Monday, December 31, 2012

Better Things Still to Come

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:9-12 NASB 

These verses remind me of Chris Tomlin's song lyrics:
Greater things are yet to come
Greater things are still to be done

 

Friday, December 28, 2012

You're Invited to a Feast!


When I was a college student, I received invitations to many weddings of my friends. One of my favorite memories is a wedding supper that was at my favorite Atlanta restaurant. We were escorted into the banquet room, where the tables were set with white linen and beautiful china. Roses and candles adorned each table. Beside my plate was a card with my name hand-lettered in calligraphy.

Jesus assures us that He would love for us to join Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb. If we have put our trust in Him as Savior, our place is set. Our seat is reserved.

Jesus said: 
"I say to you that many will come
from the east and the west 
and will take their places at the feast 
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 
in the kingdom of Heaven."
Matthew 8:11

Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Rev. 19:9 

photo courtesy wikimedia 

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Penny for Each Year

When I graduated to the primary class in Sunday School, there was a little church "bank" and the kids would put in five pennies when they turned five. Then the class would sing Happy Birthday to them.

With my December birthday, it seemed everyone else had already celebrated their big day and mine would never come! So one Sunday, I collected pennies from under the couch cushions at home and slipped them in my purse. When I got to Sunday School, I fibbed and told Ms. Lounette: "Today's my burf-day!"

Sadly for me, she worked at the same department store with my Mom, and she remembered well the day I was born. BUSTED!

Well, yesterday I officially "HIT 62".

I'm not sure that little bank would hold that many pennies!

Thanks to my YOUNGER sister Mildred, the news got out. Thank you for all the good wishes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just Deliver the Message

LEARN TO GIVE WITHOUT STRIFE
"Dear ones, when I send you with My message, your only assignment is to deliver the Word and then back off and let Me do the convincing. It is not your job to play Holy Spirit. To step beyond the boundaries of your assignment is to fall into a downward spiral that results in striving and debate." Sandy Warner
Truth is not a debate topic; TRUTH is a Person. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

Love is a Person. Jehovah God is Love. 
And LOVE is the picture of God that Jesus painted when He died in my place for my sin. 

Heavenly Father,

Make our lives pictures that paint a thousand words.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

God's Unlimited Resources

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:14-19

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Praying for Those Who Mourn

My heart goes out to the loved ones of the victims of the school shooting in Connecticut.

I pray for the children who are refugees from Syria and many others in war-torn countries.

I am thankful for parents who love and treasure their little ones.

Each day we have with them is a gift from God.

Jesus took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Mark 10:16

Friday, December 14, 2012

Saved the Day

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
Robert Frost

I love poetry and I am in awe of Robert Frost's ability to paint such a vivid picture with one sentence comprised of 34 words! As I pictured his frown being turned upside down by an unexpected shower of snow, I remembered an experience from years gone by.

I can remember several instances, when the kids were all at home, when there was family tension or teenage "crises" and then something unexpected would happen and everyone would dissolve into laughter.

One day we had a rare April snow in Georgia. I was anxiously trying to get everybody ready and out the door to be on time for some event. My husband and kids were in the car (or so I thought). I rushed out the storm door right into a volley of snowballs from every direction! This was WAR! After I attempted revenge with a few snowballs of my own, we arrived a little late - looking worse for wear - but in a much happier mood!

A merry heart does good like a medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Open Door

"When one door of happiness closes, 
another opens; 
but often we look so long at the closed door 
that we do not see the one 
which has been opened for us."
Helen Keller

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Household "Tools"

There was a time when my husband bought old houses, and remodeled them to sell. He also owned houses and offices that he rented out had to keep up. When it came time to make repairs at home, even though he had a truck full of tools, he was a bit reluctant!

I understood a little better, when I owned a flower and gift shop. After decorating and gift-wrapping for customers in town, even though I had bolts of wrapping paper and ribbon, I handed out Christmas presents to my loved ones in paper bags. I look back on this with regret, but I could not stand the sight of any more red and green!

Once our ladies' Bible class teacher reminded me that the "tools" I am given from God's Word need to be used first and foremost at home in my own life, before I can go out and share them with others.

Father,

Help me to honor those people who are closest to me, be thankful for them, and look for the good.

....Meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. 
Philippians 4:8

White As Snow

As I was substitute teaching in recent years in public school, I noticed that God is left out of the books and the conversation these days, but, thankfully, one little first grader did not get the memo that she couldn't praise the Lord.

As we were going out to recess, snowflakes began to fall, and she burst out in song, "Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus!"

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Robert Lowry

Friday, December 7, 2012

Childlike Trust

O Lord, you alone are my hope.
    I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.
Yes, you have been with me from birth;
    from my mother’s womb 
you have cared for me.
    No wonder I am always praising you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rare Perfume

When my grandchild, Ashlynn, was two, her mom was overjoyed to receive a bottle of her favorite perfume for Christmas. She placed the pretty bottle on the bathroom vanity.

Later, Ashlynn disappeared into the bathroom for a while; then came out into the living room where we were all sitting. She smelled STRONGLY of fine perfume! Oddly, she was wearing a washcloth on her head.

She had mistaken the perfume for hairspray. When she realized her mistake, she decided to cover up the fragrance with the washcloth! It didn't work.

As I remembered this cute story, I thought of a little worship chorus that is taken from Song of Solomon 1:3. We can sing these words to Jesus.

Your name is like an ointment poured forth,
A fragrance rare of wonderful oil.
Your name is like an ointment poured forth,
Your wonderful, wonderful name!

Father God,
As we go about our day, I pray that in our words and actions, the fragrance of Christ will be as noticeable as Mommy's perfume on Ashlynn's hair.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Success

He is like a tree planted beside streams- 
a tree that produces fruit in season 
and whose leaves do not wither. 
He succeeds in everything he does. 
Psalm 1:3 God's Word

photo by Karen - Lily Valley

What is success? We can read the stories of very successful people by the world's standards, who lived very unhappy lives. It's good when someone discovers at a young age that the only way to succeed is to stay close to the source of LIFE...His name is Jesus.