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Our God is awesome. This blog is dedicated to that awesomeness. I look forward to the stories you have to share, also.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas


In a house in Webster, NY, a man sat musing.  His deceased mother left money to the Fire Department. That was so unfair.  The cops treated him badly and that was unfair. The whole world was against him so he vowed to get even.

In Dr. Seuss' beloved book, The Grinch stood on a hill looking down on Who Ville. Those Whos were so noisy.  That annoyed him. They sounded so cheerful and that grated on his nerves.  Maybe he could fix it so that they were no longer cheerful.  His heart was two sizes too small.

 
The man started writing notes.  He hated the world.  He wanted to kill as many people as possible and set much of the world on fire.

The Grinch sneaked into town at night.  He dressed like Santa and stole all the Who gifts and decorations.  He would show them.  They would not be cheerful when they got up Christmas morning.

The man killed his sister and set his house on fire.  When the fire department showed up, he started shooting, hitting firemen and law officers. Two died, others were injured.

On Christmas morning, the Whos gathered in the town circle.  They joined hands and sang together.  They did not sound unhappy at all.

Since the firemen could not start fighting the fire because of the shooter, it spread.  It ended up destroying seven houses and damaging others.

The Grinch realized that Christmas was not about gifts and decorations.  “Perhaps it means a little bit more.”

The shooter went down to the lake and shot himself.

The Grinch’s heart grew.  He brought all the gifts back.  He even cut the roast beast at the Who Christmas Feast.

The Grinch’s heart grew and the shooter’s heart shrank.  In 2013, we can let our hearts grow larger or sit and muse vengeance against all who wronged us, in reality or the imagination.

We can make the world a better place.  We can be remembered as someone who ruined many other lives and left a trail of destruction.  Let’s resolve to let our hearts grow this year and leave a legacy of good.

Happy New Year to you and yours.             

Sunday, December 23, 2012


The Birth


Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.


The Shepherds 


And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Glory to God

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Shepherds Find the Baby


15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Photos of Renaissance Paintings in the Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons

Bible Passages from Luke 2 4-20 KJV in the Public Domain
BibleGateway.com 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Hearts are Breaking




My heart is breaking, as are millions around our nation.  A tragedy of monumental proportions stole the joy from Christmas this year. A young man ruthlessly shot up an elementary school in Connecticut, killing 20 innocent children and seven of the heroic adults caring for them.

It is unfathomable.  We do not understand such a act from an ice cold heart.  The fact that it happened about 10 days before Christmas only compounds the agony of it.

This young man had some kind of vendetta against his parents.  It would be tragic enough if he only killed them.  It is beyond all comprehension why he took innocent children and adults with him into eternity.

We all need to cherish the ones we love, hold them a little closer, and speak words of love to them everyday.  We need to speak to others with kind and healing words. We are not promised tomorrow.

We never know what is in the hearts of people all around us. When we treat everyone with dignity and respect, we may unknowingly save lives that a wounded soul plans to steal. 

Jesus loved the little children and told his disciples to let the children come unto him. They did that on that horrible day that will 
be ingrained in our memories from now on. 

 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. Psalm 23.4 KJV

Verse from BibleGateway.com

Photo  from Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What do Christmas Decorations Mean?


Everyone loves to decorate during the holidays. Candles, lights, baubles of every color, tree decorations and toppers all add to the festive feel and look at this time of year.  Did you ever wonder if the decorations had a deeper meaning than just pretty?

Colors

Green is the color of the Christmas tree, wrapping paper, and other stunning trimmings of hearth and tree.  It symbolizes eternal life that we have in Jesus.

Red is the color of so many bulbs, lights, wrappings and ribbons, easy to look at and soothing to the eye.  It is the opposite of eternal life green and reminds us of the blood He shed for the redemption of our sins.

White is for the purity of His perfect life and sacrifice.  He was without blemish, spot, or fault.

Baubles

Apples on the tree speak of original sin and are usually red.    

Stars whether as tree toppers, cookies, or ornaments suggest the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi, three wise kings from afar, to the place where he lay that they might worship him.

Angels atop the tree, iced as cookies, or glowing in a manger scene remind of the angels that attended the royal birth. Lights remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.  

Lights

Jesus is the light of the world and our lights, glowing candles and sparkling lights on house or tree,  bring that fact to our memory. 

Presents

We buy presents for our family and other loved ones because the wise men came with gifts and, of course, Jesus is the best gift we could ever get..

As you decorate in the coming days, or just admire the creativity and beauty of the ones others put up, take a minute or two to think about the true meaning of Christmas. God loved us so much that he gave his beloved son as His gift to us.  Merry Christmas, everyone. 

Photos by PublicDomainPictures.net         

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dimes from Heaven

Do you ever feel that God is not near whether everything is going sour in life and even when times are good?


A friend once asked for God to send her ladybugs when He thought of her.  Ladybugs flew in from all directions.  One time, they covered her whole house and kept sneaking in too.  Friends and strangers gave her ladybug ceramics or pillows.

Often, I felt that way too. “Where are you?” I lamented. One day, I asked God if He thought of me much.  Then I asked Him to send me dimes when He has been thinking of me.  

This is silly I thought.  Then the dimes started coming to me. I looked down and one was there in the grass.  Another flopped out of the dryer when I opened it.  One showed up in a public shower.  

There were never enough to make me rich, but enough to know He was thinking of me even when I did not realize it. 

A glance at my title on Google told me that a lot of people get dimes from heaven.  I never knew that.  I had heard of pennies from heaven, but not dimes.  I learned that their loved ones in heaven send them money and objects.

I asked God.  I did not ask my daughter, parents, or other loved ones up above.  I asked God. And He answered.

Have you experienced anything like that.  Do your departed loved ones, or God, send you remembrances?  Please comment and let everyone know.

Dime images from Wikimedia

Sunday, November 25, 2012

 30 Days of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for:

  1. God who created the universe and loves each of us individually.
  2. Jesus who died that we might have eternal life with God the father.
  3. My church where believers gather as a family to worship and serve.
  4. Our pastor and his wife who serve us so well.
  5. My children, who I love dearly and would die for, if the need arose.
  6. The beauty and splendor all around us when we take time to look.
  7. I have a roof over my head.
  8. There is food in the cupboard and refrigerator.
  9. My son who lives with me and fixes my computer.
  10. My friends who put up with all my nonsense.
  11. God woke me up this morning.
  12. I can see, hear, and walk.
  13. That so many people care.
  14. God is love.
  15. Friends who set me in the right direction.
  16. The birds that serenade from the trees.
  17. Dogs that think we are god.
  18. Sunshine and breezes.
  19. The stars that make us realize how vast God is.
  20. All the times God saved me when I did something foolish.
  21. He will never leave or forsake us.
  22. We can always talk to Him.
  23. He is the divine healer, the great physician who sends no bills.
  24. He never changes and is the same today, yesterday, and forever.
  25. Grass, trees, and all green things growing.
  26. The work God has for us.
  27. Prayer changes things.
  28. The joy of being alive.
  29. God’s promises for those who love Him.
  30. For unknown joy and beauty that wait for us when we join Him.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Secret of Giving Up the Past


 Many of us want to put the past behind us.  It is harder than it looks. It keeps you from enjoying new experiences and broadening your horizons.  It threatens to never let you go.
A lot has happened to all of us and it is not all pretty.  I know I have a hard time doing that. I accidentally unlocked one of the secrets for giving up the past.

I hugged the dress to me.  “I’m letting you go, Gwen,” I whispered as I put it in the thrift shop.  Gwen loved God and she would approve of letting it go to benefit missionaries.  The dress never fit right on the top, and was a bit too long for me, but I loved it because she gave it to me.

I only knew Gwen for a few years but quickly grew to love her.  We met in church.  She had a lot of health problems and toward the end, frequently went into the hospital.  She told me that the next time she went in, she probably would not come out.  It happened that way.

One afternoon, I sensed her presence near me for only an instant.  “Gwen, is that you?” I asked, and knew she was gone.  A phone call a short time later confirmed that.

So many things in the past are hard to give up.  We lose loves and friendships, children, parents, and dear friends.  Terrible things muddy up our yesterdays: mistakes, misjudgments, acts we wish we could take back, and things we said that wound worse than a shotgun blast. 

One thing at a time.

It is easy to say to give up the past.  Preachers write whole sermons about it, musicians compose songs about it, and people expect you to just get over it. Doing it is much more difficult than just deciding to do it.

When I let the dress go on to a new life, I realized something.  We need to make an effort to give each past thing up one at a time as we think about it and are ready.  It is too hard to just say goodbye to it en mass. 

Memories

Gwen will always live in me as a beautiful memory.  I will always remember her.  I keep a treasured memento of her.  It is a small ceramic nativity scene that she gave another friend that I helped take care of for a time a few years ago. Her family gave it to me. 

When I see the tiny crèche, I remember them both, each part of the past but a promise of the future when I see them again some day when my time on earth is done. Jesus promises to prepare a place for us.   “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 KJV

Sunday, November 11, 2012

God is Still in Control


Many people are upset about the recent election results.  Others are elated. 

Mobs danced in jubilation in Times Square in New York after the results were announced.  I don’t think they know what they were celebrating.

To many, the results were devastating.  It was not just losing an election, “Oh well, the other guy won, let’s carry on.”  They consider it a loss of our country, the death of America, as we know it.  

It seems that a great evil has fallen upon us. This is a society where God is booed and moral decay runs rampant over it all.  A majority thinks it no longer needs God and can just do whatever pleases them with whomever they please.

Dire warnings fill the Internet.  The mandatory microchip will be implanted in each person and they cannot buy, sell, or do anything else without it. It is the Mark of the Beast, as predicted in Revelation in the Bible.

Other reports say the world is ending in December of 2012, this year.  An ancient calendar ended and people say the world will end on that date.  It could be a man made disaster such as nuclear war or something smashing our world from space.  The Bible states that no man knows the day or the hour.
 
The only certain thing is that God still sits on the throne and He is still in control.  Christians need not worry because this earth and its evils is not their home.  No matter what happens, they put their trust and faith in God.  All who believe, trust in Him, and accept His son will someday live with Him for eternity. 

No matter what else happens, just keep trusting.  The Bible says that, " But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved," Matthew 24:13

Photos:

Stars Copyright J. Schlicker  2003
Mountain  Public Domain







Sunday, November 4, 2012

God always provides


Manna from heaven

When the Israelis wandered through the desert in Exodus, God fed them manna from heaven.  Manna was a food that tasted sweet.  The people ground it up and used it as flour to make bread, cakes, and other dishes.  God instructed them to gather up only enough to get them through each day.  If they gathered more than needed, it turned wormy.  God wanted them to depend on Him.

When they complained loudly and often that they tired of manna, God provided flocks of doves or pigeons so they would have meat.

Water Into Wine

Jesus went to a wedding in Cana as a guest. The wine ran out.  That was a terrible faux pas for the bridegroom.  When Jesus found out about it he ordered the servants to fill up some large jars with water.  He then dipped a cup into the water and had a servant take it to the master of the feast.  The master congratulated the bridegroom for saving the best wine until the last part of the wedding festivities.

Feeding the 5,000


Matthew chapter 24 tells the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 men and their wives and children.  They were gathered around to hear Jesus speak.  He decided to feed them instead of sending them off to a village to buy food.

He took a little boy’s lunch that consisted of five loaves of bread and two fish.  He broke them and the disciples distributed the new loaves and fishes.  The 5,000 men and their families ate their fill and there were 12 baskets full left over.  Jesus saw the need and provided.

What about you and me?

Maybe you think that was all a long time ago and not relevant now but nothing has changed. All these miracles that took place show that He will provide for you. 

He has for me.  Several times, at the moment of my greatest need, people gave me food because their freezers died.  Once, a crate of cans of pudding fell out of a truck right in front of our house.  My astonished kids dragged it into the house and feasted.  

When we put our faith and trust in God, He sees our need and provides.  He will do the same for you.

  










Photos:

The Gathering of the Manna
Probably formed part of a larger altarpiece. The master was named after this painting
Source/Photographer from ISBN 978-90-6918-225-4, p. 215.  Public Domain for painting and photograph


Bowyer Bible
Life of Jesus
Bowyer Bible-Marriage at Cana by Jan Luyken
 Public Domain under the Free Art License











Photos:

The Gathering of the Manna
Probably formed part of a larger altarpiece. The master was named after this painting
Source/Photographer from ISBN 978-90-6918-225-4, p. 215.  Public Domain for painting and photograph


Bowyer Bible
Life of Jesus
Bowyer Bible-Marriage at Cana by Jan Luyken
 Public Domain under the  Free Art License

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Will You Invite Jesus?


Will  You Invite Jesus?

In John chapter two, we read about the story of water changed into wine, the first public miracle Jesus performed.

In those days, weddings lasted for days, perhaps weeks. They served wine at the wedding feasts.  It was the custom to serve the best wine first, then the cheaper wine later.  On the third day of this particular wedding, they ran out of wine. 

His mother Mary told Jesus about this embarrassing situation.  He told her it was not his time to start doing miracles.  But he told the servants to fill six large jars with water.  He dipped into one of the barrels, filled a cup, and told someone to take it to the master of ceremonies. The master tasted it and took the bridegroom aside.


He told him it was the best wine he ever tasted and impressed because he saved the best for last.   The bridegroom got the credit for the miracle that Jesus did. It saved him from social scorn and showed him to be a man of substance.

Jesus was there because they invited him.  He created a miracle because he was there.  He can perform miracles in your life, if you invite him.  He is waiting but will not enter without an invitation.  Won’t you invite him today?

 Photo: A 14th century Fresco from the Visoki Dečani monastery.
http://www.wegm.com/coins/frescoes/decani.htm In public domain

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Mark of the Beast


 A couple of thousand years ago, a man named John experienced a vision.  A vision is like a dream but the person is awake and looking at it like they would a movie or TV program. He saw the vision as a prisoner on an island called Patmos.  His crime was standing up for God.

In his vision, he saw things that did not and could not exist during that time.  He saw our society as it is today and in the future.  He wrote everything down the way God instructed him and that scroll became the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

It is happening soon.

One thing he saw was the Mark of the Beast.  He saw a society that no longer used money.  All people needed a chip that recorded information about each person.  You needed the chip in order to buy or sell.

Rev 16 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:” And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.    

Also the Bible says “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.” Revelation 14:9,10 KJV      

Who is the beast?

I believe the Beast is Satan, the enemy of the world.  He is a liar who wants to steal us away from God and claim us as his own.   He comes in many forms and will fool many as an angel of light.

We seem to be rapidly moving toward the Mark of the Beast.  Trusting God will help us through that time.  Put your trust in Him today.  Read the Bible, get to know the word so Satan cannot fool or confuse you.

First photo 
Jacopo Vignali, San Giovanni Evangelista a Patmos.jpg
Vignali is an  Italian painter who died on 03 August 1664 
  
Second photo 

 John's Vison from Wikimedia Paintings  According to Wikipedia the religious artist Antonio Allegri da Correggio lived from  August 1489 – March 5, 1534.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jesus, Light of the World

  
  

What is the darkest place you have ever been?  I remember a pyramid tour in California once.  In the middle of the pyramid, the tour guide doused the lights. Total blackness enveloped us. Fear and dread slammed into me.  I hated that darkness.

I suspect that others felt the same way.  Someone lit a cigarette lighter and held it up above his head. The little light comforted me, gave me hope that I could get through this day.  Another click of the lighter closing plunged us back into oblivion.

What a relief when the guide relit the light.  It allowed us to find the way out of this despair.

We live in a fallen and evil world of darkness. We light it up with all manner of lamps, decorative lighting, overhead lights but the world is still dark.  Evil still lives everywhere.  The light gives comfort and an illusion of safety, but it is temporary.


Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12 King James Version (KJV)


Jesus is the light that always shines for us in the deepest abyss of the world.  I did not really know that on that scary day in the pyramid.  When Jesus came into my life, he shined the light on truth, hope, and purpose.  That light never went out even in the worst days of my life.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:5   (KJV)

What lights your world.  Will a fallen wire or transformer explosion plunge you into darkness?  Ask Jesus to come into your heart and let him be the light of your world. He is the light that no force can quench.  It will guide and encourage you as long as you let him shine!

The King James Version of the Bible is in public domain.  Quotes taken from BibleGateway.com.

Photo is from Public-Domain-Images.com

 



















Sunday, October 7, 2012

Signs of the End of the World


 While reading the comments on a web post, I saw this statement (paraphrased).  “Half of the world is smart enough to know that the Bible is a book full of c---.”  The writer obviously missed does no believe the many signs pointing to the return of Christ.

The Bible is filled with accounts of the signs of the end of time, things that are happening before our very eyes if we would just look and see.

No secrets

Luke 18:17-19 For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest: neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

All things are becoming known via the Internet, spy cameras everywhere, and super computers.  Someone monitors every phone call, email, and social network post.  The government encourages people to tattle on each other. We do not know whom to trust.

Someday all will know everything that we think and do today.

War and pestilence

All around us the signs loom ominously. Wars and rumors of war increase around the globe.  Devastating geological events occur more frequently; earthquakes, volcanoes, Tsunamis, floods, wildfires.  Droughts threaten with the specter of starvation.  Strange new diseases crop up often.  Matthew 23-24

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, and other disasters destroy daily.

Ezekiel 38:20 says that the mountains shall be thrown down, the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground." 

Affliction
 
Matthew 24.9 speaks of a time of affliction when all will hate anyone standing for the name of Christ.  9 “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.”

Christians everywhere face increasing danger and peril.  Missionaries around the world are beaten, the churches destroyed, and some face death for their beliefs. It is a sport to ridicule and malign Christians, the only group not protected by laws.



We do not know the hour

3 “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

People predict when the earth will end.  Many of the dates have come and gone and we are still here.  The newest date is December 21 of this year.  It is foolish to try to guess when the earth will be no more.  It will be here until God decides otherwise.


 Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matt 23: 5 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.


Take heed

These signs are all around.  The days are growing short.  What will you do with the time left?  Everything on earth will pass away and crumble to dust but God’s Word will live forever.

 Pictures from Wikimedia Commons 
The Gossipers
Water Scene-Name unknown
 Quotes from King James Bible-public domain
 


























































































Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jesus at the Beautiful Gate


s.3:1  Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alm.

This man was lame since his birth.  All the people knew who he was, the lame beggar at the gate called Beautiful.  Many people had known him for his whole life and could testify that he was, indeed, a crippled baby, child, and adult.  There was no mistaking him for someone else.
 
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

The disciples often traveled with no money.  They depended on the generosity of those in place they visited to live.  They offered things money cannot buy; living water, and the bread of life. 

7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and anklebones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 

When Jesus pulled the man up from his mat, his anklebones became strong.  This in itself is a miracle.  Someone carried the man daily to the gate where he begged.  His legs would never have developed and he certainly would have needed extensive therapy to learn to walk.

9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

Immediately he walked.  Not only that, but he leaped into the air and ran, praising God all the way.  This was a miracle.  Jesus did the impossible.  He still does today. 

 What miracle do you need in your life?  Does it sound impossible?  Think of a crippled man leaping and running.  That was impossible.  All things are possible with God.  Jesus is at the gate in your life.  He is waiting for you to open it and let Him enter.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Praises



Because He is worthy of all praise for who He is and what he has done for us.



I was sinking deep in the pits of despair
You reached down your hand and rescued me.
You set me free.

Praises to your name,
You are always the same,
Yesterday, today, and forever,
And you promise to never
Leave us or forsake us.
You are our hope, our reason
For persevering to the end.

No matter the hurt or the cost,
Each trial leads to a shining crown
We will lay them all at your feet
On that glorious day when you
Come to collect your own
And bring us home to live with you.

Copyright akalinus 2012




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Is the End of the World Near?


Many people fear the end of the world is near.  The Mayan Calendar runs out on December 21, 2012.  Dire predictions foretell a runaway planet smashing the earth, or a natural disaster like a flood overwhelming it. Some think we may be fried by an angry sun, the magnetic poles might flip, or an unusual alignment of stars may end it all for us.


Even scarier, the escalating world situation threatens us with great harm and perhaps annihilation.  Many leaders, with short tempers, have one finger on the red buttons. Any one of them could start a string of events that lead to the destruction of mankind, and even the planet. It truly looks like the world could end on the date seen by the Mayans so long ago.


What is the truth?

The Bible tells us that, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32 KJV

All the predictions of the world ending on this day, or that day, are laughable. Throughout history people foretold the end on a certain day many times. We are still here. Only God the Father knows when the end will come.

What can we do?

Live our lives without fear.  God is the author of our days. He knows the number of hairs on our heads, and the number of our days.  Worry and looking to the skies for signs never changes our lifespan.  We need to use common sense in how we live our lives. The Bible tells us not to tempt God.

What else?

If the world ended tomorrow, what would happen to you?  How would you spend eternity? God designed you to live forever.  You can spend forever in heaven, or in a place of great torment.  It is your choice, but how do you choose?

If you believe Jesus is God’s son, you can invite Him to live in your heart. You need to acknowledge that you are a sinner and show that you are sorry for it.  Accept that He has already died for your sins.  Accept salvation as God’s gift to you, one that you cannot earn, but is freely given. Then you can live with Him always.

When you do this, you need not worry about when the end will come.



  





Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jesus Touches People




MJ is a real person.  Her name or location is not important.  What happened to her is.

As an infant, no one touched MJ unless it was necessary.  Her mother fed her by propping a bottle with pillows.  Of course, mother bathed her and changed her but as quickly as possible.  She spent the rest of the time alone in her crib or playpen.

When she took her first steps no one picked her up when she fell.  When she was sick, she languished in her room.  No one held her or comforted her.  When bees stung her, her mother washed her and put ointment on the bites.  Then she left the child to cry herself to sleep.

MJ was underweight, skinny in fact.  She had trouble learning things as fast as other kids but she did the things normal kids do.  She attended school, had a couple of friends, went to movies, and even joined the swim team in high school.

All her life she longed for someone to touch her, hold her, say soothing words to her.  That got her into many difficulties when boys discovered her.  She liked the hugs, the kisses, and thought anything was okay when she wanted a loving touch.



One day a friend invited her to church.  Something happened there.  She met Jesus and He touched her with love unlike any she ever knew.  She heard about all the times Jesus touched someone.  She heard testimonies from people whom He touched.

Wherever He went, he touched someone, the leper, the sick, and all who sought Him. 

She heard Matthew 8:14-15 Matt 8:14-15 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.

15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose.  

She knew that the same Jesus who touched Peter's mother-in-law those many years ago also touched her in that little church.

She found the thing she searched for all her life.  She received a touch from Him and it made her whole. 

Internet searches showed her that lack of touch kept babies from thriving and they sometimes even die.  As people get older some of their senses get duller.  They don’t taste as much, have trouble hearing, and their eyesight gets duller.  Their need for touch increases as they age. She read that older people sometimes go to church just so they can shake the preacher’s hand as they leave.

She knew that only God could fill the empty space in her heart.  And He did.

 Photos from Wikimedia Commons

 by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915 -Jesus Cuddling Baby
Public Domain

Jesus and Girl

Jesus Washes Feet






Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day




God honors work.  He created the very first Job when he put Adam and Eve in charge of the Garden of Eden.  He also said that people need a day of rest, so He told them to honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy.

On Labor Day, we pause to honor the labor that built this country and the workers that strived so hard to do it.

Proverbs 14:23

King James Version (KJV)
23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
All work is honorable.

As we stop our labors for a day, let us take
time to remember all laborers and thank them
for their contributions to our country and to our
well-being.

Thank you, workers of America, labor leaders,
entrepreneurs and small business owners.  You make our lives better.  We salute you!

Have fun on the last official day of summer.  Be safe everyone!

 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Does Stuff Matter? The Woman in the Trash Can


Many people loved her. Children, grandchildren and good friends surrounded her. She loved God, her husband, and her family.

The other day, I tossed her life into the trash and recycle bins.  Greeting cards lovingly preserved, letters, numerous cards, journal entries, and pile after pile of precious photographs of her dear ones.  

Fate and circumstance reduced her long and prolific life to a pile of rubble.  Apparently no one in her family rescued these things.   I was told to get her things ready to sell but to discard the personal stuff. My heart broke for her but I could not go around crying because I threw out a picture. 

Her estate included many wonderful things including books, dishes, household goods, and a myriad of other items.   We gladly  accepted them, knowing they would be put to good use.  We were grateful that the family donated the items.

It set me to thinking of things, of stuff.  How much does it matter?  Is it important?  We all have it.  We spend our lives collecting it and stubbornly hang on to it because it belongs to us.  The Bible tells us that things are not that important.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:20-21 KJV



I know this great lady built up treasures in heaven and that is where she hid her heart.  The well used Bibles, the cards declaring love, the hymnals, church papers, and notes from friends tell me so.                         
 
Yes, it made me incredibly sad to go through her things and discard them.  However, I am happy to know that this stuff represented her well-lived life.  Also, it gave me joy to know that she built her treasures in heaven and is now enjoying her reward.  I am glad to know her through a brief look into her life. 

Stuff does matter because we need it in our daily lives.  However, it is temporary and will crumble to dust one day.  Heavenly stuff lasts forever and brings much more satisfaction and happiness. 

 Photos from Wikimedia Commons
Open Bible from Public-domain-image.com 






Saturday, August 18, 2012

Touch an Invisible Child


Everyone loves children.  Babies with wide grins and googly noises delight everyone.  Little girls exert their feminine charm all around them.  Excited little boys full of hope with pockets full of rare treasures instill confidence that there will be a future for mankind.   Families love these kids and God loves them too.

Not all children are that fortunate.  Invisible children live around the world.  Maybe you never saw them, but their tears of quiet desperation are real.

Around the world

Homeless children live in many places in America, victims of the economy or their parents’ choices.  Children of migrant workers follow the crops with their families, traveling from place to place to keep up with the growing season.  

They also include the child widows of India and Nepal, and orphan children in China. Children are afflicted with leprosy or AIDS, caught in cruel civil wars, tote guns in an army, or slowly starve.  You see their skeletal bodies and haunted eyes on telethons for child help organizations.  Some step on mines and lose limbs, so many suffering children that no one sees.  Many die before their time, unseen.

China

Children orphaned in China are considered non-persons and are invisible.  No one sees them or adopts them because they are not there.  Often raised in institutions, they are attended by insufficient staff, which leads to neglect.  Many starve for human touch and stimulation.  Some come to live as orphans and grow up and die in the institution.

The lucky ones come to the attention of foreigners who adopt them and give them a much better life.  Most do not and live desperate, wasted lives, never attending school, never learning any skills, and never daring to hope.

India

According to several Internet sources, widows in India have three choices.  They can marry their husband’s brother or live lives in social isolation and denial.  The third choice is now illegal but still happens rarely.  They can throw themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre.  These girls/women are often honored as saints.

Some child widows are as young as five, trapped in marriages arranged by the families. They face a bleak future.

What can we do?

   Everything we do makes a difference.  Cuddling a child or rocking a baby in a hospital helps to meet his need for touch, basic to survival. Praying for a child changes his life because prayer makes things happen.  

Touching a life, one life at a time, helps fulfill   the Bible’s commandment to love one another.   

Other ways


  • Sponsor a child through one of the organizations trying to save these little ones.  

  • Volunteer to help out in orphan homes overseas.

  • Let Big Brothers and Sisters pair you up with a child for mentoring and fun on a weekly basis.   

  • Friend a child near you, perhaps that of a relative or neighbor.

  • Schools often need volunteer tutors. 

  • Foster parents care for children abused, neglected, or abandoned by the parents. 

  • Consider adopting an “unadoptable child.”  They still need loving homes. 



Jesus loves the invisible children of the world. Will you touch the life of one today?  How about tomorrow?  A child is waiting.




Photos from Wikipedia Commons
First baby-Taxiarchos228
Street children of Kolkata
Woman with baby-Myles Grant