Friday, July 31, 2009

He Feedeth Among the Lilies

“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth;…” Song of Solomon 2:10 – 12

My beloved is the Lord, my God. At some point in every Christian’s life the Lord will come to us and tell us that it is time that we grow closer to Him. He is very longsuffering with us and our weaknesses, however, there comes a time when He tells us that it is time to rise up and come away from where we are. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I Corinthians 13:11 The Lord will tell us when it is time to grow. He will speak to us through His Word, the preaching of His Word, or as we read it; through song, or through trials in our life. As Christians we must be constantly growing and “rising up” or we will find ourselves slipping or sliding backwards. In Song of Solomon, this Christian woman had a tender heart and willingly listened to the Lord’s dealing with her as evidenced by her response, “…let me hear thy voice…” Song of Solomon 2:14 She later confirms that she not only wants to hear what the Lord has for her, she states that she is His, and as such at His mercy to do what He wants in Song of Solomon 2:16, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” The lilies – considered an emblem of purity and love; they grow in the valley as well as in open plains; they are beautiful and fragrant. The Lord will feed us when we are in the valley, or anytime. Ladies, let’s follow her example and keep our hearts tender towards our Lord and rise up and come away from the things that would prevent us from growing closer to our Saviour.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Girl of His Dreams

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians :32,32. The marriage relationship is likened unto the church’s relationship with Christ. In Revelations: 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” In Proverbs 5:18, God commands the husband, “Let thy fountain be blessed; and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” Knowing all of this, I realize that God does not go for “the honeymoon is over.” I believe that he wants us to keep the love in our marriages new and fresh. Below is a test to see if you have held to your first love or if you showed your husband the best fruit on top while dating only to have him find the sour, green fruit now that you’re married.
1. Do you dress to look nice for your husband now as you once did? (Remember when you were dating the great pains you took to look your best?).
2. Are you sure to have fresh breath for him as you once did? (Remember when you thought you would die if he ever smelled bad breath on you?)
3. Do you still like to do special, nice little things for him like writing love notes or leaving little gifts for him?
4. Are you moody or grumpy? (Remember how hard you worked to keep a sweet spirit and be kind and tender before you were married?)
5. Is he able to come home from work to the girl of his dreams; or does he dream about the girl he once knew in you?

These may seem trivial; I hope not. Anything that you do to keep a spark in your marriage is important. Nothing pleases a man more than knowing his wife is trying to please him. Always remember that there is someone that would like to take care of and please your husband if you don’t. Even the godliest of men can be weak. The women in the work place mostly dress to look successful, they watch their weight and they wear nice clothes; your husband may see ladies that look like that all day…what does he see when he gets home? Don’t dress like a slob and then accuse him of looking at nice looking ladies...look nice for him yourself! My grandmother taught me these things as I was growing up, not only in word, but also in deed and she was happily married for 67 years! Not only will your husband enjoy being treated this way, but you will enjoy it yourself. Remember it is more blessed to give than to receive.

"R" Kids

My husband and I have had the privilege of raising four awesome children. All too fast they are all grown, married, and now raising children of their own. I praise the Lord that all of our children are Christians (and 2 of our grandchildren have come to know Christ as their Savior), and are all actively serving the Lord. This post entitled "R" kids is an ingredient list all beginning with the letter "r."

1. Real – be real; your kids will spot a phony in a flash!
2. Relationship – develop a good relationship very early with your children. Talk to them and LISTEN when they talk to you!
3. Request – pray for your children. Phillipians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
4. Rules – make sure your kids know your rules and understand them. It is okay to teach your children WHY you have the rules you do have. It should not be okay for them to ask “why?” when you tell them to do something.
5. Responsive – be responsive to your children’s needs – physical, social, spiritual, don’t let things slip by, be proactive and do all you can to respond!
6. Respect – teach your children to respect you and all authority and you respect them as well.
7. Responsibility – teach your children that they are responsible for their actions and decisions
8. Requirements – let them know what things you require of them – and do indeed require them!
9. Reassure your children that they can do it and you are behind them! Give them confidence in your love for them, and what they can do through Christ; (all things).
10. Role – have a role in their life – and fulfill your God given role. Study the Bible and pray for the Lord to teach you what your proper place is in your child’s life and then seek earnestly to fulfill it!
11. Reinforce – reinforce what your husband says – if you disagree with him, do it silently and discuss it with him privately. Reinforce what Pastor preaches from the pulpit, reinforce authority.
12. Rigid – sometimes you have to be rigid; some things are just not moveable, make sure your kids understand that and be firm!
13. Reliable – your kids should be able to count on you, and should be taught to be reliable as well – don’t be a flake and don’t let them flake out either!
14. Realistic – with all the rule setting and requirements – be realistic, make rules, requirements, responsibilities match their age and within reason
15. Reach your children – with the Gospel, reach out to your children – when we had a need God came to us so that we could go to Him! “we love Him because He first loved us.” Let them know that while they have never been where you are right now, you were once where they are – don’t forget what it was like to be a child, a teen, a young adult.
16. Regard – meaning to observe closely. Watch your kids, pay very careful attention to their behavior, and note any changes. This can help you to detect or prevent problems. If you really watch them you will be able to tell if there is possible health problem, or if something or someone is possibly harming them, or wrongly influencing them.
17. Refer – to the Bible and make sure your kids know that the Bible is the Final Authority!
18. Recognize that they are very precious treasures. “…the fruit of the womb is His reward.”
19. Reward their behavior. Don’t simply discipline or magnify their bad behavior, reward their good behavior.
20. Restrain – or discipline your children – don’t let them do whatever they want. Train them early to obey and don’t be afraid to “make” them obey.
21. Rear or raise your children – a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
22. Release – remember that your kids are really God’s – let them go to do His will!
23. Remember their birthdays, anniversaries, special events...and most of all remember to always tell them you love them.

I love you my precious children...Dan, Jay, Kel, Jon, & Gen, Mary, Dan, Rachel, & Mark, Micah, Brooklynn, Alexis, Dominic, Corban, Ethan, Marissa, Haylie, Jaclynn & Gianna...so very much!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tell Them

For 10 years my husband taught a young married couples Sunday School Class. Each week we produced a bulletin that had information for the class - a schedule of upcoming events, details about activities we were having, etc. Another part of the bulletin was different articles or devotional thoughts for the women. The article addressed to the young mothers was called "Baby Talk - Tips for Mom." When my first grandchild was born I compiled all of the articles and put them in a booklet form for my children. So for today, here is some "baby talk - tips for mom."

Tell Them

Recently I saw a bumper sticker that said, “I love my kids ...and I tell them.” It may sound silly to some, but so often though we love our children deeply, we neglect to tell them. Telling them does not simply mean saying the words. It also means showing them in your actions, by giving to them.
Here is a list of things to give:

Their needs
Thousands of reassurances of your love for them
Hugs and kisses
Your time (in playing with them, teaching them, reading to them)
Your attention (listening to them when they try to tell you something)
Disciplining them (yes, believe it or not discipline shows your child that you love them because you are protecting them from harming themselves)

Mom, love your kids...and tell them!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We Have Not Passed This Way Before

“And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.... that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” Joshua 3:3—4

The Ark of the Covenant is of course symbolic of the Word of God. The Ark contained the 2 Tablets of Stone containing the Ten Commandments and the Rod that Aaron used. These 2 symbols showing God’s promises and provisions to us if we will obey His Word.

As I read the verses above this morning, I pondered the phrase in Joshua 3:4 that says, “...that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” You know every day is new and we are presented with new circumstances that we have not faced before. When we are very young almost every experience is new, as we get older we become new at being a wife, new at being a mother, new at having school aged children, and on and on it goes. Every phase of life is new. I am now a grandmother of 11 grandchildren! Wow, am I really old enough for that? I don’t feel like it, but here I am and I have never been here before. In the verses quoted above we are taught the importance of following the Word of God, so that we’ll know the way to go because we have not passed this way before.

At the time of the writing, the children of Israel had to watch for the Levites that were bearing the Ark, and they could not follow too closely because only the Levites could carry the Ark, and they had to use staves through rings in the side of the Ark—they could not touch it because it held the Glory of God! Now we are able to go boldly before the Throne of Grace and we can carry the Word of God in our hands. What a tremendous privilege we have and yet we take these treasures for granted all too often. We dont have to go through life blindly, we can follow the teachings found in the Word of God. We must follow It so that we may know the way to go...we have not passed this way before!

Monday, July 27, 2009

This past October I celebrated my 51st birthday. On the morning of my birthday my husband wished me a Happy Birthday and I responded by saying that I have 19 years left. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (thus the 19 years 70 – 51 = 19).
Now, while that may sound morbid, let me explain what I mean. The previous week in my Bible reading I read the following verse from I Thessalonians, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” As I read that verse, I had mental picture of being in the presence of the Lord and bringing the people that I had won to Christ with me – as my joy and crown of rejoicing in His presence. Then I starting asking myself how much preparation or planning have I really put forth toward that awesome time? So, I started thinking that if I really want to be rejoicing and joyful, if I really want to bring glory and honour to the Lord, I should be striving to reach as many folks to Christ as I possibly can in the time that I have here on earth. We set goals for our finances, our employment titles, our weight – really on things that won’t matter in eternity; why not set goals for what we do for Christ with our time? Part of setting goals includes a time frame – I want to have this much in my bank account before I start college, I want to have this job by the time I am ___ years old, etc. If what really matters is what is done for Christ before we get to heaven, then we need to realize how much time we have and make a plan to use it wisely. In fact we are commanded to redeem the time; we read that Solomon asked the Lord in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” "For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told." Psalm 90:9 You know before we know it our lives are simply that... a story or chapter in history – it doesn’t take years to read about the account of a person’s life – it can be done in chapters, moments of time. What are you planning to do with the time you have here on earth? Let's strive for that hope, joy and crown of rejoicing at the coming the our Lord!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sometimes a Loss May Reveal a Blessing

“But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping...and they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” John 20:11-13. Mary was weeping because when she went to the tomb of Jesus, He was not there. Now, today we know it was a victory over death because Christ arose triumphantly! Mary however, was the one that felt the loss. Often in our lives we are faced with different types of losses; perhaps the loss of a job, a financial reversal, the loss of a home, even the loss of a friend. When these things happen we usually weep as Mary did because we fear the unknown. We say to ourselves, “now that this has happened, what are we going to do?” I think about the loss we suffered when we had a fire in our church auditorium—and yet God gave us a beautiful new auditorium and the ability to do many improvements that we might otherwise not have been able to complete. I recall hearing a preacher tell the story of how a tremendous business loss and financial reversal in his home while growing up worked to prepare him for the ministry today. His parents felt the loss, but now they are witnessing the victory that “loss” provided. I remember as a young teenaged girl feeling that I lost my whole world when my parents moved us to a new city. At the time all I could see was that I had to give up all of my friends to move to a place that I did not know and I did not like that at all! Within two years of that move many of the friends I had left behind became involved in drugs. The girl that was my best friend has lived such a sad life as a result of the choices she made way back then. I am thankful that my parents chose to take me out of that environment, because perhaps if I had kept those friends, I might have ended up in the same condition. Instead, I met my husband; I got saved and now have the privilege of serving the Lord! I see the victory now, but it felt only like a loss back then. As you face difficult times, trust the Lord; He has a plan and one day (perhaps not until heaven) you will see the wisdom of His choices for your life. Mary felt the loss, but we know the victory! Remember “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are to called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jesus Prayed for Us!

Last week as I was reading my Bible in the book of John I came across a verse that always means so much to me when I read it. It is John 17:20, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” I have noted in my Bible that Jesus prayed for me. Jesus’ prayer is recorded in John 17. My question and what I believe is important to know is what Jesus actually prayed. If Jesus prayed for me, it is important. If it is recorded in the Bible it is important. I know that what He prayed is the will of God for my life, and that the Holy Spirit will speak to my heart to do what God will, but whether or not it is fulfilled is up to me, because I have freewill to do as I please – God does not force me to do His will. Just as Jesus died to pay for the sins of whole world and only those that believe will receive the salvation that He purchased; so the answer to Jesus’ prayer is answered to those who believe and submit themselves to His will.
1. Jesus prayed for us because we are God’s. John 17:9
2. Jesus prayed that God would keep us and that we would be one, as Jesus and God. John 17:10
3. He prayed that we might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves. John 17:11
4. He prayed that God would keep us from the evil in the world. John 17:15
5. He prayed that we would be sanctified through God’s Word. John 17:17
6. He prayed that as we are one in Him, others would believe (be saved because of our testimony). John 17:20
7. He prayed that we would be made perfect (complete, mature) so that the world would know that God loves us. John 17:23
8. He prayed that we would be with Jesus to behold His glory. John 17:24
9. He prayed that the love of God would be in us so that we would declare His name. 17:26
Are you an answer to Jesus’ prayer?

Stimulus Program

Yesterday my husband and I enjoyed a fun day of shopping for our granddaughter’s birthday gift, and then spontaneously drove up to San Francisco to walk around and have a meal. Throughout the day we kept hearing advertisers capitalize on the new buzz words… "Stimulus Package" or "bail outs." As we were talking about it, my husband decided that we should provide a Christian Stimulus Program. The program would provide necessary ingredients that will Stimulate Christian growth and guarantee receipt of God‘s precious promises.
1. PRAY “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22
2. PERUSE the Bible – that word peruse means to analyze, browse, glance over, inspect, look through, pore over, read, scan, scrutinize, skim, study. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3
3. PRACTICE – Don’t just peruse the Bible, practice what the Bible preaches and teaches. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:25
4. PREACH Go to church and hear the preaching of God’s Word, AND GO soulwinning. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11, 12 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. “ Matthew 28:19
5. PAY your tithes. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
6. PSALMS - that is a sacred song or hymn – listen to and sing godly, Christian music. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16
7. PRAISE – Praise the Lord! “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.” Psalm 67:5, 6

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More on Waiting

I have been pondering further on the whole idea of waiting. When we are in the "waiting" position there are a few facts that I have been mulling over.
1. When we are waiting, we are at the mercy of what or whom we are waiting. In other words, we have to do it their way.
2. If you want what you are waiting for - you have to stay in line, be available and ready for when it is your turn or when they call or you will miss out on what you are waiting for.
3. If you try to cut in line you may lose your turn altogether, or possibly go to the end of the line and start waiting all over again.
Now considering those facts let's look at Isaiah 40:31 again...
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
So...if we want our strength renewed, to be able to mount up with wings as eagles, run without growing weary, and walk without fainting we need to realize that God is in control and stay where God has us until He calls, but be ready for the call. If we try to get ahead of God (cut in line) we may lose our place. So again I say wait (think of what that really means) on the Lord and remember "As for God, his way is perfect..." Psalm 18:30. You may feel as though you are in the forever long line, but God's way is perfect. I love you and pray that you have a blessed day today.

Waiting

Waiting is one of the most difficult aspects of every event in our lives. It seems that we are always waiting for something. We wait in line, we wait for time to pass, we wait for results…on and on it goes. One thing that most people have in common is that nobody likes to wait; we want what we want now. Right now it seems that I find myself in a position of waiting for major things. It can be trying. The Lord brought Isaiah 40:31 to my mind yesterday in my devotion time. It says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Waiting brings many things other than the hoped for outcome.
1. When we wait upon the Lord He will renew our strength…strength as Christians, strength in faith, strength to do His will and work for His glory.
2. As I ponder the idea of mounting up with wings as eagles I imagine soaring through the next phase on a “Spiritual High” because of God’s answer.
3. To be able to run and not be weary and walk without growing tired, I believe is a picture of forging ahead with confidence in our Lord.
During the 24 years I have been saved I have waited on the Lord for many things and found that what He gives is well worth the wait. I remember when we thought we were going to get a certain property for our church and God closed the door; and then as we were praying and waiting on Him, he brought us to our current property that is so much more than we thought we would ever be able to get! I am stilled amazed. And now as we are waiting on so many things- like for the economy to turn around, I trust that this promise in Isaiah will be a help and encouragement to you. Remember that the blessing is not in the waiting, but in Who we are waiting on. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Manoah's Wife

In today's society it seems that women believe they will feel more important if they have their own name. Married women tend to hold on to their maiden names - perhaps so that people they have known in the past will recognize who they are, or maybe they feel that by so doing they will not lose their own identity. As a Christian woman I find that often God does not even give the women He honours a known name at all. To name a few I think of Noah's wife, Lot's wife, the Virtuous Woman, and the one I am thinking about today...Manoah's wife. In my Bible reading I found it interesting that Samson's mother (Manoah's wife) doesn't have a name. She is referred to as "the woman," "Manoah's wife," or "Samson's mother"...yet God spoke to her, not her husband when announcing the soon coming arrival of their son Samson. It is clearly evident that she was respected because the angel of the Lord appeared to her, and when Manoah then was able to speak with the angel himself to ask the angel how to raise the child, the angel's response was basically "I told your wife what to do, let her do what I told her to do." In reading this account from the Book of Judges (Judges 13:1-13) I believe that God is teaching women some very valuable lessons.
1. He often speaks to the wife first before the husband regarding His will for their lives.
2. Even if we don't have a name, God still knows us.
3. God will encourage your husband to listen to what you have to say - especially if God has already spoken to your heart.
So ladies, don't be so worried about having a name - God knows you, He loves you and He will speak to your heart and as you listen to Him, He will cause others to listen to you. Have a great day! I love you and pray that I can be a blessing to you.