Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Godly Atrocities?

#7 - YOUR FACE TURNS PURPLE when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees! I feel a flush of lavender  rising  in my cheeks as I read this statement…LOL!!  OK, this did happen, we can all agree on that, the question is, WHY?  Keep in mind, these events occurred during the old covenant, and a time when nations lived and died by the edge of the sword.  It was a violent and harsh time in which to live.  That said, let’s take the case of the Egyptian babies.  As loathsome and heinous a crime as this may sound, Pharaoh was given a choice.  He had been asked to free the people of Israel, more than once, and each time his heart was hardened  to God’s request through Moses. The same thing for those in Jericho, the warning was given, and was met with refusal.  Even the Israelites, themselves, did not go unscathed, and many perished when God found them guilty of disobedience.  Some Bible scholars explain this carnage by reminding us of the fact that the slaughtered children, would have gone directly to heaven, sparing them from inheriting their parent’s sins.  Even the adults would later have the opportunity, during the new covenant, to accept Christ. If you recall, He descended to preach the gospel to the “captives”, and they were given a second chance. While I can’t fully explain God’s actions, I trust that despite how they seem to me, or the world, he has mankind’s best interest at heart.  Think of a father who tells the child he is about to spank, “This is going to hurt me more than it does you.”  While the “spankee” may not buy into that thinking, the father’s goal is to instill discipline in his beloved child.  A good father will feel remorse at the pain he inflicts, but it must be done.  We often forget how God must have felt, when he allowed his own, sinless son, to die as the ultimate sacrifice for a sinful world. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32. It has always been God’s purpose to draw people to him, but it has been our choice to be drawn. “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!” Ezekiel 33:11

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Trinity

#8 - “You LAUGH at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.” This is, and has always been, a very complex issue, beginning with the early church. After the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, it was faced with formulating, and justifying this doctrine, so let’s see how they addressed it.  Stemming from monotheistic Judaism, the concept of the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, did indeed have polytheistic overtones, that threatened to fracture the young church.  While the term trinity or triune God is never used directly in scripture, the implication of the doctrine can be clearly seen starting in the first chapter of Genesis when God says, “Let us do such and such..” To whom was he referring?  While it challenged believers to imagine one God in three manifestations, the “proof” revealed itself throughout the Bible, both in the old and new testaments.  God as “spirit” hovering over the face of the deep, in the guiding pillar of fire and cloud, or inspiring the prophets.  God as “Father” reigning from the heavenly realms, and God as son in the form of Christ.  We can try to explain the concept, in earthly terms, by describing the 3 forms of water: liquid, ice and steam.  All chemically the same, H20, but three very different forms and functions.  While it is merely an analogy, it gives us a basic understanding of the concept of a Triune God. Three manifestations of One Supreme Being, God. As I‘ve mentioned before, we should never laugh at the beliefs of others, ridicule never wins converts. Try to step aside from your beliefs, for a moment, and imagine what this doctrine sounds like to a non-believer.  Be honest, it is kind of wacko!  When we accept Christ, however, great mysteries of faith are revealed to us, something that those who reject Him are not privy to.  People who have arrived at the decision to reject God, have usually done so based on personal study, inquiry, and watching Christians.  At this point, their minds are pretty much set in concrete.  So what is your life, and understanding of scripture, showing them?  Will it prove to them that they are right, or will it give them something  to ponder, and perhaps reconsider?  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Creationism vs Evolution

Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian #9:“YOU FEEL INSULTED and "DEHUMANIZED" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.” The subject of Creationism vs. Evolution, is as volatile as a get together of the Hatfields and McCoys, bullets are going to fly!!! First of all, as a Christian, the theory of evolution shouldn’t threaten or “dehumanize” us; we know where we came from, where we’re going and who’s the architect. We are convinced, because we rely on the authenticity of scripture. Can we prove creationism beyond a shadow of doubt, of course not, but neither can evolutionists prove that their theory is 100% correct. Regardless of your stand, the complexity, and amazing function found in a single human cell, has many unbelievers giving a nod to what now has become known as “intelligent design“. God‘s name isn‘t mentioned, but it is 
obvious, from even a topical study, that a creative force must have been employed. Do the math, Big Bang/Evolutionists present this equation: Nothing x No One= Everything. Math was never my strong suit, but I know that anything multiplied by 0 is going to be 0!! That’s like saying that an explosion in a print factory resulted in Webster’s Dictionary! In talking to the “opposition”, as always, remember to be respectful of their stand, but do ask them what proven facts they are building their case on. I have posed this question to atheists, “How did gender come to be?” Let’s suppose a life form did emerge from a puddle of slime, and suppose said form was a male. What are the odds that another, similar-looking, but wildly different, female form would either evolve from the male, or slither out right after him? We owe much of the basis for this controversy to Charles Darwin’s “Evolution of the Species”. Before his theory was published, Creationism had never come under suspicion. Let the critics call Creationism ignorance, or turning a blind eye to scientific findings, it all boils down to, faith in God, or not. The belief, that I have been personally hand-crafted, yes from clay/dirt, by a loving Creator, who then breathed his life-giving breath into my nostrils, may sound far fetched to outsiders, but not to those in the family. In this enlightened age, schools teach evolution, without a nod to creationism or intelligent design. In fact, many who have attempted to teach anything other than evolution, have found themselves unemployed, even black-balled! Once again, we are faced with justifying our personal beliefs to those shrouded in delusion, and it is difficult. But, keep the light on, some will be drawn to it! “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

One God

Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian #10 - “You VIGOROUSLY DENY the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but FEEL OUTRAGED when someone denies the existence of yours.”

I’ve highlighted the sections of this statement that are troublesome for me.  Remember, all our explanations are to be tempered with love, so vigorous denial and outrage will only serve to undermine our position, and give credence to theirs. Non-believers have at some point, and for whatever reasons,  made the decision to refuse or reject God.  We must respect that choice, as strange as that sounds, while trying to figure out how they came to that point. As Paul Harvey used to say, “what is the rest of the story?”  Approaching a controversial subject, like the existence of God, head on, is similar to two rams protecting their turf, it isn’t going to win anyone over, and you’ll only wind up with a migraine, or worse yet, fall off the cliff!  The “easiest” introduction is to ask them if they would share with you how they established their “beliefs” on the subject. If they agree, take a deep breath, be quiet and listen.  When they finish, it’s your turn to give the reason for your hope.  Sure, you believe in only one God, but why?  Are you equipped to reply, and not in an argumentative way?  At this point your personal testimony, your story of how you arrived at accepting Christ as savior, may be used.  The Holy Spirit will lead the way, let Him!  Let them know what led you to accept the truth of scripture, how you came to make that decision, despite doubts, and even what you believed before your Christian days. Your calm, loving demeanor is sure to catch even the staunchest critics off guard.  Hopefully they will ask more questions, or voice additional doubts…great, you’ve established communication!!

Christ never argued anyone into his kingdom,  and neither should we, just state the facts as they apply to you.  God has begun to use you as an instrument to guide people to the TRUTH, how awesome is that???  It is imperative, however, to really KNOW the Bible, and to be diligent in the study and application of it. Keep in mind, that our beliefs sound crazy to “outsiders“,  just keep calm and carry on! “But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.”  1 Corinthians 8:6.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Top 10 List

I came across this interesting top 10 list , on the “I’m Proud to be an Atheist” FB page. I’ve been checking in with them, every so often, just to keep up with the thoughts and mindsets of those who don’t believe in any form of a god, and how they view Christian/godly individuals. As Christians, we are not only accountable to God, in all that we say and do, but also to those who have not yet com
e into personal relationship with him. He reminds us of this in 1 Peter 3:15 when he says, “…you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this with gentleness and respect…”. So, I’m putting all of us to the test, for the next week or so, as I try to explain these questions/claims made by non-believers. Take a look and think how you would respond. Be aware, this is tough stuff folks, and you must be equipped with godly explanations, thick skin and lots of patience!!
Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian:
10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.
“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pray for the Nations

“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4   The United Nations was founded in 1945 after WW II, to settle disputes and allow for open dialogue between nations.  This verse from Isaiah seems to encompass the intent of that worthy organization.  Sadly, however, God was not invited to be on the board.   And as history has shown us, and the numerous wars that have ensued since, have proven, there can be no lasting peace, unless it has God at the center.  Until that day, and it is coming, it is our duty  to pray for the nations and their governments, and in this volatile Presidential election year, especially our own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Betrayal.  The word is harsh, painful and final.  The names Judas and Benedict Arnold come to my mind, where they will forever live in infamy.  As frail human beings, we are subject to betrayal, and sadly the perpetrators are often those closest to us. Take the case of a husband who came home early from work to surprise his wife. As he waited in the kitchen, he heard his wife talking on the phone.  It was immediately obvious that she was talking to a man, one with whom she was romantically involved.  Each word of her desire and longing for this man, wounded him so severely that he didn’t even have the strength to confront her.  The betrayal attacked every fiber of his being, especially since he had had no indication of her unfaithfulness.

Did you experience that same deep, sickening feeling he did when you read that description?  This is a true story, but I'd like you to imagine that you are the one on the phone, and God is the one overhearing your unfaithful conversation.  If that doesn’t make you sick, I think you need to question your relationship with God. You might argue that you would never betray God, but I ask you, how many times have you uttered words of doubt concerning him?  Maybe He hasn’t answered a prayer the way you’d like, which led you to dabble in astrology,  or put faith in a book written by a “spiritual-sounding” author.  Uh oh,  beware, you’re venturing into “spiritually adulterous” territory.

God likens our personal relationship with him to a marriage, as he did his union with the nation of Israel.  In fact he had one of his prophets, Hosea, marry a harlot so he would know how God felt about his people’s infidelity.  God longs to fulfill every emotional need that we have, if we let him.  For this reason it is recorded this way. “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14.  We think of jealous as a negative word, but in God’s lingo, it’s all positive. He  wants to prove to us, that in Him we have everything, no need to look elsewhere.  Please allow him!  "As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you."  Isaiah 62:5

Monday, October 22, 2012

Strong Delusion

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

This section of scripture bothers me, a lot.  When I first read it, it appeared to me that God was purposely clouding the vision of “would be” believers.  I was mad, and I told God so.  “What kind of parent are you, who would give up on your own misguided child?”, I not so nicely inquired.  God, as always, seemed to chuckle in the face of my annoyance, which annoyed me all the more!  Why would God send a powerful delusion?  I just didn't get it.  Over the next couple of weeks I kept after Him to answer me.  Today He started to reveal what he meant.  Every person is given an opportunity to know the truth; to come to an understanding of God’s plan of salvation. However, His and our adversary, Satan, doesn't want us to understand.  The Prince of this world wields a lot of power, and don’t forget it. He has the ability to perform miracles and do cool stuff that draw individuals to his camp, at the same time God is calling to us.  He then pointed out the word, refused, to me.  To refuse means to turn down something, in this case, God’s offer of truth.  Instead, they choose to accept the counterfeit.

God won’t strong arm anyone, and when He steps aside the delusion rushes in surrounding the “refuser” like a thick fog.  God allows it to happen, even if it breaks his heart.  Remember the old story of a kid who wanted to smoke a cigar, and when he finally gets a hold of one his father catches him before he lights up.  He pleads with him to stop, pointing out all the health concerns and risks, but the child refuses to believe him.  The father then says, “Well go ahead and smoke it, the whole thing!”  The next scene shows the now green-faced, nauseated youth gasping for air, pleading with his dad to let him quit.  Our Father knows what’s best for us, but sometimes he has to let us find out the hard way.  I plead with you today, don’t ever get to the point where God sends that delusion.  If you have doubts about him, seek answers from godly sources, and don’t be lured into smoking that cigar!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Under the Blood

I have a great affinity for the nation of Israel, and Jewish people in general.  Sometimes I wonder why, I’ve known Jewish people, but I think it’s the fact that they are, in essence, our older siblings in faith.  We Christians have deep spiritual roots, and a familial connection to our Jewish brothers and sisters.  When you consider that this mighty nation has been around for thousands of years before Christ, fought bitter wars, endured captivity in alien nations, and survived Hitler’s brutality, I am amazed.  You won’t find any Hittites or Tishbites today, but the Israelites remain.  I am amazed! But I shouldn't be.  God’s covenant promises to Abraham and Moses are still valid.  These are the same people that received manna in the desert,  supernatural protection from their enemies, and were spared when the Death Angel passed over their blood covered door-frames   Ah yes, the blood,  it was the core of God’s sacrificial system then, and it is now.  Consider these verses from Exodus 12:22-23. “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.” The promise of life was made only to those who were under the blood.  Sound familiar?  We too have been given new life only when we place ourselves under the blood of Christ. As the timeline to Armageddon hurdles forward, the nation of Israel will be in the headlines, more and more as God continues to make good on the old covenant. There is a verse that keeps returning to me, one that I like to think of as the “booster shot” for the Jewish believers.  When the throngs were pleading with Pilate to crucify Jesus, he symbolically “washed his hands”, telling the people the responsibility for his death was now their’s.  All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Matthew 27:25.  I’ve never heard anyone preach on that powerful statement, but think about it, they were willing to be covered by His blood.  Now I know that’s not what they meant, but the result is, to me, astonishing, they too are under his blood!  Let us continue to honor the nation of Israel and her people, as we await Christ’s return. I thank God for the gift of salvation, which can only be found when we are under the blood.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What is the "Church"?

What is the “Church”?  Right away, most of us imagine a building made by human hands.  To be Biblically precise, the structures we envision are merely houses where we, God’s people, gather.  We as individuals are the church.  Think about it…no where in scripture is it mentioned that Jesus worshipped in a church building.  Yes, he attended the Jewish synagogue or temple, but he and the early Christians met outside, in the upper room, or in homes.  Paul addresses his letters to the “churches” at Corinth, Rome and Thessalonica.  I don’t think he was talking to a pile of bricks. Christ reminds us that He is the cornerstone, and we are the living stones that comprise HIS CHURCH.  “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.” 1 Peter 2:5.  We are built of indestructible material, don’t forget that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Angel Party

“So I can guarantee that God's angels are happy about one person who turns to God and changes the way he thinks and acts." Luke 15:10.  Way back in 1972, I made the decision to follow Christ.  It wasn’t a hastily made choice, but rather one based on an in- depth Bible study, comparison, questions and prayer. The pastor who guided me was a patient man, whose love for God, and his compassion for the “lost”, sealed the deal.  Through weekly studies, he presented  the scriptures in a such a way that they came alive, and relevant, something they had never been before.  God was using this wonderful man to open my eyes, heart and mind to that which the world had clouded; The Truth.  After assimilating all the information, it was my turn to make that life-changing decision, to accept or reject Him. We all know how I answered!  When I told the pastor, the verse he quoted to me was this one from the book of Luke. Even now, I can visualize the angels  doing their happy dance as my name was being written in the Book of Life.  Have you experienced that same joy?  Are you assured that angels have celebrated your decision, too?  If not, they are always ready to party!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Consuming Fire

In Hebrews 12:28-29, the author quotes from Deuteronomy 4:24 when he writes, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.”  I have often struggled with how different God appears to be in the Old Testament. When his people where living under the old covenant, He seemed much harsher, dealing with infractions against his law swiftly, and often with fire. Throughout time, fire has been thought of as a gift from God providing warmth, light, protection and a means to prepare raw foods.  It also was integral in the cleansing, sacrificial system, “consuming” the prescribed offering for the remittance of sin.  Without fire, it would have been difficult, if not impossible to maintain spiritual or physical  life. When Jesus came, to be our perfect offering, a new covenant was written, in his blood, but the previous one is still binding, and from this passage we should be aware that the standards God set then, are still in effect today.  Ungodly behavior, and lifestyles”, then and now, won’t deter His supernatural, cleansing fire from consuming them. While God is LOVE, he continues to demand a higher level of behavior from his own children.  Don’t you expect the same from your kids?  The argument that other children were disrespectful to their parents, never held up in our household, and it sure won’t with God. My husband always reminded our kids that they should be proud of the Zerrusen name, and never bring shame to it.  If we truly call ourselves God’s children, we can depend on his constant love, but we must live your lives in such a way that brings honor to him and the family name.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Safe Haven

“Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high? He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is his stronghold.” Job 27-28.  North of St. Louis, beginning around Alton, along the Mississippi river you can see these magnificent cliffs.  In the winter months they are a safe haven for the American Bald Eagle.  I’m not sure why God had them hole up in this inhospitable looking place, but there they will gather come November. Most of  us would choose a condo in a warm climate, and there is the difference - eagles don’t get a choice, they just intuitively know where they should be. Sometimes I think it would be pretty cool to have that built-in homing device, and not have the problem of too many choices.  While God may not hand us the keys to a hotel room, his word certainly helps narrow down our choices and He, like Motel 6, always leaves the light on!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Filtered Lives

Here’s a public service announcement for all of you: Have you changed your furnace filter recently?  It’s a new season, and the perfect time to pop in a fresh, clean one.  When you pull the old one out, take a minute and look at all the dirt trapped in it.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Without that piece of cardboard and paper, your expensive furnace unit would be a mess, maybe even inoperable or a fire hazard!!  God loves to reveal himself to me in the most mundane places, and this analogy had to be one of the “mundanest”!!  OK, here goes.  Imagine yourself in the role of the furnace, and the Holy Spirit will be the filter.  Just like the mechanical version, we have a function.  We can’t work at peak efficiency if the debris of the world, sin, is allowed to be sucked in. When we are filled with His power, He immediately begins to purify our thoughts and actions in the same way a filter operates.  I’ve noticed, in my own life, that as I grow in relationship with my Savior, that my filter is becoming finer and finer.  More and more “gunk” is captured before it hits my delicate workings.  As I allow him the freedom to do His work, I am able to function at optimum performance, without the hindering influence of sin.  There was a time when I thought a spaghetti strainer-sized filter would suffice.  It won’t work on a furnace, and it sure did me no good.  As Christians we should be living His life, thinking His thoughts and doing His work, and it can’t be done effectively without His purifying influence. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:5.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Macro Glass

I love taking macro shots, extreme close-ups of anything.  Photographers agree that lighting, aperture, and a steady hand are essential, but what really counts is the lens.  Professionals refer to the lens as the “glass”, and they know, to capture truly amazing detail, one must use the best glass available.

The glass I have is OK, but it doesn't achieve the breathtaking accuracy that the $1000+ ones do.  It frustrates me when the image I’m attempting to capture, looks so clear through the view finder, but on the computer it appears blurry.  Maybe I moved, or the sunlight was too strong, but I know it all boils down to the lens.

Sure, I’m lucky enough sometimes to get a great shot, but I’m greedy and want it all the time!  Do you ever feel that way about your knowledge of God?  I do.  Similar to my lens frustration, I think I’m seeing and understanding Him clearly, when in actuality the image is of out of perfect focus.  I pray about this often, as I‘m sure many of you do too.  Paul, in his famous “Love“ chapter, reminds us that no matter how many Godly things we do, without using God’s perfect lens of love, to bring Him into focus, He will always be a tad fuzzy. The complete reality of His love for us, that awesome shot, will only be fully realized when we meet him face to face. That doesn‘t mean we should give up trying for that perfect capture, just remember the human eye has not seen all that god has prepared for us, YET! “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Potter and the Clay

While on a photographic road trip, I came upon this coffee shop art work, but couldn‘t recall the scripture it included.  As it turns out, it is one of my favorites: “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”  Isaiah 64:8. I love the idea that we are all the individually made, one of a kind, creations. We’re not cookie cutter same, or assembly line uniform,  we are unique, and finely crafted by the Master.  I love knowing that, but I also am aware that I am still a work in progress.  Just like a potter will shape and reshape moist clay, so God continues to perfect me.  With his own hands, as long as I remain pliable, he smoothes out my imperfections, as I spin round and round on his wheel.  The key word here is pliable. If I dry up, by avoiding Him and his word, His only recourse is to break me and start over.  Ouch!  So do yourself a favor, keep your “clay” moist, and yielded to his hands, the results will amaze you!  Here are the words to the 1907 hymn that goes along with this verse. Youtube it, if it isn’t familiar to you.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ablaze for His Glory

I love autumn, maybe because I’m an October baby, but mainly I believe it’s the riotous colors splashed on trees, and vegetation alike.  Crimson red, ochre, yellows, even brown is vibrant and flashy.  It seems to be God’s way of preparing us for the long, dark, colorless days of winter that lie ahead.  How curious it is, that at the very end of their lives, leaves are at their most beautiful.  Will you be able to same the same about your life?  I think that most people feel that, as we age, it’s time to hand over our responsibilities to the younger generation.  While some of that is true, I don’t plan on selling real estate forever, that doesn’t apply to the work God has planned for us.  Our desire to serve Him, by using all the talents he has blessed us with, should never die.  In fact, like those leaves, it should intensify.  I read this quote by Erma Bombeck recently; “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say: ’I used everything You gave me.’ “  We all have our “seasons“, beginning with the dreamy pastels of  our spring/youth,  to the fiery tones of fall/old age.  Let’s be all that God created us to be, and like those leaves, depart this world in a blaze of glory to Him!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day

“In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  Remember that little ditty from grade school? It always comes to mind on this day.  CC must have been quite a determined guy, and one who depended on God.  Most people still thought the world was flat, and he was pretty sure it wasn’t!!  Hey, I consider driving to Champaign by myself as adventurous!  Back in the day of Moses, God chose some men to explore the promised land.  The majority were scared to death, literally!!  Only Joshua and Caleb were confident that God had sent them, and God would protect and bless them.  He did. “Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.” Numbers 14:36-38. When God asks you to “explore” new territories, and He will, don’t be afraid of the journey, He has your back, your head, heart and spirit!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dead End

No one likes to travel a long distance, only to find a DEAD END sign.  What a waste of time, and fuel.  Perhaps you started out on the right road, you may have had Google driving instructions, or a GPS, but somewhere it all went wrong.  Life can be that way too. We begin our journeys full of enthusiasm, ready to see new sights and learn new things.  Along the way, we encounter a plethora of signage.  Arrows going every which way, roundabouts, detours and the like.  A “friend” tells you of a shortcut, and without investigating, you take it. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12.  Not all roads lead to eternity with God, and we must be aware, and prepared to seek out His way, and His alone.  Don’t fall victim to worldly directions, no matter how right they may seem, or how many others choose to travel on them.  Their end is destruction.  God has supplied us with his word, the only homing device that is 100% correct in getting us to where we want to go.  Use it, and trust it!  "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Frank and Me!

Today is my 63rd birthday, and I’m not ashamed to proclaim it!!  I always like to know what celebrities share my day, or if anything of historical value occurred, other than my arrival! A number of years ago, it was brought to my attention that I share my day with a Christian celebrity, St. Francis of Assisi. Actually, it is his Feast day, the day he entered Heaven.  If you are not familiar with this noble man, let me fill you in.  He was born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181 – died: October 3, 1226, in Assisi, Italy.  I have visited this area, in the Umbrian countryside, it is lovely, and even today remains much like it was in the late 1100s.  Francis was born into a wealthy family who, it seems, had big plans for their son to take over the family textile business.  As a young man he was given to a life of partying and debauchery.  It wasn’t until 1204, when a serious illness led to a spiritual crisis, did the Francis, God had in mind, emerge. He soon scorned his personal wealth and chose to live a life of poverty, much to his father’s chagrin.  He is remembered for his humility and for organizing the order of Franciscans and Poor Clares.  We are probably most familiar with the peace prayer of St. Francis which begins, “ Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”  It is a marvelous appeal to all humanity to be a part of  God’s solution to hatred, suffering, despair and doubt, by representing Christ who was just the opposite; love, healing, joy and knowledge.  We can learn so many invaluable lessons from the men and women of great faith who went before us.  One of my favorite quotes attributed to Francis is this, “Preach the gospel wherever you go, and sometimes you may even have to use words!”  Is your life so representative of Christ that it proclaims the good news non-verbally?  It should be.  I thank God for my physical life and health today, but more importantly for the new life he has given me through his son. “Twas not for deeds that we had done, but by his steadfast love alone, he saved us through a second birth, renewed us by the Spirit's work…” Titus 3:5.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In the Know

In talking with someone, recently, they said they were unsure of what pleased God. So in an attempt to placate him, they did all kinds of community service, and went to church as much as possible.  Now these activities are marvelous, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t make up for not knowing God very well.  Those of us who have been married for some time, know what pleases our mates, and what doesn’t. My husband doesn’t like meatloaf, and has made it clear, so I don’t make it.  If I did he wouldn’t be pleased.  If I continued to make it, it would show that either I had a short memory, or just didn’t care. God makes his likes and dislikes clear for us in scripture.  Are you aware that things like drunkenness,  coarse joking, and foolish talk are on the no-no list?  Well, you should.  Ignorance of the law doesn’t hold up in an earthly courtroom, and it sure won’t win you favor with God.  It should be a joy for us to find out what pleases God, but you need to be familiar with his word.  I think it will surprise you.  Paul in the book of Ephesians, chapter 5, sheds some light on this subject when he say, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do…and, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  God, like Judge Judy, won’t put up with our lack of knowledge, so “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord”, and DO IT!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Wouldn't it make things a lot easier, if when we wandered too close to dangerous, “ungodly“ areas, God would send down the arms, blink the red lights and sound the warning bells, like a freight train was coming through? We all want to be self-controlled, well some more than others, when it comes to diet, personal organization, or commitment to exercise.  Problem is, we are oh so easily led astray.  And we excuse our lack of self control on an inherited weakness, busyness, or my favorite, “At least I’m not as bad as so and so.”  When we accept Christ, we receive his Holy Spirit.  That is a given, if you have truly been converted.  This supernatural power is hard-wired in us, prompting us to steer clear of sin, but we also have our own free will.  Ah yes, free will, man can that get us into trouble!  But, like a wild horse, free will can, and must be tamed and brought under control.   Peter urges us all, in this passage, to add to our faith a generous helping of moral excellence and self control.  God isn‘t going to judge us on a scale, we‘re either under control or in rebellion.   I desire to share in His divine nature, but it is our choice.  Choose wisely.  “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” 2 Peter 1:5-7. So when you come to that inevitable “RR crossing” in your life, Stop, Look and Listen, as you develop in your faith.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spiritual Discontent

Spiritual Discontent.  That sounds like an oxymoron .  Words that seem to contradict each other like, jumbo shrimp or military intelligence.  In fact, the phrase makes perfect sense.  While it is true we should try to be content in our lives, jobs and other circumstances, the relationship we have with God, isn’t one of those areas.  OK, hear me out.  If we just accept our faith, and never try to improve it, learn more about it, or grow in it, like any relationship, it will become rote, cold and boring. Happens in marriages all the time.  That’s where the discontentment on our part comes in. Don’t just settle, find out all you can about God,  what pleases him, his promises and His directives.  You’ll be amazed at how His word will come to life, filling  you with joy and anticipation for each new day!. “The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” Psalm 19:10