31 December 2012

Just What You Need!

I want to tell you about a great resource out there for you to find something good to read everyday in, including:
  • encouragements, 
  • scoldings, 
  • poetry and songs,
  • stories (about good people and bad people, and the consequences of their choices), 
  • illustrations, 
  • sermons, 
  • and even miracles.
It's got a reading schedule of sorts in it, and you can follow by days of the month or days of the week.

It's for everyone: men, women and children, married, single and widowed, old and young, country folk and city people, plain and PhD'd, saint and sinner.

You may be bogged down with a lot of books and online sources and worksheets and mailings and e-mailings and daily readers - but you can have it all in one, and, bless you, you've already got one or two in your house, and you can find it online, too: it's the Holy Bible! 

Find one small enough to carry with you for reading in the elevator or waiting room.

Put one by your bedside and in your bathroom reading shelf.

Get one that's got a dictionary/concordance in it, if you doubt your own research skills.

Pick one up in another translation to compare and find deeper, more beautiful, broader and more specific meanings.

Find a local Bible study group (they're everywhere) to go even further in your understanding and appreciation, as well as to get encouragement to keep on reading and growing every day.

Cover it with your favourite wall paper or wrapping paper to match your room.

Copy out thoughts on your own choice of paper, napkin, notebook or arm, for re-reading and memorizing throughout the day or week.

Take notes right on the pages!

If you need a copy of the Bible, know that it's the world's best selling book, so you're likely to find it anywhere; just find your local church, and even if they don't practice everything within it's pages, more than likely they will have a book for you to take home and keep.
Maybe you were looking for a blog or a book or an e-mailing or an online group, because you think you need them. They can be a help - for sure! - but this book has got everything you need.

Pick one up today!


scripture art above from :  http://www.scripturewallart.com/acts.html

20 December 2012

Are You Afraid? Should you be?

This is a good answer for us to consider when very bad things happen:

"Sandy Hook: America Needs To Take A Collective Breath"

I took it a step further in my response to the author. I tend to think a lot, and sometimes it spills out of my head on to someone's blog. I thought I would post it here too, since this is really where my own opinion resides, when it spills out of my head, that it.

(Maybe this is why women are told to cover their heads.)

Rhodes, I agree with you on this - not that it matters if I agree, but that we all agree with what God has taught us, of course - and I wonder a step further:

Should we not only NOT fear death or the loss of our personal stuff, or even our own health, but shouldn't we rather hope for the loss of some of these things? It is a touchy and difficult subject, I know, and I've struggled with it too. But as Christians, as Bible students, we read thoughts like 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.  We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." 2 Corinthians 5:8: "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." And even Isaiah 57:1-2: "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.  Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."

We as humans want to defend ourselves because... why? Because we don't want to let go of our stuff, our health, our lives, our loved ones. But all that we have is the LORD's already. I have already given my children to Him, to His keeping, and my own life and stuff too. Why become a murderer in order to defend what is already in His keeping, whether it be me, my stuff, or my loved ones? Perhaps this is only the crazed spouting off of a so-termed "pacifist", but it seems to me to be better to be prepared to go and be with Him, knowing as well that my young children "will not come to me, but I will go to" them, and that, as we read in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: ". . . our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

I think we mourn too deeply for ourselves, though for certain it is no sin to mourn (as even Jesus himself wept more than once, and deeply too). And I am afraid that we fear and panic and fight and defend because we do not trust God to take care of us, whether to protect us and defend us while on earth or to keep us safe forever in His perfect realm. Jesus told us that we "will have trouble," and though we do not seek it, we should be prepared for it, so that when bad things happen, we do not turn secular psychology and governments to help us "get through it", but will actually rely on Him who we gave our lives to, and His family, who have been comforted before so that we can comfort others too (I can't recall that verse)[see below]. Perhaps we didn't really relinquish our "rights" over our bodies, our families and our stuff to Him... and if not, maybe we should.

John 11:25-26: "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?""

Romans 14:8: "If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."

Philippians 2:20: "I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Matthew 19:29: "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."

In my head, when I read these things, and when I contemplate them in the larger story of the good news that Jesus Christ brings us, I feel much more peaceful and confident - not in myself, but in that "Greater Power" whom I love. And I am not motivated to follow Him from fear of punishment or of longing for the pleasures of reward, but simply because I really don't have anyone else like him, who takes a genuine interest in my welfare.

19 December 2012

Letter from the Old Lady Grammar Police

Dear Friends,
Do you know what the abbreviations you use really stand for? and how crass, vulgar, common, unwise, limited in vocabulary, a person sounds when they use the words they stand for, or the abbrev.s themselves? "Everyone else does it" and "it's not really what it means anymore" don't actually answer the question, by the way, because I am at least one person who doesn't do it, and it still means not-classy to me (speech communication major extraordinaire), so I'm sure there are a few dozen others who's estimation of you (and the One you stand for, or the business you represent, or the family or country you come from) lessens just a bit when they hear/read these things from you, because it shows (whether it is your intention or not) that your estimation of me and others like me is that you just don't care what we think or how we feel.

Well, listen please: I care about you and I care about how you represent your true, loving, wonderful self, and I really wish you would consider saying what you mean, and meaning what you say, and doing it in a way that glorifies God, or elevates a stranger's view of your job, your school, your family, or your country, and makes people think of what you're really trying to say rather than hearing/reading a phrase that "everybody else" says/writes that really means nothing. Do words mean so little to you? You probably can tell me of a time when words hurt you, helped you, healed you, hurried you or hugged you. And surely you would like to be taken for who you really are - a unique, thoughtful individual with a heart, who doesn't just blindly follow others, but who tries to uplift and encourage other people along the way, and maybe even brighten someone's day. That's why you forward or share those funny or enlightening pictures, right? Please, don't make your readers/listeners have to stoop down in order to to stand back up again by using words and abbreviations that are beneath us all. It's called "dumbing down". Yes, it is. If you don't want me to be talking to you as if you were a child, using words like "don't," "can't" and "potty-mouth", then don't talk to the world at large (through tweets and fb comments) as though the people around you have a tiny, ignorant, non-descriptive and illogical vocabulary either.


And Thank You.

With love from,

The Advisers to the Grammar Police

01 December 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

" . . . do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls."

Reading about Elizabeth and Zacharias in Luke 1 - talk about perseverance and confidence. Did you know that Elizabeth's name means "God's promise"? Think of Elizabeth's life of loveliness, as she lived by faith, not by sight. “And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years." 
Can this be said of us? That we are righteous, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord - even without considering the grace of Christ, for remember that Elizabeth and Zacharias lived in the days before God came to earth as a man to provide that grace of son-ship and forgiveness to us. In spite of watching all their friends and relatives with their babies while they had none of their own, seeing blessings which it seemed that they had somehow been denied, they stayed true and faithful. "Anyway", some might add.
No matter what, never give up. Never surrender.

Consider this: