The occasion–my sister’s 70th birthday. I rebuked the cold of Cottage Grove, Minnesota to spend this special time with my “Sister Dear.” How much fun it was to laugh and be silly once again like we did when we were little girls. We even shared her king-size bed for our five days of true sisterhood. As we experienced this special time, I caught glimpses of our mother in my sister–her face, her smile, her gestures, and her wisdom. Oh my, we DO BECOME OUR MOTHERS. I had dread that thought as a young woman, believing I had mastered both my life and my personality. But as the Psalmist shared, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Hopefully also, with age comes wisdom and I now see the true gift we have inherited from our mother.
The old folk use to think that our loved ones might be seen shortly after their passing–a quick glimpse to reassure our souls that they are always with us. Moma never did appear that way. She did, however, give us glimpse of her in the faces, actions, and wisdom of her children she left behind. I saw her in my sister Jean this weekend and oh yeah, when I look in the mirror, I see her too!
On December 31st, 2011, many people made New Year’s resolutions that will guide their personal energies for the next 365 days. One year earlier more than 90 million adults (41%)made similar personal pledges. Goals will be careful crafted by businesses and organizations as they decide where to focus their financial and human resources. All these efforts are designed to produce successful outcomes for the upcoming year. But in evaluation of all the resolutions and goals, I am sure, there are few that request “a mountain.”
Monday , October 17th
Tuesday, October 18th
I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 1:7
If there is ever a time during a difficult task or journey in your life that you feel a need to be refreshed in order to continue; lean on Jesus and God’s Word as we will receive strength and encouragement beyond our wildest imagination.
Wednesday, October 19th
A few months ago I asked a very talented writer to develop a series that would provide “instantaneous joy” for you women on the move. It would be inspiring yet also give the reader Scripture they could meditate on during their busy day.
And “voila”, here you have it, “A Closet Full of JOY”. That talented writer is Myrna Jean Hart and she is my big sis. So we invite you to our closet, a Closet Full of JOY. Why joy? Because God’s Word, spoken through His Holy Spirit, will enlighten and delight you, even in the midst of your trials.
We also invite you to “hang up something cute” in our closet. (We even take other clothing pieces that might work for our ladies–shoes, hats, and other accessories. Before you know it, we will be trading “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” (Isaiah 61:3). I share with you three (3) garments from the closet to keep you clothed for the rest of the week. Help us grow our closet with God’s lovely joy.
Last week I was guest on a local radio show, Back to the Basics. From that preparation, came this Bible study aid, “Back to the B-A-S-I-C-S: Getting More From Your Bible Study.” Hope it helps. Let me know how you like it. SHARE YOUR “Bible Basics” with us.
B-Belief –“ But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit andbelief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13)
A-Ask the Holy Spirit for Guidance- “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” (John 16:13)
S-Spend time Studying God’s Word – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
I-Be Intentional in your study-“…that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3: 17)
C-Check out what God is saying to YOU-17 And take the helmet of salvation, andthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Eph. 6:17)
(LOOK FOR SPECS-sins,promises,examples,commands,strongholds)
September 11 will be known as one of the most horrific days in our countries’ history. Like the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, we clearly visualize where we were when we heard the news.
Psalm 90:12 reads: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” With that Scripture in mind and as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I have three (3) questions for the WordBytes audience.
- What has changed about your faith walk since September 11th?
- How did experiencing 9/11 affect how you ‘number your days’?
- Describe your relationship with God since 9/11?
- You (God) will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. (Isa. 26:3)
- And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)
When Jesus left this earth, He left many things for His new found followers to ponder. Through His Great Commission, He instructed us to make disciples. Through His teachings, He taught us how to live our lives until either He returns or He calls us home. The greatest lesson, however, was included in His Great Commandment.
First, “love the Lord with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Second, love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) Therein lies the real opportunity for Christians, especially the church, with its spirtual and financial resources, to show our love and compassion in a world that believes only in “me and mine.” This is the opportunity for churches to contribute to their communities–communities beyond their three (3) mile radius of ther church.
As a nation, we are facing enormous financial and social challenges. All “indicators of life” are operating at “record” levels—the highest unemployment, the greatest number of homeless and the largest increase in crime (which includes the cost of food and gas), just to name a few. But where is the care and concern for the needy, the weak, and the unprotected. The proverbial “crack” people fall into is already full of the first casualities of our fragmented and fractured society. I’m not surprised by the “society”–it’s a fallen, sin-sick place doing what it does best–endulging itself. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHURCH, ITS MINISTRIES AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS? Jesus told the “masses” (similar to today’s church congregations of believers, seekers, and ‘others’)
- Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matt. 5:13)
- Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 5:14-16)
So what’s the problem with the “salt and the light”? What do you think about the findings in the Barna study? I really want to hear from you “good church folk!”