I have a rose bush in my front yard that is covered with flowers and will be beautiful in a few days. Last year when it grew such long branches I thought it should be cut back, but in lieu of knowing exactly how I was supposed to do it I did not do it. (Maybe there are times when waiting on the Lord and letting Him do are appropriate.) The interesting thing about that bush is that three years ago my neighbor killed it with weed killer. Next to the bush in their share of the yard was some grass that she wanted to get rid of. As she sprayed the roundup on her grass the wind blew it and all but destroyed the roses. It then was under a pear tree and was not thriving as it is now in full sun. We had the pear tree removed because it was about to fill the power lines and the power company offered to take it out. Since the thing smelled badly in the spring, (even though it had beautiful flowers) and they often split if they are pruned to severely, which is what the power company wanted to do to it, we elected to have it removed.(we inherited the tree and roses with our house) The tree roots were also digging up the driveway. That is another story.
When you trust God enough you can see that everything that happens, although He does not cause it He teaches us through our circumstances. Since I learned and am still learning this year that He is more concerned with our righteousness (which becomes beauty) than our happiness. I felt like the Lord was showing me through the rose, that He can take something that appears a lost cause and may even be dead to all appearances and bring it to a beauty that we can only dream about. Isaiah 61:3 “and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
For me that also helped me understand how He wants us to die to our self and selfishness because who He created us to be has a chance to become, and it is so much more beautiful than what we create in ourselves without God.
If you live in the Atlanta, Ga. area there is a restoring ministry called Oaksofrighteousness.org that is all about inner healing.
We live in a world of so much information it is easy to get Info overload. The great thing about the internet is that you can look up almost anything. The bad news about the internet is the same thing.
Gone are the days that if it is in print we can trust the information.
First rule in information is look at the source.
When it is not clear continue until you find information
that has a source.
Anybody with a bit of time can print and post online.
Consider that Wikipedia is a compilation of whoever takes the time to post. We can make a page on you and not put a bit of truth in it, so too all the posts. Some would not consider that even a source anymore.
If we are what we eat then that is one of the most important things we can talk about. We are physical and spiritual beings. Consider that in the “old” days simpler was better. People have survived on little food and simple diets. I heard a nutrition speaker one time and she lived in the Masai tribe because she was studying about the healthiest people in the world. They ate a handful of corn and drank cows milk mixed with blood. She had an allergy to corn and did only the cows milk for the blood was out of the question for her. By the end of two weeks she could eat the corn and all her diseases of allergies went away. I read that some of the prisoners during WW ll only had turnips to eat. They ate the tops, bottoms and dirt and they not only survived but a lot of the European disease left them, only to come back when they were rescued and were able to eat again the rich white foods, they had in the past.
One dentist had set out to study different groups and their teeth. He ended up noticing the difference in teeth and the diets. All the healthy groups ate many different foods and combinations but they ate mainly fresh foods, and that seemed to be the difference. Now we have such variety available it is a choice and a confusion. The best advice is to shop on the outskirts of the stores, so that everything is grown not processed. Then you ask about chemicals on and in the foods. Organic choices are often much more expensive, but in some food that contain the most of the bad chemicals it may be worth it. I used to be a big believer in juice but I think the processing that it takes for juice may make that a questionable “new” product and it is much better to eat the fruit with the fiber as well. I have seen over the years a lot of tooth decay because of juice.
Is it possible that on Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras, the Lord may be grieved. If He had disdain for us that so many put on the Lord, He might rejoice that tonight and for weeks before the Lenten holiday people will destroy themselves with sin. By the way, the only thing that Mardi Gras was stopped for was two world wars, enough sin going on there.
Ok, if you were a parent and you told your child that on Friday we will sit down and list all the bad things that you have done. Because I love you I want you to understand what those things are bad for you and how they have harmed you. Then because I have unconditional love for you I want you to know that I will forgive you. We will try to figure out better behavior that will keep you safe and will not make you sick.
But oh, if you have chopped your hand off with that axe I told you not to play with, or you have lung cancer cause I told you not to damage your body, well there is still a consequence to that. You cannot breath and you have no hand. So was that binge of revelry and ultimate rebellion even close to worth the loss of your hand, or the person that you harmed because you got so drunk in your blackout you raped a little girl by the name of Suzy. Was all that momentary supposed pleasure, that soon turns to vomiting and massive headaches even remotely resemble fun now?
If you are a parent can you even begin to imagine why this child that you love more than anything else wants to incessantly choose behavior that will hurt themselves and others.
Does the depravity and craziness of a debauching week or month or lifetime make any sense when you are on the outside looking in. I spent many years as a bartender and unfortunately to the bar help the drunk is never cute, or funny, just sad and pathetic…
So God does not want you to choose that and I DARE say that He is probably very sad that the Catholic church (pope Gregory X111 in 1582 made fat tues, the tues before ash wednesday) began the start of lent by spending weeks before practicing sin, as if we need practice…And the point was leading up to the biggest gift mankind received Jesus the Risen Lord on Easter. Boy, Satan has sure usurped that one in Mardi Gras. 🙂
I have two grandchildren that live near me. Staying close to them is an easy thing, they come over several times a week. We go to the park and we go swimming and we go many places. I am always searching for things that we can go and do that does not cost us much to do. We live in Atlanta, Ga. area and there are many things to do that cost plenty of money. In the indoor days there are many creative things to do, but that is another topic.
Today I want to talk about the five grandchildren that are about a seven hour drive away.
We make as many trips as we can afford right now and often are taking long weekends to do that. That is great , but in lieu of that we are experimenting with other ways. The oldest son is ten and he is typing and now attempting email through his mom’s email. I am working on getting my son to hook up a camera to do skype. One of my patients said that her grandchild knew her after watching her on skype. The baby knew her voice and face and they actually had a great time when they finally met because of those connections.
I still believe in snail mail especially when we are trying to make new connections with children. There is nothing like a small hand written note that you could reread time after time or pictures to send and I like to include stickers that you can buy at a big lots cheap or a dollar type store.
You can have several little things that you could put in the flat envelopes so you don’t have to spend a lot on shipping. I do know that a small shipping fee may be worth putting a bunch of little trinkets wrapped in a box. When my children were young my Mom always sent so many little things to the kids that often were of less value than the cost of the box mailing. To this day my adult children remember the effort that she made to think of them on holidays. They knew she did not have much money or spend a lot to let them know she wanted connection with them. With talking, and texting, mail, email, facebook,
Twitter, there are lots of electronic methods to keep in touch. The main thing is to keep in touch. Being a grandma is the best.
New Years day has come and gone. Since I have moved around the United States and lived in different places I have made notes on the different new year celebrations. Some people eat black eyed peas and cabbage. In the south collard greens are a special treat and normally easy to come by even in the beginning of winter.
In NW Arkansas they had to have cabbage and corned beef. Certain foods would indicate good luck if you ate them the first day of the year. I live in Atlanta, a very cosmopolitan, international, city, and I have the privilege of meeting people from all over the world. As I learn about other people and their way of celebrating different things I learned that not every one has the same new year. My Chinese Student friends have a new year shortly after the calendar new year we celebrate. In 2011 it is Feb 3 and the year of the rabbit. Apparently they have a very old calendar and base it on the lunar cycles so it changes all the time. So I can commemorate new year again. Then my Iranian boss celebrates on the spring solstice often at Sunday 2:oopm March 20.
Ah and then in the fall the Jewish new year begins September 28 2011 at sundown. Let’s see, that makes, one two, three, four, new starts. Each one has a different way of celebrating although I enjoy the ones that include food, so many different types of that. Then there can be new goals, new guidance, new excitement.
One of my favorite scripture that allows me to have a renewed mercy every morning is lamentations 3:20-23(amplified version)
But this I recall, and therefore I have hope and expectation: It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving kindness that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions (mercy) never fail. They are new every morning, great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
As I meet the one true Jesus in the morning with worship to commune with His father, I am reminded that I have a new chance every morning (or whenever I ask) for new mercy and forgiveness anytime I have the courage to repent, forgive and be forgiven. Lots of chance for new beginnings.
The Christmas tree is put away, the bells and stars are in the box, but the angel is still on the fireplace. Ever since we found a fun angel to inspire the grandchildren I do not put that away. And of course the one string of lights on the balcony stays up for an occasional treat with the grandkids to get a little Christmas spirit in between times.(OK. They could have been talking about me when they sang a country song about leaving the porch lights up all year. I would do that but my husband put the lights away without me L) So this year all four of my children got together with seven grandchildren and all the effort and cooking and planning became a sweet treat to me and my husband. On Christmas morning with my oldest sons four babies, the four year old put a bow on my robe and said to me “Nana, you are my Christmas present.” I have replayed those word in my head and treasured the sweet smile and voice that gave me acceptance and love with no expectation in return.I was just doing a study on Worship, allowing our Father spirit to spirit to know we love and value the most significant thing in life, our relationship to the creator. As we fast the first 21 days of 2011 we are acknowledging an importance to be in relationship with our Lord as the most important thing that we do. One song I sing says, You(God) are the air that I breathe. In the article I read that God is waiting for us to worship Him spontaneously with a response maybe a bit like the thrill that I got from my grandson. Time together was the gift. So I began to think if I come to the Creator I love so much enough, No never enough. But if I can just worship as I wake each day and consider that He is the first and last thing I want to do with my day I believe that I will have and continue to have a grasp on the grace (rivers of joy unleashed in my heart..) that He promises us as believers. What a great exchange
The first attack line of Satan is through lies (strongholds) that are designed to capture the mind and then the souls of men. When Christ enters our life He inhabits the heart or inner being of man. For us to surrender to Him to be Lord over all of us through His Godly design, His spirit has to move through our soul. When the soul is filled with lies of the mind it will derail Christians every time.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. “ 2 Corinthians 3-5 (NIV translation)
Strongholds are ways or lies we have developed that keep our inner man in bondage to self. There is a national stronghold in teaching a half gospel that came about between the war of 1812 and the beginning of WW1. As Americans began to move west the Holy spirit devised a way to reach people on the go. Drive the people into the arms of a loving Jesus through whom we can have forgiveness and redemption, through crying out and fear. Revival teaching that got perverted into not including the fact that being born anew does not end the reformation of character but is the beginning . Wesley knew born again believers needed to be disciplined and reshaped into Christian born again values and inner heart transformation. Those followers became known as Methodists because they insisted on a strict program for sanctification.
We are called to “work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).“ Philippians 2:12 Amplified Bible The teaching makes an idol of the salvation experience. We are positionally changed but still have the work of “3 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. ““ Luke 9:23 (NIV)
So the warning in Hebrew “12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Heb3:12 (NIV). We must be looking at our heart with Jesus’ help because although we may know it there are many times the lies in our hearts are hidden so deep and begun in our early life that they are in the subconscious. Also the Bible tells us the heart is deceitful so only Jesus with our honest request will reveal the heart to us, but gently and lovingly forgive a repentant heart. So the work of repenting and forgiving (God of us) and us of others and ourselves is the beginning of working out our transformed heart.
Halloween is an interesting controversy in the lives of Christians. It is reported today that it was not really as widely celebrated in early America, considering many of the early colonies were found on Christian guidelines and principles. The fear that witchcraft was real allowed for the Salem witch hunting to rise to large degrees. Today 100 million Americans practice occult behaviors. In one survey it was found that 67% of Americans believe in the supernatural and 42% think they have spoken to someone who died.
Demons masquerade as the dead. Openness to the occult are created by excessive fascination and involvement in the spirit world. Beliefs make all the difference. Christ calls us to take every thought captive.
I believe God has put in each of us an interest in the spiritual because as we are created in His image we are spirit, soul and body. That hunger can drive us to many wrong places and we get lost. The sorcery warning in the Bible actually comes from a Greek word Pharmacia that means druggist, poisoner. I can tell you from personal experience that the drug world(including alcohol, etc.) can open your mind to confusion, and open doors to the occult. Many of the gruesome murders in the past can be linked to drugs. The current issue in the west with Mexican drug wars are exactly related to the evil part of drugs. It is not all about the illegality of it .
Seeking out of divination, reincarnation, and paganism are all open doors to the demonic. A true understanding can be extrapolated by studying the scripture.
A great deception around today is that all people have psychic powers like another sense and development is like being able to see. There is a lot of studying about spiritual gifts in the scripture. There is a gifting of spiritual things by God but satan is the great deceiver and he wants to mimic everything of God. One scripture to explain that is found in Acts 16
“16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her..” Acts 16:16-18
Another deception is that there is good magic and bad magic. The interfacing of all this confusion is so blatant even down to the children’s cartoons it is important for us to understand the truth and teach it to our children. This season is a great time to teach what we believe to our children. The fact is that so many, even “Christians”, those who claim to know Christ, have misconceptions and confusion.
Halloween is a special day for the chance of bringing occult into the average peoples lives. There is a quest on the part of many to know the future and walking by faith is trusting God without knowing the future. Many doors are open when people seek to know the future. Do not play with the occult because there is more danger there than you know.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2Timothys 2:15 Study the Bible for yourself and seek the truth. Do not be afraid , but understand what God says about the occult and have a real relationship through Jesus to understand what you want your children to know about this time of year. A could source for scriptural study is Khourse.org. This week there are some audio teachings to help in your research.
Deanna Favre wrote a book with a pastor. The Cure for the Chronic Life. She is in the news right now because her husband is for possible infidelity or at least disloyal behavior. It is great that people everywhere want to help share their ways of going through struggles. It seems obvious that the struggle with discussing faith in public(in the USA) requires people to quietly leave out the name of Jesus in the public discussion. Is it just a trick to get people to read and understand the possibility of a spirit that can actually be a part of the character of a man. Heavy stuff and I realize that in the world of sound bites it is hard to really represent Jesus with a sound bite. But it is apparent that here could be power in the name itself or it would not be so conspicuosly be left out of public discussions. People get upset when you say the name of Jesus. Having a relationship with our creator through the son Jesus Christ is a concept hard to understand to those that are not given the measure of faith to hear and believe. If the name itself is a part of the power would not the mere mention of the name claim those that have ” ears to hear.” It seems so in other cultures world wide but then I expect that there is a method to the madness in our culture that claims to be more politically or socially correct not to say His name because that may be what makes the different in listening or not. Could it be the strategy of those who want to stop Jesus from being preached. Eventually when you get to that point it will be the name that makes or breaks the relationship. I would like to hear from you on whether the name or not should be left out and the word faith used entice people into looking at what it is that helps people go through the trials of life. When I am in trouble, hurting or have need of help it is the name of Jesus and a true relationship with Jesus that really makes my faith.
Ok grandmothers and parents alike. It is harvest time and how do you want to teach little ones the beauty of celebrating bounty? The goal for me was to teach thankfulness for food and how we can turn crops into goodies to eat.
I am always looking for opportunities to teach the children the miracle of plants because there is nothing more miraculous than a seed. (Animal seeds too) A tiny thing provides all the directions for a duplicate and multiplying food producer. One tiny tomatoes seed made a one half bushel of tomatoes for us in dry weather and excessive heat conditions. Imagine if the conditions were more perfect, what can happen. So even though we live in a city the project was harvest. The local church had a pumpkin fund raiser. The boys (ages five and three) had as much fun with the wagon as the pumpkin. So we pulled the wagon and compared sizes. The pumpkins were marked so we picked out the pumpkin and pulled the wagon to the place to see what size to figure out what price.(a little math lesson)
When we got home the boys helped me crumple up newspaper and fill some clothes to make a scarecrow. They learned what is a scarecrow and why do you have to scare crows. The pumpkin was hallowed out and about 2 cups of pumpkin came out of the extra inside.
This week we are making pumpkin puree and muffins to see about how this pumpkin turned into food. As we cut a scary face and lit it I taught the boys my understanding of evil and good and how I depend on Jesus when I am afraid , great teaching moment. The large pumpkins cost five dollars. The scarecrow cost nothing. The time together was priceless. So free and cheap ideas boil down to teaching our children what we know and believe. In a survey of many children of all ages the thing they most wanted from the adults in their lives was to spend time with them, imagine that. Most of all spending time with them teaches them that we prize our relationship with them.
Wisdom for life, health and relationships- what really matters