Monday, August 22, 2016

The Uncomfortable Word

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (KJV) 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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

I've had a lot of mammograms. Some women say they are uncomfortable--even painful. A few moments of mild discomfort. When I get the results and know that I am truly clear and clean of any disease, it's so worth it.

Sitting in the pew on Sunday morning, we tend to squirm in our seats when the preacher says something that pricks our conscience. We believe we keep our sins secret; no one can see what we do. But when the Word uncovers our shame, our pride is wounded and tender. Strong medicine is the only thing that kills what ails you--sin.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


The Bible is meant to reprove and rebuke sinners, and to tell the truth; no matter the pain. It is a mirror. The Word should be an encouragement to our souls, but it must also shine a light on the dark places where we hide our pet transgressions.

As Christ Followers, we must be willing to do the hard work of cleaning every dark and dirty corner of our lives--with His Word as the cleanser.

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Notable Quote:

"The Bible is God's chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars."--Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Inconvenient Jesus



It is inconvenient to get up before 10 a.m. every Sunday morning, shower, dress and leave the house. How easy it would be to sleep in, read the paper and eat brunch.

How many times do we rise early on a Sunday, pack up the family, and head for the lake for a day of fishing, boating and swimming? We soothe our spirits by saying we can worship God wherever we are and being outdoors in His creation is worship enough? God’s Word says otherwise, by the way.

In times past, Christians were burned at the stake or fed to the lions for sharing their faith; and yet they were obedient to the Gospel and spoke out. Modern-day followers are concerned with being culturally insensitive. Let’s face it—it is scary to witness Jesus. We risk losing credibility and acceptance.

The Gospel of Christ is inconvenient. Talking about Jesus “gets in the way” of normal conversation, we say. We don’t want to offend anyone, we say. Yet we use His name in vain and tell offensive jokes, without caution.

Colossians 4:5-6 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
It is best to follow Christ’s example; be soft-spoken, open-hearted and a good listener when witnessing to unbelievers. If they can sense our genuine love, it could move them closer to Jesus, rather than pounding them over the head with a Bible.

We represent Jesus in this world and the best way to share His Gospel with others is by telling them what He has done for us. Did He change your life? Why keep it to yourself?

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Female in Motion Health Update: Our household has been playing tag-team health crisis lately. My medical tests came back normal, although I am having some minor premature ventricular contractions, due to stress. I was advised to increase my exercise and decrease caffeine. The Hubster has been suffering from an upper-respiratory infection that suddenly worsened over the weekend. We took him to the ER, where he received IV fluids, breathing treatments, blood work and chest x-rays. Praise God, he does not have pneumonia again. He will have to take another week off work and rest. We covet your prayers.

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Notable Quote:

"Let's be honest--the gospel of Christ is offensive. It tells the most religious that even on their best days, they're just whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones. It calls both the morally corrupt and seemingly morally elite to a place of humility and dependence on God."--Jeff Goins

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Irrelevant Jesus

I was so excited that the new family moving in across the street had a daughter. Marching across the street, I introduced myself and we quickly became friends. That spring, we rode bikes and walked to school and played records and did everything together--just her and I.

And then we went to summer camp. Soon after arrival, I realized that all the other kids in our group already knew my friend. And that's when I found out that my services as friend were no longer needed. I was irrelevant.

Isaiah 29:13 (KJV) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 

What does Jesus have to do with our lives today? Is He, and His Gospel, relevant to us? How often do I truly consider Him? When was the last time I thought of what God would say about my TV viewing habits? Or my conversations with friends?

How often do I go through the motions of church, without true worship of the Creator of the universe? Are we simply doing lip service to our Lord, or are our hearts full of His praise?

American society has pushed Jesus out of education, government, entertainment, culture and work. We are audacious enough to believe we can handle our lives on our own. It is a fool's delusion.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to bring Him back into the converation. We have a Creator; we have a Savior. We must tell our stories; we must tell His story.

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Female in Motion Health Update: After routine visits to my oncologist and family physician, my test results were mixed and I am facing lots more tests. So far, the bone density scan, x-rays and pap smear are all normal. However, the EKG and bloodwork were not. Next up, the dreaded treadmill test on Thursday. I'll keep you posted!

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Notable Quote:

"A shallow, cheapened view of God leads to a shallow, cheap life."--Chuck Swindoll

Monday, August 1, 2016

Taming A Tantrum

James 1:2-4 (KJV)  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


As I start to write this post, I am sitting in a familiar place--a hospital waiting room. More medical tests have been ordered by my doctors, due to some unusual findings in my recent six-month oncology checkup and the resulting full physical.

I had a major pity party on Friday. Not being able to concentrate on my work, I walked the hallways, trying to blow the stink off. Looking into the toddler classroom, I noticed a little girl having a major tantrum. The high-spirited Charlotte was unhappy that it was snacktime and all the toys had to be put away. She clutched her doll in a deathgrip and screamed her lungs out. The teacher repeated that it was time to put away the toys and Charlotte threw herself on the floor and sobbed and kicked her freet.

Looking at the little scene, I chuckled. Why make such a fuss? When snacktime is over, Charlotte could have gone right back to that toy.

And that's when the Holy Spirit jabbed me in the gut. Wasn't I acting just like that darling toddler? This time of medical tests is just a short season, and then it will be over. I need to look at what I might learn from this time--what God is trying to teach me.

So I will sit in the waiting room, and wait, for my Father's wisdom.

***

Notable Quote:

"We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom."--Michel de Montaigne

Monday, July 25, 2016

Liar, Liar

James 3:5 (KJV) Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!


The Hubster used to work as a welder in an elevator factory when we were first married. Uniforms were supplied to all workers and laundry was included. Every year, new uniforms were delivered to the employees. One time, management decided to make a change in style and ordered pants with cuffs. They never made that mistake again.

Being a gifted welder, The Hubster rarely made mistakes. However, even the most talented metal fabricator occasionally caused sparks to fly. Such was the case one cold winter day. As he worked on a large hunk of steel, The Hubster started to feel a warmth in his boots that spread up his calf. Glancing down, he realized a tiny spark had lodged itself in the cuff of his work pants and ignited a small fire. My darling man dropped his work and patted the fire out quickly. The damage was already done, however. The pants were a total loss.

One week later, all the welders' pants were returned, sans cuffs. They had been removed at management's request.

Psalm 39 warns us not to sin with our tongues and to think before we speak. The Bible tells us that our tongues have many evil uses: to flatter, deceive, cause strife, backbite, seduce, falsely accuse, and cause rebellion, as well as tell lies.

What better use of this "little member" might be to spread joy, sing God's praises, share His Word, encourage a fallen brother, and sustain the weary?

***

Notable Quote:

"Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow colorblind."--Austin O'Malley

Monday, July 18, 2016

Peace, Be Still


Friends, I have been meditating on the storms of life vs. the peace only God can provide. I wanted to share some Scripture that has spoken to my heart.

Psalm 107:29 (KJV)  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.



Mark 4:37-39 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
 
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.


Isaiah 25:4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

Exodus 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.



Judges 6:22-23 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

Psalm 4:8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.



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Notable Quote:


"Rainbows apologize for angry skies."--Sylvia Voirol