Can't Dance, So Sew!


This Mysterious Peace
October 22, 2017, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Faith, Uncategorized

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Isaiah 26:3, KJV

One day in May this verse came to mind, so I searched for and found the reference. The very next day as I opened “Jesus Calling” there it was as a key verse for the day. God always knows my heart! He often affirms my thinking and encourages me in this way. I believe He is reaffirming my desire for a close connection with Him through His Holy Spirit. What an awesome God!

Skeptics may say that I imagine these special moments, or that they are mere coincidence. However, I have lived long enough not to believe in coincidence. I see an eternal design in the universe and  even in my little, supposedly insignificant life. He did not call me to Him and then abandon me to  find my own way. He is personal and involved in my everyday struggles and triumphs.

I rule out coincindence or “happenstance” because: I know the Father loves me. I know He has saved me by His Son’s atonement on the cross. I also know the Holy Spirit dwells in me and instructs me through the abiding grace of the Son. Every time the Enemy tries to confuse me, I have been rescued by the Word hidden in my heart.

I have hidden Thy Word in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11

Memorizing this verse along with many others during the years I was attending Bible School, Sunday School, Girls’ Auxiliary (all the opportunities my church provided), is the foundation which holds and steadies me. Life in this world works to knock us off our foundation, causes us to doubt absolute truth and follow such things as relativism, secular humanism, new age ideology, and other harmful lies. The world and the forces of evil have wrought all kinds of mental anguish and sicknesses both physical and psychological. I wish families today realized the importance of being grounded in the Word of God, and hiding it in theirs and their childrens’ hearts.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man (person) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17; See also Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

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Blogging versus Journaling
October 30, 2017, 6:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My journal is my friend and confidant; more enjoyable to me  than blogging. Probably because it’s more private and personal. I feel more free to put down thoughts as they come to mind. ..get them out in the open to consider more objectively even before they’ve been sifted through any other filters. I do sometimes imagine someone reading a journal in the future, but a blog is more for sharing in the present, so has to be more carefully considered and worded so as not to be misunderstood by others.

I will still try to blog, but only if I feel I have something significant to say.

The suggestion has been made to me that I write about my life for posterity. However, there honestly doesn’t seem to be any worthy subject matter. My life has been very simple; nothing noteworthy.

My church experience, my faith and its birth and cultivation, while life-changing and permanent, were never the sit-on-the-edge of your seat exciting.

Books I have read and authors I admire have had a greater impact on my thinking and reasoning than any other factor. There have been numerous selections that made me want to buy them in bulk, hand them out and make it mandatory that they be read. However, not too long ago I was on the receiving end of just such a book and actually found it to be an affront to my own belief system! Needless to say, I am cured of that notion.

Perhaps book reviews? We shall see.



Release from Fear of Writing
October 20, 2017, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Uncategorized

via Daily Prompt: Release

For years I have imagined myself as a writer. It’s now time. Why have I wanted to write? (and what?) We won’t even mention (at this  point): style, form, or substance. Yes, all these things are important. First I have to convince myself I have the ability. I once thought the only way was to sign up for a class at a local college. Upon retiring, there was now the time for it. But alas, time wasn’t the problem. I had lost all desire! After sitting at a work desk for days on end, I did not want to continue that position. Also, those classes from the local community college were a LOT more expensive than I had dreamed. (Isn’t everything?) Then: I am an avid reader! I’ve always heard this was the prerequisite to being able to write. Well, in my case (because of self-criticism?) when I read those writers’ works that I so admire, and examine their work and style, I become intimidated. There are those who string together words that paint pictures that make me feel that I am IN the picture. I’m okay with the words; what I lack is imagination. Well, there goes my self-critic.

“Why?” you may ask, do I say now it is time? Because one brilliant friend whom I admire believes I can do it! Just last night, she said “You should write.” We were not even talking about blogging. We HAD discussed books, and maybe that was what she meant. I can hardly think of that, though. Maybe a blog is where I should start. Now I have to begin to believe and release myself from the shackles of fear.

This same friend even suggested a topic: Growing up in the South as a “Southern Belle.” HA. If she had only known me then: unpainted house (think of the one John Grisham described); outdoor toilet, heating water on the kitchen stove for washing clothes, using a wringer washer on the back porch, running a hose from the outdoor spigot for two tubs of rinse water, starching clothes, hanging them on a line to dry, sprinkling them to prepare them for ironing. Well, you get the picture.

I may have just answered the question of WHY? Just in one paragraph, I have described a way of life that seemed perfectly normal to me at the time, yet my children and grandchildren can not possibly have a concept of it. I do certainly believe in preserving our history; exposing others to things foreign to them; not to mention reliving the things that shaped me and others like me: the good and the bad experiences.

In some ways those things made up a difficult way of life. However, even though I helped perform chores like the one mentioned, my particular life was not difficult at all. My parents were the ones who worked outside the home and provided for us the necessities and even some of our wants. I say “we” and “our” because I have a big sister. Together, we contracted with our parents to keep up the home because Mother always worked outside the home.

Okay, now I have answered another question: WHAT? (subject) Well, obviously I want to tell my story, but not something made up about being a Southern Belle or anything else I am not, but the joys of being a part of a loving, hard-working family and pulling together.

I want to tell younger people: growing up poor was not a life sentence. Nor is it shameful. In many ways it was a blessing, because I learned to do without. I learned we don’t have to have everything we think we want. I have learned, with Paul the Apostle, to be content with my circumstances, recognize blessings when I see them, and be grateful.

In case you are wondering, this is not going to be my autobiography. It is only a blog. Not my first blog, just the first after deciding I can do this after all.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to comment.



What are you telling me?
November 22, 2015, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Lord, in one of the few times I attended worship in my own church during the last year and a half, Dr. David Garrison was speaking. His message was inspiring and I was comforted by his message telling of all the Muslims coming to Christ, more in the 21st century than in the last 42 or 43 centuries! He left copies of his book in our library.

In spite of being encouraged by his words, and impressed by the man, I never bothered to check out his book. I went back to my routines and along with that, my regular fears, disgust with politics, negativism, anger and feeding on articles that backed up my worldly thinking. All this time I kept reassuring myself that “God is in control. I can trust Him with all things”, yet believing that this nation, even the world, was on the way out, with Islam taking over.

Today through laziness, and in spite of the opportunity I would have had to hear Esther Burroughs speak, I stayed in bed too long and went back to sleep. I then lost track of time and tuned in late to the service from First Baptist Richmond. After someone other than Jim Somerville came to the pulpit I had a fleeting thought of turning it off. (I am really ashamed of that.) As the speaker began, after greeting this church who had sent him and his wife out as missionaries some years ago, his subject matter started to sound very familiar and I knew I had heard him before. It soon became apparent who this was, and I started to cry, realizing God for some reason has given me an opportunity to hear and be inspired by him again. What will I do with this? I do intend to buy and read his book, not on Kindle but a hard copy so that it will be easier to share. Then I want also the book “EthNYcity” by his missionary friend who began a ministry in New York with his wife, also a missionary called to win other cultures. I am excited at his news of beginning to head up this ministry in January.

I’ve read many books on missions. I’ve had a strong admiration for our missionary heroes and marvel at their strong faith. I’ve seen and heard evidence of the GREAT and tremendous numbers of answered prayers; miracles, really, on their behalf. I recently read THE INSANITY OF GOD by Nik Ripken and was anxious to share it with everyone I know. I never took any steps toward that goal except to buy it for my Sunday School class and encourage them to read it. If anyone has, I haven’t heard of it. I thought briefly of joining the small, unheralded group of women who still meet in the name of missions and perhaps share my enthusiasm with them while learning where they stand in the scheme of things. However, as I’ve done most of my life, I never grasped that feeling as a strong resolve, and did nothing. Perhaps there is where I would find my voice and purpose? I am under the impression that Lexington Baptist is finished with me and that I can have no influence there whatsoever. Maybe I am not supposed to, and maybe the desire to do so has been strictly for the wrong reasons. I have not been shown a path toward any other local church or toward any field to enter.

Lord, what are you trying to tell me?



The Path of Life
October 12, 2013, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Faith | Tags:

“You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures for eternity.”   Psalm 16:11

We humans seek pleasure in all the wrong places, some more than others. I, myself, have made this mistake most of my life and forever sought satisfaction and contentment. Much of the time those qualities were elusive because I confused them with “happiness”. Now I understand the selfishness of my quest and the reason for its failure. It was good when things went my way. It was very bad when they didn’t.

Today I watch so-called grown people in leadership positions who cannot lead because of the same type of selfishness and immaturity. Oh, if only more eyes were open and hearts receptive to see and understand the path of life God offers and to experience the joy of his presence and the pleasure to be had in true fellowship and communion with Him.

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Prayer for the Nation
October 11, 2013, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Lately I’ve been studying the book of Daniel as taught by Beth Moore on video. So many lessons have come from that study that I hope will never leave me.

I have been reflecting on Daniel’s reactions to the visions God gave to him. It endears me to him to know that afterward, he was troubled and even physically ill. He was touched deeply by what would happen to his people, God’s chosen people. He was shown persecution of his people and the desolation of the Temple, both by Antiochus and by the AntiChrist.

When I read current world news and see the direction that America has been travelling for a number of years, I grieve. I also feel physically sick and, yes, afraid. I read the book Agenda 21 and recognize that our constitutional rights are being threatened, that political correctness reigns, the large presence in our lives of all things government (and anti-Christian), the attempt to secularize everything, this scenario (as portrayed in Agenda 21) could be ours in the not too distant future unless Christ returns first.

I don’t count this as being a certainty, or prophetic, or any kind of vision on my part. I see it as something we should have our eyes open to, to be diligent, to be informed, to read “the signs of the times.”

At the time of Obama’s first election, I wept bitterly because: Americans were blind to the socialist intentions behind the dressed-up promises; of the failure of the media to do their homework, letting themselves be swayed by the false oratory and boastful attitude of this one who is obviously not who he claims to be.

I have felt somewhat guilty and even faithless for bemoaning things I cannot mend instead of putting on a happy face and saying what I know to be true, God IS in control. Yes, I know that He is. I am certain of it. But I no longer regret my seemingly negative reactions. Daniel’s reaction to the visions he received,  and Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem in the New Testament are proofs to me that God understands this type of grief. It is not wrong to weep over God’s “new” chosen: we who have been adopted into His family. The way this generation has squandered and polluted the moral fiber of this “second Promised Land” and its God-given blessings, privileges and responsibilities, is just as sinful as the Israelites prostituting themselves to their false gods.

Like Daniel, I pray for us to be forgiven and restored to God’s favor; that we will turn again to Him and His Word and that the temples of our hearts will be cleansed and again worthy of His favor and blessing.  I pray that by journaling these thoughts I am leaving something behind in this journey so that others will be helped and encouraged.



Labels: Christian versus Religious
October 11, 2013, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Faith, Labels

A conversation arose with family members awhile back when the question was asked about someone: Was he religious? I answered in perhaps a puzzling way, and now they possibly even doubt my faith. Maybe I should explain. Although I have heard the expression from others and firmly believe it, “Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship,” blurting it out to someone not familiar with my particular (and maybe peculiar) thought processes could leave them with lots of questions.

I saw an article today where some well-meaning person was writing about how to embrace someone who isn’t religious, but claims to be “spiritual”. The implication in the article seemed to be to disparage someone who said that, and accuse them of using the statement as a cop-out. Well, I think they need to look deeper and see the magnitude, or lack thereof, of said spirituality.

Here’s my story: See, I’m a Christian. It’s not because of anything I do or have done. Jesus Christ did it all. He nailed my sins to a cross on a hill called Calvary more than 2000 years ago, and through grace, washed me clean, paid my debt, gave me eternal life. He only asks that I accept this beautiful gift of His grace. When people call me religious it makes me think I’m parading around something to make me something I’m not. But Christianity…well, I’m certainly not ashamed of it. I talk about it sometimes. I WANT to talk about it more, but most people are made uncomfortable by it.  But when I persist it’s because I love the people I’m talking with and I want them to know this joy, this abundant life, that I have. I want and need to share it. It’s known as witnessing and/or being a disciple. It’s in obedience to a command from Jesus himself. (Matthew 28:19-20). If I were a doctor and had a miraculous cure for a deadly disease and kept it to myself, that would be an awfully selfish act. If you had that disease you would want me to share that, so you could live. Well, Jesus came to give us life. Abundant life here on earth and eternal life with Him in heaven when we die. Should I not share that? If I do, don’t call me religious. Don’t call me a fanatic as a put-down. People EXPECT football fans, etc. to be fanatics and don’t look down on them for it. They are admired for supporting their team. Well, I have something far greater than any sports team to tell people about. Not to brag, or try to change you into anything you don’t want to be; but to let you know what a wonderful Savior I have and give you the opportunity to get to know Him, too. Only He, through the work of the Holy Spirit, can change anyone.

However, I can tell you how to get to know Him better. You can learn his will for your life. He left great instructions for us in a total of 66 books, called the Holy Bible. If you’ve always thought it’s just a dusty old tome full of unpronounceable names and boring facts from ancient history with no relevance to today, think again. Try it! And believe me, you will learn some exciting stuff.

More reasons I shy away from the term “religious.” Muslims are religious, but the “prophet” of the god they worship does not spread love. His people are taught to hate and even kill their enemies. Buddhists are religious, but their stone god is not alive to know them, to feel their pain, or to heal their diseases. Satanists are religious, too, but their god is a bringer of death, not of life. There are many, many more. People are sometimes religious in their worship of their big homes or boats or cars or jewels or conquests in some work-related field or just amassing wealth.  Also, I associate the word “religious” with the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day who were respected people, even the leaders of their synagogues; but they rejected Jesus because the power they held over the people’s heads concerning obeying “their” laws was more important to them than the free gift of grace offered to them by their very own promised Messiah. They felt threatened by him and missed out on the very blessings of heaven.

People do all sorts of things in the name of religion. From the beginning of time, they’ve fought wars because of it. They use it to discriminate against those not like them. Religion enslaves. Christianity, or rather, Christ, sets us free. He has freed us from the power of sin and of death. Christ set us free from the bondage of the law. The law as given to Moses was from God, and therefore, good. However, it had no power to save anyone. There still had to be blood shed for the remission of sins. The benefit of the law then and now is that it shows us our sin. Under the Old Testament, or Covenant, the Temple laws, the laws upheld by the Pharisees of the day, had to be atoned for by sacrifices, or the shedding of the blood of animals. When Jesus came, God in flesh,  He was the Holy, Perfect Lamb of God, whose blood cleanses us from sin, once for all. He instituted the New Covenant and the sacrifices do not have to repeated now, because our Savior was our living sacrifice. God loves us and provided a way for sinful mankind to come back to Him. If we were not sinners, and if we could do enough good deeds to win our way to heaven, and if there were no hell, then He would not have had to die.