glory, not mine. Not the glory of the world. It goes beyond what we can imagine. Suffering...do we pray for it. No. But when it comes, we need to thank God, and go beyond the pain. Our suffering is but for a season, His glory is for eternity. In the meantime, my desire is to learn His precepts, His word through the suffering.

So today, look beyond the suffering. Glory is on its way.
Have a good day

God bless you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Gift

James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."


Yesterday I was shopping for my grandson's birthday gift. His mother suggested I get things to color, write, draw...educational art stuff. It was fun. I wish I could see his eyes when he receives the box in the mail. It is so fun giving gifts to grand kids. They don't expect much, and a little looks like a lot to their little eyes. So fun.


God always gives over and above what we ask. The problem comes when we ask for those things that are not good for us. Children do that sometimes too. Aren't we thankful God doesn't give what we want, but what is good for us? God is so faithful, and there is not even a slight variation from His faithfulness. He is always Good! He is the best gift! 


Oh for the Grace of God...Grace...He gives us what we don't deserve! 


Have a wonderful Lord's Day
God bless you

Friday, May 18, 2012

Speechless

Everywhere I look, I realize God is more than I can ever comprehend. 


Psalm 103:11-12 "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."


For a God who loves me as high as the heavens, and then forgives my sins and casts them as far as the east from the west, how are my prayers enough for Him to listen? YET, He does. He hears my cries and praises. He is my everything.


I do not have words to describe the overwhelming feeling I have at this moment. Do you ever wish you could talk to  one of your loved ones who are already in the presence of God, and hear their description of God? Or are they speechless as well?

"I Can Only Imagine." That's putting it in a nutshell.

God bless you

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Me is Crabby

Today is one of those down days. And wouldn't you know, it comes after a great day of victory yesterday. When the Lord answers prayer, satan is right there to make sure I see the negative around me. Then, of course, flesh kicks in and the negative becomes very pronounced. Although I know a grateful heart and spirit is the victor, it is difficult. It isn't the big things that make it so hard, it is the small, gnawing things that keep nagging at the spirit.

What is even worse, after a bit, that negative is thrown at "someone." After all, it wouldn't be MY fault that I'm feeling crabby. Someone is making me crabby. I am an adult and I should have had victory over this ages ago. Wrong. Satan never gives up. He really wants us to live in the negative.

In the presence of the Lord, there is joy forever. Lord Jesus, come quickly.

God bless you

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

God's Consistency

Today I have been thinking about the consistency and completeness of God. The Bible starts with seven being an important number, and in Revelation there are many sevens...churches, candlesticks, seals...etc. And throughout the scripture seven is a number of completeness.

I am realizing I have not always considered what happened in the Old Testament to today. But I believe it has much to do with our world today. For instance, was defying the Name of God only for judgement to the nation of Israel? When they went their way to idols and left God, the nation was judged. So it is today. Our nation, America, has defied the Name of God. Will there be judgement? Yes. We have had warnings, but judgement will come, because our leaders have continued to defy God's name.

This didn't just happen with today's leaders. Leaders for many years have went their own way, and now we have come to this point. This said...I believe God has placed each leader of every land for the times we are in. God is so complete in His Ways. I cannot fathom this greatness.

We have a great responsibility to pray for our leaders. In the weakness of man, God shows His power. We serve an amazing God. How does God keep His promises? All of them? He does not forget. I can't imagine that either, not forgetting! Now that is a daily experience for me.

But for the Grace of God...yes, judgement will come. But God has promised to be with us all the way.
It can't get better than that. God is so good!!

God bless you
Today I have thought much on the consistency of God and the completeness of God. The Bible starts with seven...days, seventh day a day of rest. It ends with many sevens in Revelation. There are many incidents of seven all through the scriptures. Seven being a number of completeness.

My second thought is that I don't appropriate the scriptures enough to see this consistency. Were the judgements and destructions only for the nation of Israel when they turned their back on God? Or is this the situation we are in today in America? And if this is also applicable today, that there is a judgement to the nation who turns their back on God, why do so many Christians complain about the government leaders

When a nation defies God, the whole nation will suffer, not just the leaders. The innocent will suffer as well as the guilty. God is using the leaders today to bring judgement on America. America did not just begin to defy God's name today. This has been happening for many years. But we turned our deaf ears, thinking it will be better. I'm not saying I like what is happening, but I am saying, we need to spend more times praying for our leaders than letting everyone know how horrible they are.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Awesome God

We had a wonderful time during the weekend. Meetings, met with new people, visited old friends. Just good to connect with God's people. It was so good hearing others declare the goodness of God, His awesome works in their lives. Testimonies of God's protection during tornadoes, His provision during very difficult times. We returned home with great joy.


One of the things we heard from different people is that we do not declare God's faithfulness to our children. We have seen His works, just as the children of Israel did in Egypt and in the desert. But they did not declare it to their children. Of course, today we have the Bible, but if we do not show them our love for God's word, how are they going to learn. We need to help our children learn and love the Word of God. They need to know how to defend their faith in this godless generation.

Deuteronomy 10:21 "He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes."


Deuteronomy 11:2 " Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm;"


Today as we work and go about our duties, let's remember the deeds of our awesome God, and He truly is awesome!


God bless you

Thursday, May 10, 2012

To Honor my Mother

My Mother

Mother's Day is only a few days away. But since I will be "on the road" for the weekend, I decided to blog on my mother tonight. What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word mother?

A picture of my mother is #1. She is a great example of a self-sacrificing mother. She always put us children and our dad first, before any of her desires. She was strict and required obedience, but she was loving. We had so many fun, family projects. We lived on a farm, and we made work fun. She was never too tired to help us. I never heard her complain how much work she needs to do, or how little time she has for herself.

I don't ever remember her and dad having " to get away" from us kids. I'm sure they needed it since there were 6 of us. She was a Proverbs 31 mother. Today she is 90 years old, and she still loves to work and do for herself as much as possible. For the record, her and dad were married for 61 years.

When my dad passed away, one of the grandsons asked mom, "Grandpa prayed for each of us grandkids every day. Now who will do it?" Of course she answered, "I will." And she does. She also reads her Bible every day. She is reading the Bible through this year. John 14 is her favorite chapter of the Bible.

Many people do not have this blessing. Many children don't have a mother that truly loves them, or cares for them. I think of some mothers in Haiti. My heart breaks for some of the children. Not too long ago, I was translating a letter that a student wrote to his sponsor. He was so happy because the sponsor told him she loved him. He wrote, "that made me so happy because I never have heard my mother say she loves me."

Mother's Day may be hurtful for you. You don't even want to remember a day to honor your mother. For you I pray, that God brings someone in your life that can become as a mother to you. I pray you can forgive your mother who has hurt you. God is tender and loving. He can heal your sadness.

God bless you each one.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

He Knows Me

Psalm 139:4 "Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it."

This verse is quite humiliating to me. The day has just started, but God already knows each word I will speak today. Can you imagine? I don't even know what I will say. Yet God...He knows.  He knows my thoughts before I think them. That is too much for me to comprehend. 

But what is even more amazing that He continues to love me, in spite of my words and thoughts. It really does challenge me to make sure my words are words of love, encouragement, praise. When I have words of criticism, I soon realize I'm disgruntled at many things, my thoughts are not thoughts of thanksgiving.

I already know today will be busy and filled with challenges. My desire is in the midst of this I can praise Him and look beyond the activities to a God that knows all things. Perhaps you already have this all in order, but I'm still working at it.

Yesterday I felt like a pig in a mud hole. The only difference was a pig enjoys it. I felt like I was wallowing around and couldn't get out. I hated it. I didn't want to have complaining thoughts but I did. I didn't even speak out the complaints. Well, at least not all of them. I had work that needed to be done, but couldn't make myself do it. Now today, my work load has doubled.

Put on an attitude of praise, Barb, and get to work. God already knows all about my day. He knows the beginning and the end.  But He loves me with His everlasting Love! Rejoice! It is true, He really does. He knows my being. 

And He knows and loves you too!

Be blessed

Monday, May 7, 2012

Household Chores

Monday, the first day of the work week. No I'm not in the work roller coaster, but schedules do affect me. We have a busy week up ahead. My job is to care for the kids, oh and to answer phone, emails, prepare some forms, and breathe. Today was laundry day. May God wash and clean my heart, and as I fold clothes, may He bring order in my life. And a few shirts to iron, only a few, but may God press His word into my heart.

I believe there is a lesson in almost every household chore that I do. But I don't always think of those lessons when I'm doing it. Like this morning, I cleaned a very dusty mirror. I was seeing through a glass darkly. No it wasn't a bathroom mirror. Just one that takes some effort to get to. And I guess that is why we allow some things to darken our spiritual eyes...it's just a bit difficult to get to. We don't want to confess sin, or pride is in the way, or unforgiveness.

So next time we are busy with household chores, let's bring some joy into it and see how many things are parallel to our spiritual life.

Oh, you want one more for the "road"....just as spraying alcohol on the counter tops, toilet seats, and mirror sanitizes so the Word sprinkled in my heart keeps it pure.

God bless you

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Spider Web

Ephesians 5:15 "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.." In KJV it says to walk circumspectly..walking very very carefully. Not to walk into evil unknowingly. Having our eyes wide open and even more our spirit directed by the Lord.


I have spent many days walking carefully, and continue to do so. Each step is very important. Running a vacuum takes concentration, watching where the cord is. Then there are steps among toys on the floor. Going outside or to the store, means a lot of careful steps, making sure I don't kick against an uneven sidewalk or street.


Then there is our spiritual walk, which also needs much discernment. I think the most difficult is the situations which are not clearly sin, but very deceptive. Almost like a spider spinning a web, waiting to trap its victim. The web can be a beautiful work of art, but oh the trap it really is! That's how I see some things..."there is more than meets the eye." There is an underlying reason for things. Is this God that is showing me things? I believe it is, and for my good.


My prayer is that we do not walk blindly into things that appear beautiful when in reality it is far from truth. Matthew 15:8 "‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Many people today know the religious lingo, but their hearts are not honoring the Lord.


There are many examples, but one that I see very prevalent is wealth, love of money. Many people are deceived by wealth. Many youth follow after the celebrities, how deceiving! When the cameras are not on them, many have miserable drug driven lives. Yet that is not shown to society. Money is not the problem, but the love of money is a trap that many fall into.


Again, the only way to know the difference between truth and lie, is to know the Truth, God's Word, and the Truth shall set you free. Praise the Lord.


God bless you


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Take a Survey

Patrick and I went to Office Depot this morning. The cashier was so helpful. After she had totaled our bill, she encouraged us to take the survey online and be sure to mention her name so that she can be in a drawing at the end of the month. I'm sure you have been asked to take surveys for different businesses. They want to know how they are doing.


When is the last time you have taken a spiritual survey on how you are doing? Maybe, just maybe we should ask other people to give us a survey on how they see us. We could be surprised what we find. Oh I'm not speaking of comparing ourselves with others. We can always find someone who is "worse than me" and therefore, I'm pretty good. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? And then, if someone should be so bold and blunt to confront us on an issue, do we tend to be defensive or receptive?


My reading this morning Psalm 119:9-11 "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!  have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

This is very convicting. My desire is to daily take a survey according to the scripture, but I fail. With my whole heart is bolding out to me. This is not part of my heart, not part of my life. It is the whole deal, not holding back. If God did a survey form on me, what would it look like?

I'm off to do a survey on Office Depot...
Take a survey on your life, according to the Word of God.

God bless you

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Be Diligent

Patrick is home, after being in Haiti 6 weeks. It has been so good to talk and "catch up" with life. He has had so many experiences. It is always good to have news from Haiti.


Today was one of those days that I didn't take time to read and meditate on God's Word. All of a sudden, I remembered and was ashamed that busyness had taken over. I want to read through Psalm 119, but meditate on each verse as I go. I just started this a few days ago. Since I didn't read a verse this morning, I opened the Bible a few minutes ago, and this is what I found.


Psalm 119:4-5 "You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!"


I was not very diligent today. The enemy loves it when I am too busy to read the Bible. Those are also the days when so many things creep into thought life. I ask myself, "How long will it take me to be steadfast in His statutes?" Another version gave it as being diligent in keeping his laws. I picture that as a person who is pressing forward to learn and obey. Like a housewife who is diligent, she is picking up dirty clothes, dusting furniture, washing dishes, bringing in fresh flowers...she cleans the dirt out and bring the fragrance in.


That is what I need to do on a daily basis...clean out the ugly and let God replace it with the beautiful. That is diligence.


God bless you