Friday, April 30, 2010

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8

I feel like the Lord has sent us many places.  We've lived in 13 states and been to all but 2.  We've lived in Italy and been to 8 European countries. Tom has been to every continent except Australia.  We've always prayed, wherever you want us to go Lord, we will go.  
We've always looked at things as to how we should serve the Lord wherever we go.  The answers have been different every time, but every time it has been something.  The best thing you can ever say, to have the greatest adventures of your life, is "here am I, send me."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Revelation 1:5-6

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. – Revelation 1:5-6
This seems to be a recurring theme for me.  Free in Christ.  Free to choose to be a faithful witness for Christ, to talk about his rebirth, to acknowledge him as ruler of the earth and ruler of my life.  My choice to serve him in the talents that He as blessed me with.  I am so glad that God sent Jesus to give me that choice.  I am not bound except for how I choose to be.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1 Samuel 3:8-9

The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. – 1 Samuel 3:8-9
I think I would believe it was my mentor Eli calling me also.  I mean, hearing God speak to me in a dream, or even a waking state, would seem odd.  How wonderful for Eli to realize after the third time that God was calling Samuel.  I want to be a mentor like that.  Someone who would realize that they are mentors, but they are not God.  They are mentors, but teaches the person they are mentoring to go on further by hearing God's call for themselves.  It is a great flattery to have someone want to follow in your steps, but the thing they really need to do is follow in God's steps.  Like Paul said, "follow me as I follow Christ." I Cor 11:1. 

God, may I be an example that shines you and then allows you to shine the path of those who have followed me so they may take their path to your glory.  Amen.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Acts 2:40-41

Acts 2:40-41 – Save yourselves from this corrupt generation

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. – Acts 2:40-41
You decide to save yourself. Sounds funny since you know you cannot be saved without Jesus.  Jesus saves.  But your freewill is to CHOOSE Jesus to save you.  Save yourself from this corrupt generation.  Once you have chosen Jesus you see the world through new eyes.  Your community is now your mission, your old friends may choose to leave you, your new friends will bolster you, your life is now new, Satan will come after you, but if you choose, you will be saved from continuing as a part of the corrupt generation and become part of a new generation.  How exciting! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Acts 1:7-8

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:7-8
Since the movie 2012 many people have gotten caught up with thoughts on the end times. Yet Jesus was clear; we won’t know the time or dates. Instead, God gives us power to become a witness to our neighborhood (Jerusalem), our nation (Judea), our enemies (Samaria) and ultimately the world. It is important to remind those around us that Jesus is coming again, but to become anxious over a calendar date is a distraction that is neither fruitful nor satisfying.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,

That was the commentary that went with today's scripture and he is right about worrying over the day he will come.  I do think about it and I haven't seen that movie.  I look at the signs that the Bible said would occur, that it would become like the days of Noah where it was so bad that only one family could be found?  So bad that the majority of the people were godless in nature?  I see that occurring now and I do catch myself worrying.  My  special talent is that of encourager.  I am able to encourage good.  I don't talk or witness to my neighbors much (can't speak the language). 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

John 21:20-22

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” – John 21:20-22
I do have a difficult time not comparing myself to others.  Am I doing better than so & so?  At least I'm not like so&so.  And yet there are many many examples besides this one that tells us that no one can see into the heart of another man than God.  I wouldn't want other people to compare over me.  Yet, human nature is to compare.  I should compare, but compare myself to Jesus, who walked and loved and lived.  I must confess that it is difficult to do so because he is perfect and I am not and never will be.  How can I live up to perfection when I am so flawed?  This is a basic question, because philosophically, God sees me through the lens of his perfect son which makes my flaws obliterated, but my mind does not always comply.  My physical mental capabilities are not as transcendent as I would like them to be!

Dear God, help me to look openly at myself and then openly through your eyes at others.  That the path that I walk not be compared to others paths but only to what you would have me to do. 

Be with Brooke today and her examination.  May they praise her for her good work and exhalt her because of you. 

Be with my parents and the sale of their business.  Bring them a good buyer who will allow for them some rest.  Open the doors of a buyer who can afford the offer.  Prevent John from messing it up for them.  Bless them as you have always but in a final way.  I ask this in your will, so I know that it might be fulfilled in other ways that you see fit.  If Judy is that answer, please let the door slam shut on the promotion for her work and let her move to do that job.  Whatever is your will. 

Thank you God for the opportunity to pray to you, through your son, who died for me.  Please forgive me for the wrong doings that I commit, especially for the lies that I think or say.  Continue to teach me oh Lord.
I love you,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

John 20:26-29

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:26-29
"Of all of the disciples, Thomas was the most skeptical. Throughout the gospel accounts Thomas made cynical remarks and was the pessimist of the group. He would not believe that Christ had risen unless he could touch the wounds of the cross. But instead of rebuking Thomas, Jesus appeared to him with the evidence that Thomas needed. God’s humility brought Thomas to a place of surrender. God will meet the skeptics if they are willing to look at the evidence that He gives them. Jesus can turn doubt into belief."

It's a funny coincidence that Thomas is also my husband's name and he is always a skeptic first.  I have frequently gotten mad at him for questioning EVERYTHING.  But the thing is, by questioning things frequently, he also punches holes in false teachings and I'm so glad about that!  He is a good leader for me because of his willingness to look before leaping.  Jesus picked a wide variety of men to be a part of his disciples and he loved Thomas too.  Thomas probably helped the other disciples see past some falsehoods, ask questions they otherwise might not have asked..... and needed answers to.  I like Thomas.  Who doesn't need a little extra proof now and then, and like the commentator said here, God who loves us, provides simple proof to those who need it, if they are willing to look at it.  Really look at it.  Sometimes, looking into the Bible is the proof we need and He can show us.  But we have to be willing to look at it.  Look into the hole in the hand and put your hands in the side.  Are you willing to look there?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Exodus 20:16

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. – Exodus 20:16
"Lying distorts reality. We give a false testimony, or tell a lie about something, to change someone’s perception. It may be a person’s opinion of us, our abilities or strength. It may be to change their perception of another person. Either way, we are trying to be “God” in the situation. We are actually taking control over another person’s mind and emotions when we tell lies. Lying is an offense to God because he has commanded that we have no other gods before him-including us! If we believe and trust God to love and care for us in all things, we never have to lie to try and manipulate the circumstances. We only lie because we do not believe God is big enough to handle a given situation, so we take control of people and things with our words. We act like we are God in the situation. Trust that God is ‘large and in charge’ of everything in your life. Allow him to be your defender and you will no longer need to lie."

As I watch President Obama just now say, "No one is more committed to manned space flight than I am."  I want to pull a Senator Wilson and scream LIAR.  Just as I am reading this scripture about lying.  Lying to manipulate the circumstances. Politics.  Lying to manipulate the situation and our view of what they are doing behind the scenes.

I had never viewed lying as trying to be God.  Telling the truth lets Him handle the situation.  If you tell the truth, who can hold it against you.  Others may lie, but the truth is the truth.  You know only what you know and you tell the truth about what you know, then it is the truth.

I met a woman when I was working at Harding University named, Juanelle Teague, her motto is "Tell the Truth, Quicker, Faster."  I've never forgotten that.  She was impressive because of her willingness to just say it like it is.  Don't hold back because then you are known as a truthful person.

Another saying I used to have on my bulletin board when I worked for the Navy was "No one can take away your integrity but you."  The truth!  Always tell the Truth, God can work with it.  He doesn't work with lies, because he cannot lie. 

This has been an effecctive verse for me today.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Exodus 20:14

You shall not commit adultery – Exodus 20:14

I am intimately aware of this scripture as Jesus put it to not even desire it in your heart.  Both Tom and I have been on the wrong side of this scripture.  It's in our marriage and something we have worked through, but are keenly aware again, that God's ways are better than ours.  That breaching trust is the most destructive thing in our marriage.  That flirting with the disaster is as bad as the disaster in this case.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Exodus 20:13

You shall not murder. – Exodus 20:13 (NIV)
I read a commentary that said this. "When we read this 6th Commandment, ‘you shall not murder’, we all sigh a breath of relief, “At least I’m keeping this command!” But remember, Jesus really raised the bar on this when he taught that if we have hate or hard hearts toward another person it is the same as if we murdered them. Ouch."

It also said that we play God when we decide to "remove" a person through hatred or murder.  I guess that I would be guilty of this then, because in my heart, I have hated one woman and one man in my life as to put them six feet under at least a dozen times.  They maligned me and hated me so much that I ran away from God for a while.  They were members of my own church and they were so evil toward me that I reached out in ways I never should have, or maybe would have.  I blame a lot of things in my life on them.  ULTIMATELY, what I did were my own choices.  I chose to behave the way I did.  I chose.  My life, my choice.  I still dislike those two people to a great degree and I cut them out of my life.  And through that, I cut out most people that were attached around them, like you cut out the cancer and the surrounding tissue.

I am learning so much about myself in these daily scripture readings. God has a plan so great and so far above me that I am in awe of how much he loves me.  How much he loves us and puts the world together.  How much is law makes sense in ways that my finite mind can barely grasp. 

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12

 Who doesn't have problems with their parents.  I've spent a few years in therapy because of mine and experiences I had as a kid. I love and respect my parents and I would do anything they needed me to do.  But they are not perfect.  I am not perfect.  And, I was not a perfect parent to my children and they will not be perfect parents to their children.

There must be a reason that God felt he needed to state this implicitly.  And that Jesus needed to repeat it in the new testament. 

I read a commentary that said that God specifically chose the parents you were born to and the time that you were born.  I struggle with that statement.  God would choose for me to be born to abuse, absent, murderous parents that I was then to honor?   Since God's ways are higher than my ways and God's wisdom greater than mine, I could see where that statement could make some sense.... in the way that we are all overcomers and that God can bring us out of ANY situation to be a great person for HIM, no matter the circumstances.  Choosing HIM is the ultimate point of any life and through him, we could honor our parents and show His love to them regardless.  Forgiveness is available for all if we honor ANYONE through Him.  That is the only way that the horribleness that some experience as children could overcome.  Forgiveness is amazing.  That is the only light in which this verse makes sense to me.  My thoughts are really jumbled on this one.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exodus 20:7

You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. – Exodus 20:7

This verse always disturbs me because I worry about using God's name in vain by accident.   That OMG that is frequently used in email or text, I write OM goodness.  I don't say "jesuschrist"  or GAWD.  I also don't say YAHWEH.  I read today concerning this verse that it is more about not using his name to guarantee our own things that would not exhalt God.  for example, if I said, I swear by God that I will do something (that I never intend to do) in order to fool the person into believing me.  That is holding God as a false witness.  Or to swear an Oath by God and then lie.  Or, believe me, I'm a Christian, extorting our following of Christ. That makes better sense to me.  In the Bible, God said  his name is I AM that I AM.  We don't going around saying that.  I don't pray to I AM.  I know him as God.  Father, Lord. It is good to pay attention to how I know him.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

Instantly my mind is singing the Acapella song "So that we might become his righteousness.  Instead of our sins he was offered for them, so that we might become his righteousness."

I am always humbled when I read about what He did for me.  I'm not worthy, but He loved me.  He loves me.  And that is why I can sing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Exodus 20:1-3

And God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:1-3

I am  the Lord your God, thou shalt have no other God's before me is actually the first of the 10 commandments.  If you remember that the Lord your God is the God above all and we are to have no other Gods before us, then we would remember that he is more important than that televisions show.  More important than that book, or that hobby.  I'm talking to myself here because I have a tendency to not want to read the Bible, instead, watch TV or work on my cards/crafts.  I  need to remember all the things he has brought me out of and how much he loves me.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Job 38:4-6

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – Job 38:4-6

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. – Romans 1:20

WOW!  His work is CLEARLY seen so that men are without excuse.  CLEARLY seen.  How can you argue?  The creation of the world is enough, but the daily visible actions of God caring in the world, of his love for us and of his joy for us.  We are without excuse. 

Mark 13:13

Mark 13:13 You will be hated all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Oh, I had a migraine and missed a couple of days.  Not just missed a couple of days of writing, but I barely remember them and don't know what happened except that I was in pain.  

I like this verse because it reminds me that it is not me that they are hating, but the word of God.  That those who have grown accustomed to the darkness despise the light and only those that want to choose the warmth of the light will draw near to it, while those who have chosen the darkness will despise it.  

Enduring through those that despise you because of your choice is great because you will be saved.  There is comfort and warning in this verse.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Psalm 104:24-25

How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number-
living things both large and small. – Psalm 104:24-25 (NIV)

I was just thinking about this the other day and how anyone could not wonder at the mighty and curious things that God has created for us to enjoy.  I wonder if he laughed at himself when he was creating the Giraffe's long neck, or the Orangutan's long arms.  Why he added those extra butt pads on some of the monkeys and how he decided on the stripes of the Zebra and the Tiger.  When he paraded each of the animals in front of Adam, did they laugh at them together?  When Adam named them was he serious sometimes or was he just full of whimsy? 

How could anyone not know there is a mighty creator based on all the creations that God has made.  A sea with tides that come in and out just at the right time.  A teeming underworld of life the opposite of our oxygen world.   I am overwhelmed with the beauty of the Spring trees in bloom and the birds that are busy building their nests. 

All things great and small, you my Lord have made them all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scrapping Monaco

There are two design teams that I have tried out for, Practical Scrappers and Cricutters Anonymous (formerly Just Buggin').

This is the layout I did for one of the teams and one that I am entering in a few challenges.  It is following this sketch from Practical Scrappers, designed by Lucy Chesna Designs

We just got back from France and Monaco, so I have been doing a little scrapping and will probably post more pages in the next couple of days.  Then you'll see my REAL style of scrapping. Ha ha ha.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Matthew 28:2-6

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

What a site to see.  What a comfort and excitement.  What a joy even today!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Luke 22:39-42

 Luke 22:39-42
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  (NIV)

That's a very hard prayer when you are afraid or just when you want something so bad!  There is something I want really bad right now for someone else and I pray, but I don't think I have ever prayed sweat drops of blood.  I don't think I've ever prayed with the fervor that Christ had to pray.  He was only a stone's throw away, how far is that?  Could the disciples still see him?  Did they pray not to fall into temptation?  It is Easter weekend so the daily bible verses are concentrating on those events that led up to his death.  I can't imagine knowing that I was going to go through a brutal, terrible beating and a shameful hanging and being accepting.  It's so hard to imagine.  I'm very grateful that Christ did it for me.