Saturday, April 30, 2011

ISAIAH 58:8

Isaiah 58:8 reads "Then your salvation will come like the dawn..." Just before it Isaiah is talking about how we are supposed to free the wrongly accused, lighten the burden of those who work for us, free the oppressed, remove chains that bind people, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, and not hide from relatives who need us. I grew up with my parents stressing good works in order to be a good girl, but never about how salvation wasn't based on works. Salvation is based on our accepting Christ's grace and his authority and power to free us from our sins. However, if all we do is get "saved" and never do a good deed again in our lives, really, how Christian are we? I think Isaiah is saying that if we are truly saved then serving our community should come naturally to us, just like the dawn comes naturally every morning, without fail. We will WANT to help others. We all do it in different ways. I happen to open my house to people all the time and feed and house them. You might serve in a mission or babysit kids for free. You might write stories to share with hurt kids or make blankets for the homeless. You might donate a year's worth of allowance to a worthy cause, or you might pray for your neighbors every day. The point is, if you are truly wanting to live a life like Christ, what are you doing to help others? I don't think I do enough, but I do what I can given my physical abilities and financial restrictions. I have lots of time so I might have to start asking God to lead me to someone who needs my time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

FOLLOWERS

I just decided to allow followers.  I was asked by a friend to do so.  I write on this blog for my pleasure and as an outlet to reach those God leads here.  I hit 1000 hits since I started this blog and imported past posts from a long ago blog.  I figure if I'm getting that many hits in just a few months I should make it easier for people to follow me.  If I don't get any followers, I'll just drop the option.  I pray God brings those who need it to this site.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Random Thoughts This Week

There comes a time when silence is a form of betrayal.  Not sure who said this, but I liked it.  I heard it at church this morning at Victory Church, Frank and Jackie's church.  I must be willing to speak up courageously for my God.  I must not let the fear of offending others silence me.

Friday night I went to Sagebrush and heard that we should all wake up and realize we are here because someone (Jesus) died in my place.

During my BSF (bible study fellowship) http://www.bsfinternational.org/ I read "If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday" Isaiah 58:10
As a follower of Christ I should demonstrate this in personal integrity and social responsibility.  How will I respond to the social ills that exist next door and around the world?  I don't want an outward religion as a replacement for what God requires, a genuine relationship with him producing acts of righteousness and justice.  I can't save the world, but I can help those in my community.  My mission at this phase in my life is to assist teenagers and young adults who need a safe place to dwell once in a while, to be a listening ear to their troubles and to teach them some life lessons they missed out on.  I enjoy having all these kids hang out at my house and will miss them when I am no longer needed, but I will rejoice in their individual successes and shout out in praise at their many accomplishments to come.  I pray my children will continue this tradition in their own homes with their spouses and families, to be a lighthouse those in need will flock to, to feed and shelter the neglected or abandoned.  I hope the children who have been loved in this home will remember to pass on the kindness they received to others while using the gifts God has given them.  Thank you Lord, for giving me the opportunity to serve my immediate community.

Monday, April 18, 2011

GOD PLANNED OUR SALVATION BEFORE HE CREATED EARTH

1 Peter 1:18-20 (New Living Translation)

18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.

Before I had children I knew one day I would be called upon to discipline them.  It's human nature, afterall.  I would never expect my children to be perfect, although I strived to raise them in such a way that they would honor God and be as good natured as humanly possible.  I allow them to make mistakes and misbehave sometimes so they can learn life lessons they would never learn if I demand perfection from them.  I allow their free will to dominate at times.  It's hard to see my children fall and suffer.  I could not pay a ransom to save them.  Who would I pay it to?  Who would accept it?  I could not even sacrifice my own life for them to be free of sin.  No matter what I would attempt to do to save my children from their own sins, I have no power to do so. 

God wanted the same thing.  He wanted his children, us, to be perfect.  However, he also gave us free will.  Even before he created the earth and humankind, he had a plan to save us from all the dumb mistakes we would make along the way.  He knew our free will would dominate and he knew the path humankind was going to pave.  So, he chose Jesus to be our salvation, to come to earth in human form and save us all.  He allowed his one and only son to die, bloody and beaten on a crosss, in order to wash away our sins.  Jesus paid the ransom, with his blood, his life, in order to make us spotless in the eyes of God.  Jesus has the power and authority to save us from our own Hell.  He offers us eternal life with him in the glory of Heaven.  We cannot join him in Heaven if we don't join his family while still here on earth.  Where do you want to live?

There really is a Hell and there really is a Heaven.  Do you believe in Heaven?  Then you have no choice but to believe in Hell.  You can't believe in God and not satan.  You can't believe in good and not bad.  You can't believe in salvation and not believe in lost souls.

*Yes, I capitalized Hell and Heaven because they are real places, proper nouns.
*No, I did not capitalize satan, eventhough he is a real person.  I won't give him that honor.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HOW WRITING MAKES ME FEEL

The written word is a powerful thing. When I put pen to page I feel sweet solace and find respite from the world around me. I can dream with words and go on grand adventures. I can paint pictures with words and create new worlds. I can relive the past and imagine the future. I cannot fathom a life without verse and chapter. Every word that I write is a beat of my heart and as long as someone, someday glances upon them, I will live forever.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

KEEPING MY MIND ON GOD

God gives me the perfect verse at the perfect time.  When I had a rough time in my life God reminded me that he promises peace in the midst of turmoil and joy in the deepest sorrow.  I often wondered why God would allow this adversity in my life.  But, as I kept my mind on God's Word and on the promises I read there, peace began to edge out despair.  Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep me in perfect peace if my mind stays on him.  You see, I had to have help in striping the lies and half-truths Satan was trying to tell me.  I asked God to whisper in my ear all day long so I could dispel any ugly thoughts.  Perfect peace means fulfillment, abundance, well-being and security.  I have all those things in God.  I will have the strength to keep my mind on God if I just ask him to help me.  God wants to support me and have me depend on him.  When my mind is focused on God, I have the determination to follow his will, and I learn that God is enough.  The Lord is everlasting strength and in God's strenth I can discover abundance and well-being.  I have kept my mind on God, fervently, in the past few months.  I have realized I like my life so much better when God is standing next to me every minute of the day.  I still have occasional adversities in my life, some bigger than others, but I can handle anything now because I know God looks after those who seek him.  I

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BIBLE CHAPTER HEADINGS - EXODUS

EXODUS
The Israelites In Egypt
1:1
The Birth Of Moses
2:1
Moses escapes To Midian
2:11
Moses And The Burning Bush
3:1
Signs Of The Lord’s Power
4:1
Moses Returns To Egypt
4:18
Moses And Aaron Speak To Pharaoh
5:1
Making Bricks Without Straw
5:6
Promises Of Deliverance
6:1
The Ancestors Of Moses And Aaron
6:14
Aaron’s Staff Becomes A Serpent
7:1
A Plague Of Blood
7:14
A Plague Of Frogs
8:1
A Plague Of Gnats
8:16
A Plague Of Flies
8:20
A Plague Against Livestock
9:1
A Plague Of Festering Boils
9:8
A Plague Of Hail
9:13
A Plague Of Locusts
10:1
A Plague Of Darkness
10:21
Death For Egypt’s Firstborn
11:1
The First Passover
12:1
Israel’s Exodus From Egypt
12:31
Instructions For The Passover
12:43
Dedication Of The Firstborn
13:1
Israel’s Wilderness Detour
13:17
The Egyptians Purchase Israel
14:5
Escape Through The Red Sea
14:15
A Song Of Deliverance
15:1
Bitter Water At Marah
15:22
Manna And Quail From Heaven
16:1
Water From The Rock
17:1
Israel Defeats The Amalekites
17:8
Jethro’s Visit To Moses
18:1
Jethro’s Wise Advice
18:13
The Lord Reveals Himself At Sinai
19:1
Ten Commandments For The Covenant Community
20:1
Proper Use Of Altars
20:22
Fair Treatment Of Slaves
21:1
Cases Of Personal Injury
21:12
Protection Of Property
22:1
Social Responsibility
22:16
A Call For Justice
23:1
Three Annual Festivals
23:14
A Promise Of The Lord’s Presence
23:20
Israel Accepts The Lord’s Covenant
24:1
Offerings For The Tabernacle
25:1
Plans For The Ark Of The Covenant
25:10
Plans For The Table
25:23
Plans For The Lampstand
25:31
Plans For The Tabernacle
26:1
Plans For The Altar Of Burnt Offering
27:1
Plans For The Courtyard
27:9
Light For The Tabernacle
27:20
Clothing For The Priests
28:1
Design Of The Ephod
28:6
Design Of The Chestpiece
28:15
Additional Clothing For The Priests
28:31
Dedication Of The Priests
29:1
Plans For The Incense Altar
30:1
Money For The Tabernacle
30:11
Plans For The Washbasin
30:17
The Anointing Oil
30:22
The Incense
30:34
Craftsmen: Bezalel and Oholiab
31:1
Instructions For The Sabbath
31:12
The Gold Calf
32:1
Moses Intercedes For Israel
32:30
Moses Sees The Lord’s Glory
33:12
A New Copy Of The Covenant
34:1
Instructions For The Sabbath
35:1
Offerings For The Tabernacle
35:5
Building The Tabernacle
36:8
Building The Ark Of The Covenant
37:1
Building The Table
37:10
Building The Lampstand
37:17
Building The Incense Altar
37:25
Building The Altar Of Burnt Offering
38:1
Building The Washbasin
38:8
Building The Courtyard
38:9
Inventory Of Materials
38:21
Clothing The Priests
39:1
Making The Ephod
39:2
Making The Chestpiece
39:8
Additional Clothing For The Priests
39:22
Moses Inspects The Work
39:32
The Tabernacle Completed
40:1
The Lord’s Glory Fills The Tabernacle
40:34

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BIBLE OUTLINE - EXODUS

Purpose:  To record the events of Israel's deliverance from Egypt and development as a nation.
Author:  Moses
Date Written:  1450-1410 bc, during Israel's wandering in the wilderness.
Setting:  Egypt, God's people, once highly favored in the land during this the time of Joseph are now slaves.  God is about to set them free.
Key People:  Moses, Moses' mother (Jochabed), Miriam, Pharaoh, Pharaoh's daughter, Jethro, Aaron, Joshua, Bezalel
Key Places:  Egypt, Goshen, Nile River, Land of Midian, Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula, Mount Sinai
Special Features:  Exodus relates more miracles than any other Old Testament book and is noted for containing the Ten Commandments.
Key Points:
*Slavery - The Israelites were slaves for 400 years.  Physical slavery is like slavery to sin.  The longer you are a slave, the more difficult breaking free becomes.  Gaining freedom from sin requires God's power.
*Guidance - God guided Israel out of slavery by using the plagues, Moses' leadership, the miracle of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments.  God demonstrates his power in our life through the guidance of wise leaders and the effort of Christian friends working together.  He can be trusted to give us the guidance we need to follow his will.
*Ten Commandments - Through the Ten Commandments, God taught Israel the importance of making the right choices and accepting responsibility for one's actions.  Both are key to our growth as Christians.
*The Nation - God established the nation o fIsrael to be the source of truth and salvation to all the world.  Israel's newly formed nation models for us the need to depend upon God.  Whether we are rebellious or obedient, God remains our only source of absolute, eternal truth and life.