“I long to see you that I may impart some spiritual gift to make you strong.” Romans 1:11
“Today is God’s gift to me. What I do with it is my gift to God.” I read this quote the other day and it really got me thinking. God loves us and wants us to live a full and abundant life. But what we make of each day is very important. Only a handful of others actually make an impact on the lives of others. Most people seem ok with living a mediocre life. Getting up, going to work, doing my thing, resting and going to bed just to do the same thing all over tomorrow. This seems to be enough for the majority. That’s how my life went along while my kids lived at home. Oh, I always strived to be a supermom. I wanted to make a difference in their lives because they meant so much to me. I made time for school parties and field trips. I was homeroom mom and tried to be involved. We were involved with church so I helped with youth activities and sent my kids to church camp. Now my daughters are grown and have kids of their own. They are the same way or maybe better than I was. All of my kids are still active in their churches. So this really was important. The point I’m making is that I did this because I loved them. Now that I am alone living in a nursing home and retired I have time for my new love. Since 2013 when I went after all I could get of him I have been falling more and more in love. Now I want to do all I can for Jesus. Even if you are not retired I believe you can make time for what you are passionate about. Some make music, some paint, some watch old movies or run/exercise. At this point in my life I guess I thought about finishing my race and finishing it well. We are told to run the race to win. That’s what I want. I’m now busier at times than I was back then. But I tell myself often that I am doing it all for the Lord. I write every afternoon and sometimes at night. The Lord has given me spiritual gifts to help me do what he has called me to do. He has called me to write. And thanks to him and his good gifts I am good at it. I read what I have written and know that it is him and not me because it’s inspiring. Each day I thank him for gifts of wisdom, knowledge, discernment and faith because they have helped me do all that I do even better. I teach a Bibletime where I live and help out as the resident council President because this is my new family and I love them too. So do all you can for those you love. And that should include everyone. Live a full life. Life is what you make of it.
How is your race going?
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31 NIV
What is it to be a disciple? A person who is an adherent of the doctrines of another. To be taught and trained. That can be anyone you long to be like. A parent who teaches you how to live, a teacher who teaches knowledge, a coach who teaches athletic ability and a policeman who teaches laws. That is a very small list and so may people can impact your life causing you to want to be like them. To emulate them. But none of those people are perfect everyone has faults. We all will one day die and then no one will long to be like us anymore. Even many so called gods will die or have died. But my Jesus is alive. He lives in everyone who believes in him. If you are one of those people then you know that you have been set free and the love you feel is undeniable. You no longer live to please yourself. That no longer seems that important to you. You live to serve your savior Jesus Christ. Doing things he told us to do and things his father told us to do. Following their doctrines is now a priority. We have their spirit living in us to help us we do not do it on our own. Through thick and through thin they are there. This spirit speaks to our hearts and gives us the strength to do good deeds and be more like Jesus. The more you look like Jesus the more you long to be that way because peace comes over your life. This is a far cry from the happiness you might feel when you get what you want your way. This is a joy that is hard to explain. We all will follow something or someone in our life. I decided to follow Jesus because he gives back so much more. Some follow just because they want eternal life, life in heaven after this life is over, and that goes on forever. The fact that they were set free from sin and so much else is a great side benefit. Now all the hard stuff doesn’t seem so hard anymore and someone is with us through it all. We don’t need to please anyone but our king we know we aren’t perfect and that’s ok. Our God loves us just as much either way, nothing we do could ever keep him from loving us just as much. I know I have made mistakes and felt bad about them but I run to God and tell him I am sorry and he is glad to forgive me. I will always follow him for so many reasons.
Who are you a disciple of?
“My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long – though I know not how to relate them all.” Psalm 71:15 NIV
Oh, I know my God lives. What proof do I have? It is hard to explain. God has become so real to me in the last few years and I just want to scream of his excellent greatness. I see the stars at night and I think of the many galaxies and each star, comet and asteroid. How the Earth continues to orbit at just the correct axis so we nether freeze nor burn up. How the wind blows around the Earth bringing with it continued seasons and moisture. The beautiful greens and colors of plants and flowers to enjoy, not just for food but plants for pleasure. Like a red rose from a spouse. Plants for medicines and healing. Animals of all shapes and sizes, many different colors and many different characteristics. Look at a sloth so lazy and slow or a hedgehog all curled up in a tiny little ball. We got to have a petting zoo come out to our care home last month and they brought so many different exotic animals and had them in a great big playpen together. It was fun to see how they all got along together so well. I got to hold so many strange and different animals. You know God did not just make necessary and important animals, but I think he really had fun coming up with funny looking, strange, beautiful, and amazingly unique animals. I love to watch animal shows. I learn so much from them. My favorite was funny friends where a horse and a chicken were best friends. The chicken loved to ride around on his back everywhere he went. Just like people they had very strong bonds but didn’t care that they were different. Animals can do so many amazing things. Then there are humans. Our bodies are unbelievably technical but so adaptable. This week I watched a video about a woman who was born with no arms who got her pilots license. She flew small planes with her feet. I used to be a pilot so I know how so much happens at once. It must have been so difficult for her at first. She used her legs and feet for everything. Look at great minds and all they have done for our world. Doctors and inventors, mathematicians and astronauts. We have come so far but I give all the credit to my awesome God. I have found so much joy in praying for others and seeing some extraordinary answers to those prayers. We all go through so many hard times but when answers finally come after some time it can bring such joy. Like the movie ‘Breakthrough ‘, which I highly recommend. Where a young boy falls through ice and drowns. But comes back to life as if nothing had happened. A true story. God is the only answer for such miracles. If you don’t know him you are really missing out.
Would you like to know more?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord'”Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven .” Matthew 7:21 NIV
We are all on a journey. Each and everyone of us who are alive are on this journey to discover first ourselves, then God, and the true meaning to this life we have been given. This life is but a snapshot of the long journey we are on. Our life here is approximately 80 years. Some more, some less. But it is very brief compared to forever. We all go somewhere after this life is over. That is determined by the small life we live here. To describe eternity is difficult. Throughout this life God is always calling us. Whether you were born into a Christian Family that went to church every Sunday, or were born to a Muslim family or a non-religious family who did not go to church. You are given life by God and he loves you. Everything around you tells of his glory the fact that there is a great creator is around us daily in all we do. You will know someone who knows Jesus. And will hear about him. But whether you accept or reject these feelings is up to you. You will make a decision to believe or not. If you don’t want to think about it you have already made your decision to reject Jesus. Back to eternity. Heaven will be a wonderful place. There will be no pain or trials anymore . Everyone will have perfect bodies and perfect minds able to know everyone by sight even people you have never met. Like Moses, King David, or the Apostle Paul. It will be a perfect joyous place. Where your happiest memory on earth is just multiplied and goes on and on forever. Or darkness and isolation , surrounded by flames of fire closing in on you all around. Fire that touches and smells overwhelming you but never consuming and never ending. There will be no parties in heaven and your friends may be there but you will never know because you are isolated. No one to hear your cries. How we live our lives and where our heart lies is so important. The only way to heaven is to let go of your past, your pride, your hurts, hate, anger and reach out to Jesus he is the only way. He is already reaching out to you. He knows you are lost and since all man has sinned we are separated from God. We need a savior to forgive us. He will with just a word. Then you can know what it is to really live. Blessed and loved. Forever.
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” Proverbs 23:13+14 NIV
Children need discipline to teach them respect and good character. The world has tried to tell parents that discipline is bad and can break the spirit of a child. But I see a world where chaos is the norm and respect and good values are gone. With everyone doing what they want and not caring about others. It really doesn’t matter how old you are. Everyone needs guidelines and it takes everyone to be willing to help others grow in their character. We learn best by example. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I know at 45 when I had my stroke I had a difficult time adjusting to my new way of living. It has taken me fourteen years so far and I am still trying to improve my character. I like the chapter of Psalms 23 about the shepherd leading his sheep in the way they should go. Anyone who cares about people can be a shepherd. We need each other to care enough about each other to lead and encourage each other in good character. No matter how old we get there is always growing we can go through because God is not through with us till we take our last breath. When people work together they make each other better if they truly care. Children need more work, it takes a community to raise a child. They have mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents . Aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Teachers, coaches, ministers, and Sunday school teachers. As kids their greatest need is to be loved and accepted for who they are. They are wanting to be someone important. I guess that’s what we all really want. Older people get to a point where they don’t really need that validation anymore. At some point they accept who they are and why they are how they are. It’s very important to get to a place where you can love who you are and who you have become. Not needing to feel the acceptance of others to know that your life matters. Being there for others helps you get there. If a child is trained up and disciplined well by all those influencing their lives they won’t stray from it when they are older. Hopefully their character will be strong and they will help instill good character into others also. That is how this world should work.
Can you help to be a character builder in others?
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple; God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV
We are made in the image of God. Therefore we have everything available to us to be holy. This is not something we can do on our own though. It takes God’s help, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us guiding and leading us. When we let the world lead us that is where we go wrong. The world cares more about meeting and fulfilling our sinful nature rather than God’s desires. We need to remember that God is watching and knows our every thought. Do we want him with us in everything we do. If you are a born again Christian he is. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. Before my stroke I was living a worldly life. Doing whatever I wanted. I look back on my life then and wince. God was right there with me. I ate whatever I wanted. I drank and partied whenever I wanted. I hung out with whomever I wanted. I know my behavior hurt God and was not good for me. Living for the moments gratification is not good. People eat too much, drink too much, and don’t generally take very good care of themselves. Our physical bodies pay, but our spiritual bodies pay even more. I was far from God. I thought I was living. I now know that it was a shallow life. It would satisfy for a few minutes, or help me to forget my problems temporarily, but they weren’t gone just hidden. People who get involved with many addictions can tell you they help for a time. But your life is still there and the addictions can spiral. They get stronger and you get weaker. You have less and less control over your life. I also worked a lot. I would feel the need to work even on the weekends and would miss church. You think you are doing the right thing. It’s my job right? I have responsibilities and bills. I worked with my husband so I felt I needed to be there for him. These were all deceptions of the enemy. I believe my stroke was a wake up call. I almost died and I was not where I should have been. I didn’t die though because God knew just where I was headed and he knew the best was yet to come. And he knew all I would do for him. He didn’t give up on me and he won’t give up on you.
Are you living a life worthy of all you have been given?
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.” Nahum 1;7-8 NIVp
God is good. He cares for his children and always hears when we cry out to him. He does not like to see his children hurting. Especially at the hand of wicked and evil people. That’s how he is , He always brings punishment on those who are evil, sinners. Eventually judgement will come. Nineveh was a very worldly and corrupt city. Their reputation preceded them. That is why God asked Jonah to prophesy the destruction he had for them. But Jonah said no way and ran the other way. God sent a big storm to follow him . God always knows what we are up to. You can not hide from God. When the people found out he was running away from God they had no choice but to get him out of their ship. They still cried out to God to forgive them for throwing him overboard. But the minute he was out of the ship the seas grew calm. God is powerful. They were stunned. Well we all know what happened next. After three days in the belly of a fish yelling at God he agreed to go to Nineveh . He had not wanted to go because he knew God to be very merciful and loving. He knew if he warned them then they would cry out to Him and he would stop from sending judgement . They were so wicked that he thought they should pay. Well the minute he agreed to go, poof, he was on dry land. He headed for Nineveh and poured his heart out to the people letting them know all God had told him. Well you know what happened? They cried out to God for forgiveness and turned from their evil. And he forgave them. Jonah knew it. He was so upset he went just outside the city and sat down to pout. “Just kill me, I knew you would do that. I would be better off dead.,” he said. Well God let him sit there and fume for a while, but God sent a plant to grow up over his head to shield him from the burning sun. The next day when he woke up a worm came munching on that plant and it died. Well now Jonah was real mad. But God asked him why he was so angry? You didn’t make that plant. It was just an old plant so why should you care. You see that city is full of thousands of people that I made. Some were good and some were bad but I loved them. That’s why I had to warn them. Even when we are evil sinners. God still cares about us. If you come to Him and ask him to forgive you for bad tings you have done, even if they are really bad. If you are sorry for those sins he will forgive you.
Don’t you want to be on God’s side?