Jeremiah 16:17 
For my eyes are upon all their ways;
they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genesis 3:17 And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. 19 All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning I sat high on a hill at a local  park looking down on the lake. I looked at the old oak tree beside me and wondered how old it was. I wondered how many people had sat underneath it's shade through the years.   It was early, very quite and peaceful. Suddenly my peace was interrupted by noisy lawnmowers in use by those who upkept the park.  I got up and began to walk back to my car. As I did I  believe I startled the man who was mowing.  Just as he had popped up and interruped my peace, I guess I in turn had interrupted his. Even if his  place of peace was noisier than mine, it was still his peace. We each need to find a place to be alone with God each day and listen for Him to speak. Sometime the world has a way of trying to block our peaceruld moments with God.   Today don't allow the blockers to come in.  Find your place of peace, if only for a few minutes.

Jeremiah 16:17  For my eyes are upon all their ways;
they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.

God Blockers

Here on my computer the ads keep on popping.

I have a blocker, but the pop ups aren't stopping.

I wonder is there something more I should do.

How to stop this annoyance, I really don't have a clue.

No, I don't want to refinance my home at the lowest rate

No, I don't want to enter your sweepstakes for goodness sake.

I am not going to pay you to find my perfect mate

Do you know how long it has been since I worried about a date?

A new career now?  No, thanks it's really much too late.

Reuniting with old friends from school can wait.

I have no time for those who are already on my plate.

As I thought of my pop up blocker that never works right,

I wondered does God care about my frustration with this plight.

Does He worry about these ads without an end in sight

Maybe He says, "Hang on child, I will fix that tonight."

As I thought this very silly thought, I believe God did speak.

He said, excuse me, my children aren't silly, but some are very weak.

There is one blocker on earth that seems to be working very well.

It blocks heavenly things out and opens wide the gates of hell.

My people seem to be downloading this blocker every single day.

They go to godblocker.com and go about their merry way.

I try my best to tell them right from wrong.

I pop into their thoughts, their hearts,  and their homes.

They say, "NO, I don't want to hear any of the God-stuff  right now.

I am too busy living to let you show me how,

I should love and serve you, following your commands,

I just don't see how I can put my entire life in your hands."

There are many types of God blockers my children download and use.

Lying,lusting, lacking, loneliness, and laziness are just a few

Degradation, descension, depression, and downtroddeness also infuse

The power they give satan to torment and abuse.

The next time you worry about pop ups with viruses making your computer ill

Pray all may find the protection I offer to those who live within my will.

The next time a pop up comes on your screen as you point and click

Remember to pray against the God blockers that are making the world very sick

 

Literally

This morning on an early morning talk show an author was interviewed about a book he had written. The title, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble (humble?) Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, caught my attention.  I did watch the interview. The author, AJ Jacobs, decided to write a book of a true  life experience. He consciously created the true life  experience knowing he would write about it.  He seemed like a nice enough guy, smiling, laughing.  But what was he smiling and laughing about? God, the Bible? Yes.  Blasphemy? Possibly I suppose.

He grew a beard wore sandals and a white ("In the Bible, there's a line in Ecclesiastes that says, "Let your garments always be white." So I tried to follow that literally.") robe for a year. He changed his diet, his appearance, his lifestyle and to some degree even his way of thinking about the Bible and Christianity.  He purposely made a spectacle of himself in public to get various people's reactions.  He played instruments of Biblical times  twice a day literally(in public). (Psalm 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God upon the lyre!)  He even at one time stoned an adulterer "literally" he said.  It seems a man approached him in a park and inquired as to what he was doing. The author explained that he was attempting to follow the Bible literally.  The man  admitted to the  author that he was an adulterer. The adulterer asked,  "What are you going to do stone me?"  Jacobs threw pebbles at him. 

When asked what was the main thing he learned from this experience, the humble author said he had a rude awakening.  He was surprised at how much he sinned on a daily basis.  He said no matter how hard he tried to be  a good person and follow every rule in the Bible, even the Levitical laws such as not wearing clothing of mixed fibers, he always messed up pretty regular. Jacobs was astounded how much he sinned. When asked what "rules" he broke the most, he said, lying, gossiping, and coveting. He even admitted he had probably sinned during the interview.

The Truth that Jacobs took away from this year of trying to live it literally was this, he said, "If you take the Bible, too literally, you will miss out on the beauty."  He said he continues to honor the Sabbath day as a day or rest because he needs the rest.  He said, "Whether or not there is a God, we should be reverent of holy things." He ended the interview by saying that he learned it is important to be thankful for hundreds of little things everyday that we take for granted.

I guess if I could interview him I would want to ask who is it that he is thankful to if not God. I would ask him if he had figured out that none are good, no not one, even someone attempting to live the Bible literally, does he not then realize that he literally needs a Savior.

Mr. Jacobs said his major purpose for this project was a young son. He said when his son asked about religion he wanted to know what he should tell him. 

Today's devotional ends with this prayer request. Please pray A J Jacobs will come to a literal saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and can teach his son the beauty of our Savior who loves us so much that He came and literally died on a cross  to save us all, AJ Jacobs included.

 

 Those Annoying Itching Feet, Hands, Noses, and Twitching Eyes

 

This morning on the way to preschool my five year old grandson complained of an itching foot.  He wanted to remove socks and shoes to scratch. We were already turning in the school parking lot and I knew those shoes are no fun to put back on.  I told him the itching would soon pass (I hoped). But before I said that, without really thinking, I immediately told him what my mother used to tell me when my feet would itch, “You are going to walk on strange land.” My grandson, Jon, said, “Huh?”  When he said huh, I thought of how strange what I had said must have sounded to a five year old.  The words came out kind of automatic.  I, for the first time, I guess, also thought of how strange the words sounded to me.  I explained to him that his Mammy, who is 90, used to tell me a lot of “old sayings” when I was young.  I told him they aren’t necessarily true, the sayings are just things older people believe to be true. He then asked me does Mammy tell stories?   I told him no she really believes these things are true.  Her mother told her they were true so she believes. Jon then asked me where is it that I said his itching feet were going to walk.  I told him strange land, a place he has never been before. He said, “Oh.” I took Jon in to school and told him bye.  The itching must have passed, because he didn’t mention it anymore. Perhaps he didn’t mention it because he didn’t want his feet to go on strange land today.

 

As I drove away,   I  thought of Jon asking me if these sayings were lies, and  how I had told him Mammy believed them to be true,  I thought of a scripture that tells us if we believe lies we will be condemned.

 

So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies. Then they will be condemned for not believing the truth.   2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

 

 I continued to think of other old sayings my mother had told me when I was young, concentrating mostly on the ones that concerned itching.

“If the palm of your right hand itches you are going to receive a lot of money. If your nose itches, someone is coming.  If your eye twitches, the devil is thinking of you.”  

 

Uh-oh I wondered was he thinking of me remembering all these lies that I once believed to be truth that are still so embedded in my mind that the words still come out sometime without me even realizing what I am saying. I know the Bible tells us that some will look for those who will say whatever their itching ears want to hear. I certainly don’t want to be one of those people.  I don’t want to be a bearer of news some bad, some good, that isn’t true.

 

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables- II Timothy 4

 

 The song came to mind, Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear. And to that I add be careful what you speak and what you believe. The world, with a lot of five year olds in it, is listening to what we say

 

As for those old sayings, the next time they come to my mind, I will take lies which are meant for evil and turn them to TRUTH which is  good. 

If my feet itch it will remind me to pray that my feet will travel many new places to spread His truth.   If my palm should itch I will pray money will come that I can use to further His Kingdom.  When my noses itches it can be a reminder that JESUS is coming soon and I want to make sure I am found ready. As for my eye twitching, if the devil is thinking of me, GREAT!!!  I hope he thinks of me often and trembles every time I speak the name of Jesus Christ.

 What If?

Last week an upcoming outreach event was discussed. I asked were we going ahead with the planned event 'even if' by the date arrived next week no one had volunteered to help.  I was told yes. I think my question was somewhat misunderstood as being a 'what if' question, a negative question,  other than an 'even if' positive question.  There is a difference you know. If we ask what if when there is no visible evidence of the if thing coming to be we are speaking negative, speaking unwanted circumstances into existence so to speak. If we ask even if, that means if the evidence is already visible and the unwanted circumstance has already occurred are we moving forward anyway?  Everything will be ok, No matter what, let the chips  fall where they may, full steam ahead, one way or the other, make the most of what you got, understand?

As I thought of even ifs and what ifs on today which is the first day of the week which holds the day marking my thirty first wedding anniversary, I  did think what if for a moment and then moved quickly ahead to  even if.

Here is a poem I wrote to my husband as an eighteen year old newly wed of three whole months thirty one years ago.  This poem truly demonstrates the difference between even ifs and what ifs in my life and in everyone's I think. It took me way back in time and made me smile when I read this today. I hope it makes you smile as well.

Even If

Even if I burn the beans,
Even if I can't iron your jeans,
Even if I say some things I shouldn't say.
Will you still love me anyway?

Even if I can't cook chicken right,
Even if I keep you up too late at night,
Even if I let a few tears start flowing,
Is your love for me still growing?

Even if I want you with me all the time,
Even if for me on a coke you spend your last dime,
Even if I forget to make your coffee,
Is there still love in your heart for me?

Even if I follow you around like a pup,
Even if I broke your favorite cup,
Even if your socks I don't know how to mend,
Please don't let your love for me end.

For even if your nails you bite,
Even if you talk to friends all night,
Even if you get mad at me and such,
I still love you just as much.

For the love we have is very strong,
Enough to last a lifetime long.
Even if you don't understand this poem or me,
Your loving wife forever I will be.

by Judy Parker
January 26,1977

As you experience even if moments in your life, pray they will always have a positive outcome. Don't ask what if. Just say "Even if, I will continue on and  move forward."  
 
Bussiness Man
 
Fruit Produced, Thorns Left Behind
 
This weekend was a busy one for the outreach and children's ministry at church. We had a Fall Festival for about 100 people, children and parents as well, at an apartment complex. We had 108 hot dogs gone, so that is how we got our unofficial count.  Then on Sunday evening we had a Fall Festival for the kids at our church. We officially counted 35 there. We actually got them still at one point long enough to count them.  This morning I got up thinking of the festivities, happy, but I will admit just a little tired. 
 
I thought of all the work we put into these events and I thought of the fruits of the labor.  It really was worth every bit of the work. Everyone had a great time. The people at the apartments, I believe, really saw the love of Christ in action.  The children at our church learned we can have fun in Christ. I think the older kids learned we really do care about them. They realize we are trying to give them an opportunity to have fun while staying clear of the not so fun paths the world  attempts to call them, and all of us to at times.
 
There is fun available in Christ to all of us, old and young alike. But we sometime do have to work to create the fun.  In Genesis God did tell Adam that man is destined to work. He did tell us there would be some thorns in our lives. Adam was told he would have to sweat to produce fruit.  That is true of the literal fruit that we eat, as well as the fruit we bear in our daily lives for Christ.
 
My friend Cheryl called this morning and we shared our experiences of the past weekend with each other. Cheryl told me that her husband, Jack, has owned a kayak  for about a year and he finally took out this weekend.  She told him if he was going to keep the  kayak, he was going to have to use it. He did.  Attached is a picture of him going over the falls perfectly on his very first try. Cheryl was glad she pushed him to try this new experience this weekend. Yes, it was work, but it produced a lot of fun for Jack, and for Cheryl and Kile as well who stood at the bottom of the falls cheering him on. 
 
While we were talking, Cheryl also told me a story of someone, or something, actually, being pushed as well. When a mother eagle builds a nest,  it seems they put thorns at the bottom. The thorns are then covered with softer materials.  When the babies get older, the soft covering is removed.  When the baby eagles feel the thorns, they get uncomfortable to say the least. They move to the edge of the nest.  They then go to work.  They learn to fly.The thorns produced the fruit.  Oh, and I suppose the mother eagle probably stands below cheering them on as well.
 
Today remember yes, life is work, but the work does produce fruit that is sometimes really fun.  Also remember, when you get uncomfortable sitting on those thorns, perhaps God put them there to get you to try flying.  The baby eagles tried flying over the edge of the nest; that worked out pretty good.  Jack tried kayaking over the falls; he loved it.  Our ministry team tried stepping out in faith this weekend to make someone's day a little  brighter; it was a really bright day.
 
Leave the thorns, work a little, produce some fruit. There will be someone cheering you on.