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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What is Prayer?

Have you ever wondered what prayer really is or even  if when we pray anyone hears us even if we are praying just in our heart and not out loud, it never crossed my mind to wonder about that because I was raised in a Semi-Christian home and never questioned prayer, but since becoming an adult, I think I might have thought about it once or twice.  How about you?  I have some answers for you and it also is blessing me because even though I never questioned prayer, I have had questions about prayer and the whys and where-fores.  Such as 'if He hears me, why no answers?'  And yet I know He hears because I have had so many answers that definitely proves He has heard.  I may share one or two with you now and then.

What is prayer?  A favorite author of mine has said that 'prayer is the opening of the heart to God.'  The Bible says in Psalms 62:8  "Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."

Will God hear when we pray?    Psalms 3:4  "I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill."
Psalms 34:4,6  "I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.  This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles."  When I read these verses, it was like a healing balm to me.  I am so afraid of being left living alone again and I know now that He won't let be get into that circumstances again.  I don't want to live with anyone, I just want them near so I can have someone to talk to if I need to or to get help when I need it.  It seems right now that my troubles are many but He has promised to save me from all my troubles.  That is a great relief to me.  No more troubles to worry about.

What is the first step in offering an acceptable prayer?  Hebrews 11:6  "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  I believe with all my heart that He is God and does exist, how about you?  I hope you do there are so many reasons for believing.  So this is the first step in coming to God in prayer, believing that He is and always has.

What is the basis of true prayer?  John 15:7  "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."

What should be our state of mind in regard to all things asked for?  Luke 22:42  first part, "Father if it is Your will."  We should ask and let God do His will in answering.  That is a hard thing to do to succumb to God's will over ours.  But from experience I know that His will is best and always turns out better that what I willed to be done.  So trust His will for you, you won't be sorry.

Is it possible to ask for wrong things?  James 4:3  "You ask and  do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."  I believe that God wants us to ask for things that will be for our spiritual benefit and others too and then I think He answers those kinds of prayers.

I think this is enough for us to think about today, tomorrow I will continue on the Prayer Study, hope it helps you like it has helped me, this has really opened my eyes to some reasons why our prayers are not answered and tomorrow there is another one, don't miss out because prayer is the key that unlocks heaven's storehouse and we want His storehouse of blessings poured out on us, don't we?  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Mind Cure

A true story of a young man named Bill--Bill fried his brains on drugs.  When he woke up in the hospital, he had to be told his name repeatedly because he couldn't remember it.  A Christian lady who worked at the hospital took him to her home to recover.  She and her husband led Bill to Christ.  He decided that he needed to know some of the Word of God in order to be an effective Christian.  He began to memorize Scripture, he started with the book of Romans and it would take two weeks and sometimes three to remember one verse but he kept at it.  He memorized the  book of Romans, James and was working on Hebrews.  Bill claims it was the healing, restorative power of the Word that gave him back his mind.

I believe that there is power in the Word, lot's of power, if we would only put it to memory, or just read it to start with and then find promises to memorize, I know it takes effort and lots of it to start with but it becomes easier as we go along.  I have done quite a bit of memory work but not near enough, I remember one time I memorized the first seven chapters of Revelation and wish so often that I had kept it up, one of memory lanes memories that I wish I had done better at.  Here are some encouraging verses to help you know the importance of memorization.

Psalms 119:10,11  "With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You."

Verse 16,  "I will delight myself in Your statutes;  I will not forget Your word."

Verse 97,  "Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day"

Proverbs 4:4  "He also taught me, and said to me; Let your heart retain my words, Keep my commands, and live."
Proverbs 4:20-23  "My son, give attention to my words;  Incline your ear to my sayings,  Do not let them depart from your eyes;  Keep them in the midst of your heart;  For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.  Keep your heart with all diligence."

Colossians 3:16  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

1 Timothy 4:15  "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all."

Hebrews 2:1-3  "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him."

There are a lot more verses on memorizing the scriptures, but I don't want to burden you with too many, so this is enough to let you know how important filling our minds with His word is.  I am working on Isaiah 58 right now and only have the first one down pat and the second verse partly down.  I repeat psalms 103: 1-5 when I go to bed at night, it is such a good text to memorize, there is so much in this text that I needed, I just committed it to memory so I could say it whenever I needed it.

I know that memorizing texts helps heal our minds and of course satan does not like it when we store these up in our minds, so he gives us all kinds of excuses why we can't.  It's too hard, I don't have the mind to do it, I've never been good at memorizing, I don't have time and many others. What's your excuse, mine was I think I am getting too old, but of course that was another lie of the devils.  So let's get our minds on the road to healing and it will also be healing to body, soul and spirit.  Grandma Joan

Monday, July 29, 2013

Let's take a walk down memory lane.

I am a very nostalgic person and I love to look at pictures that bring back memories of the past, good memories.  I love to talk about the good old days and recall the good times and try to forget the bad times. It's like you are back there again, having a good time again with friends and family.  Yesterday I was sorting through some things, keeping some and discarding some and I ran across a picture of an old, old farm house when we first moved to Oregon, I was around eleven or twelve and the house was so old that snakes could crawl up the vine on the porch and sneak in to our upstairs bedroom.  I am scared of snakes and the memory of that still lingers.  My mother did our laundry on a washboard, it was primitive living to say the least but it was good living even then.  We learned to work and I ended up being a workaholic if there is such a thing, but it has always been good for me.  I never hated work.

I was thinking about my walk down memories lane with Jesus, how up and down it has been and feel so bad that it couldn't have been up all the time, I would be so much closer to Him now then I am and would know His will for me better than I do now.  How much I have lost through the years by my up and down travels with Jesus.  Some of it has been very good and other times I have sunk into a pit, when things didn't go as I though they should, sounds selfish doesn't it and I suppose it was.  No excuses for it.

How has your walk down memories lane been?  Smooth, up and down or just plain down?  I know the feeling of it all and it doesn't bring back good memories sometimes and other times it is real good memories.

In Hebrews 13:5  He said in the last part, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."  Now that is the reason I am where I am today, He has never left me nor forsaken me and He never will, I can be very sure of that.
So that is the part of memories lane I like to remember, the part where He has never left me not forsaken me.  That is why I love Him so much, He has always been there for me and heard and answered my prayers even in my down times.  I can't wait to see Jesus and hug His feet and thank Him for walking with me all the way to the kingdom.  They are all good memories when you think of it this way, don't you think?
Grandma Joan

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nearness to God

Is there a void in your life?  An empty hole that you can't seem to fill?  I have been there and sometimes yet I feel a void, or an emptiness that nothing fills and each time I have to turn to God for filling.  Right now, I feel empty and undone and I know that this study is going to fill up that hole.  Drawing near to God fills that void, I know because I have been there, just as empty as you are if that is your situation, and when we turn to God and draw near to Him, He does fill that void.

Psalms 16:8  "I have set the Lord alway before me;  because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."
It's our responsibility to set the Lord always before us, putting Him first in everything and because of this He makes us steadfast so that we can't be removed from Him.

Psalms 34:18  "The Lord is nigh unto them of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
Even when our heart is broken He is there for us and saves us when we have a repentant spirit.

Psalms 145:18  "The Lord is nigh unto them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth."  We can call upon God at anytime or anywhere, He is close to us when we call upon Him in truth.  When we are abiding in His word and we know that His word is truth then we can trust Him to be near to us.

Acts 17:27  last part.  "He is not far from each one of us."  What a consolation to know that He is as close to us as or even closer than a brother or sister or even a parent.  I always feel better when I do one of these studies, it helps me a lot when I lose heart or get a little blue, which is satan's method of getting us down, so I need to resist him and draw near to God and He will draw near to me.  James 4:8.

There is an answer to every problem in the scriptures, we just need to search for them.  We always draw near to Him when we open His word and start reading it, the blues just seem to fly away and the void gets filled to overflowing.  I so much want to overflow with God's love and knowledge.  How about you?
Grandma Joan

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Forever and Ever!

The word Forever is mind boggling at least to me, it is so hard for me to fathom 'forever'.  I know it is true but in this world we have never seen anything that even resembles 'forever'.  The flowers fade and die, the trees lose their leaves when the leaves die, trees die, animals die and people die.  So where does 'forever' come in?

I am going to go to the book of revelation and just capture a few thoughts to stimulate your mind in to studying this subject on your own, it is a fruitful study and so beautiful, you just can't miss the promises of eternal life for all who really want it.

Revelation 22:1  "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb."  Have you ever seen a river of water like that?  I am sure that you can drink of this river because it says it is a pure river of water of life.  I want to taste that water some day.
No poisons in it to purify it so we can drink it.  A wonderful treat.

Verse 2, "In the middle of the street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit each month.  The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."  Have you ever seen a tree that bore a different kind of fruit each month.  And I am very sure that the fruit on this tree will be nothing like what we have here on this earth.

Verse 3  "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  There will be no dying there, trees, flowers, animals, people.  No more working by the sweat of our brow, which to us here is a blessing but it was brought upon us through sin and so no need for it in heaven.

Verse 4  "They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads."  We shall see Him face to face and He will give us a new name, see Revelation 14:1.

Verse 5  "There shall be no night there;  They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.  And they shall reign forever and ever."  There will never be night there, no need for lamps or street lights, everything will be bright and beautiful. For the Lord God gives them light.

Verse 5 last line.   "And they shall reign forever and ever." There it is, we shall reign with Him forever and ever.  There are other texts that say this too.

I hope I have wet your appetite for the book of revelation, it is a wonderful book and a lot of people don't read it because they have been told it is a sealed book and we can't understand it but that's not true, you can see that it is pretty clear, so finish reading chapter 22 and then go back and read chapter 21 to see what the description is of the Holy City that will be here on the New Earth when it is recreated.  Revelation is full of beautiful thoughts and prophecies to be understood by us for the days we are living in. I hope you have enjoyed just a glimpse of eternity, it was just a little glimpse, but revelation is full of promises to us who are looking to live with Jesus our Savior forever.  So get busy and read some of it, it will enthrall your senses.
If you want a thorough study on the book of Revelation, click on the button 'Amazing Facts' and they will have a great study on it, and many other interesting topics.  So until tomorrow,  Grandma Joan

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Faith of Others.

Sometimes when we review what others have done or said, it helps us to follow their example if it is a good example.  I know one person that has had faith that to me is unbelievable and by his faith, things follow through for him but he is not working for himself, he is working for God and perhaps that is the secret to his prosperity in his ministry, I am sure that it is.  I am also sure that those working under him have formed more faith in their lives.

In Hebrews it tells about the faith of a lot of Bible characters and I am going to recount some of them and see if that helps our faith.  I am going to tell you what verse I am reading from but am going to just give you a glimpse of it in my words, you can read them later and see if I am right or not.

Hebrews verse 4, Abel offered to God the sacrifice that God required and Cain his brother did not and it was counted to him as righteousness and his brother killed him because Abel's offering was accepted and Cain's was not and so Cain killed his brother and even though Abel is dead is faith still speaks to us today.

Verse 5,  Enoch was translated because he had this testimony, 'that he pleased God.'
Verse 7,  By faith Noah being divinely warned of God of things he hadn't seen, yet he moved with godly fear and built an ark for the saving of his household and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Verses 8 - 12  By faith Abraham obeyed the Lord and went to a land that he would receive as an inheritance and he didn't even know where he was going.  And by faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive and had a son they called Isaac and she was way past age of bearing and God promised Abraham that his
seed would be as the stars of the sky in multitude and as the sands of the sea and he kept his promise.
Verse 17, By faith Abraham when he was tested, offered up Isaac and God honored his faith and provided a ram for his offering and thus Isaac was spared.
In Verse 20, Isaac's faith is mentioned.
In Verse 21, Jacob's faith is mentioned.
In Verse 23 Moses faith is mentioned how he chose to suffer affliction with God's people rather then enjoy the pleasures of sin in Egypt for a season.
In Verse 29, Moses led them through the red sea on dry ground by faith at God's command.
And in Verse 30 the walls of Jericho fell down by their faith in the command of God to circle the city once
each day for seven days.
Verse 31, Rahab the harlot received the spies and protected them and she was saved and her household when the walls of Jericho fell down.
Verses 32-34  There was Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  All this was done by faith in God whom they served.

Chapter 12:1,2  God admonishes us "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

We are not asked to endure some of the horrible things that those who went before us endured and they still had faith to endure, so why can't we endure our simple trials and, I say simple because mine are simple compared to those I've just mentioned above.  I know some of you from other countries have to endure harder trials that we have to here in the US and I pray that you will be faithful through them and I also pray that we here in the US will be faithful in our little trials because they are preparing us for greater difficulties as time draws to a close, which I don't believe is very far away.  God help us to have the faith to endure and keep in His presence always.  I hope that we have seen what faith can do and that our faith will increase so we can meet things as they come with a faith that will not let us down.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Faith, really what is it?

Faith is something that boggles some people's mind and I am ashamed to say it but I have been one of them at times.  It has been a struggle for me to build my faith on something or someone that I cannot see and yet I do have quite a bit of faith at times depending on what I am doing or what is happening around me.

Hebrews 1:1 says, "Now faith is the substance hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  I couldn't tell you how many times I have read that and seem to understand it and then when a severe trial looms up in my life faith flies out the window for a little while and I grovel in my lack of faith.  How can it be?

I have faith that God created the world, I have faith to believe that Christ died for my sins and to save me, I have faith to believe the stories in the Bible and I believe that God loves me, so what is wrong with my faith when trials come my way?  I was reading the 'forward' in my New King James Bible this morning and I think I should share it with you to see if it will help us in our 'Faith Walk'.  This is the forward to the book of James.

"Faith endures trials.  Trials come and go, but a strong faith will face them headon and develop endurance.
Faith understands temptation. it will not allow us to consent to our lust and slide into sin.  Faith obeys the Word.  It will not merely hear and not do.  Faith produces doers.  Faith harbors no prejudice.  Faith is more than mere words; it is more than knowledge; it is demonstrated by obedience; and it overtly responds to the promises of God.  Faith controls the tongue.  The small but immensely powerful part of the body must be held in check. Faith can do it.  Faith acts wisely.  It gives us the ability to choose wisdom that is heavenly and to shun wisdom that is earthly.  Faith produces separation from the world and submission to God.  It provides us with the ability to resist the devil and humbly draw near to God.  Finally faith waits patiently for the coming of the Lord.  Through troubles and trials, faith stifles complaining."  Do we have faith?

Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."

Romans 12:3 (last part)  "....God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

Each one of us have a measure of faith that God has given us, according to the verse in Ephesians it is a gift that He has given us and according to Romans, everyone has received a measure of faith, so why is it that faith is so hard to come by.  We have faith in a lot of things, we cross a bridge believing it will hold us up, we get in our car believing it will take us where we are going, we trust that no one will hit us as we are driving on the roads to our destination, so we do have faith but when it comes to having faith in God we falter.  The Bible says in several places that 'the just shall live by faith'.  You can look those up, I think there are four places that say that.

Hebrews 11:6  "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God, must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder  of those who diligently seek Him."

First, we must believe that God is real and He rewards us when we diligently seek Him or persevere in seeking Him, in other words we can't be lazy in our spiritual walk, we must persevere in our seeking His presence and I believe that the more we do this the more that our faith will grow, because He has already given us a measure of faith, so being in His presence will help us build on what He has given us as a gift.

I really believe that most of us who lack faith, lack perseverance or diligence in seeking Him.  Are you guilty of this, I know that I am and I am doing my best to remedy the situation.  This was a great lesson for me, how about you?  Will you join me in being more diligent in seeking God's presence in your life and thus building up your faith to where you can walk by faith?  More on faith tomorrow.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Abundance of:

We all like the thought of an abundance of good things.  And God has promised an abundance of several good things, let's see what they are.

Abundance of joy:  Psalms 36:8  "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures."  I am sure it is speaking of the spiritual growth of our house and the rivers of pleasure is the abundance of pleasures that He has for us.

Abundant life:  John 10:10  "The thief cometh not but to steal and kill and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, that they might have it more abundantly."  Jesus death on the cross was that we might have life more abundantly, spiritual life and all the other blessings come because of our spiritual life that He has given us.

Abundant Grace:  2 Corinthians 9:8  "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."  He is will to supply all grace to us abundantly as our need requires

Abundant Power:  Ephesians 3:20  "Now unto  that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."  Remember, we talked about this power that works in us being the Holy Spirit and the way we receive the Holy Spirit is to ask for it and He will supply  this need abundantly too as we follow on to know the Lord.

Abundant Supplies:  Philippians 4:19  "  But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  Anything that is important to our Christian growth or to the necessities of life He is willing to supply according to His riches in glory.

Abundant Entrance:  2 Peter 1:11  "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the ever-lasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."  I am sure that we all want an abundant entrance into His heavenly kingdom.

If you have been reading this blog on a regular basis, you know the answers to a lot of questions that pop up in our minds as to how we might avail ourselves of His promises and enjoy the pleasures of a Christian life.
There are also pleasures of sin but they only last for a season (Hebrews 11:2).  Eternal life lasts forever and ever and the pleasures are forever more.  That is hard for us here to comprehend living for eternity and having the good pleasures of a sinless live forever and ever.  I am really looking forward to that, I know my time on this earth is coming to an end but we are promised if we live for Him, He will grant us a home with Him when He comes to claim His own.  I think we should talk about this one of these days, I think it would help us in our daily walk with Him if we understand our future.  Maybe tomorrow would be a good time to discuss this.  So see you tomorrow and I do hope you are growing in Christ each day.  Grandma Joan

How's Your Health?

There are very few of us that don't have something wrong going on in our bodies.  The rich and the poor alike all suffer the same things, so status doesn't have anything to do with it.  What does?  There is something missing in our lives that if it were there should keep us well.  I am trying to find the answer to this question in my worship time today.

In Proverbs 4:20-23  it says "My son, (daughter) give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes;  Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.  Keep the heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life

The Bible is the words of God and we are to give attention to them and not let them depart from us because they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh.  We are to keep our heart with all diligence because that is where all the things of life spring from.

3 John 2 says "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."
So what needs to prosper in order for our health to prosper?  Our soul needs to prosper spiritually in order for our health to prosper.  I don't completely understand this text but I am going to work on it until I do. I believe that this is the secret to getting well from our ailments.

Sickness didn't come into this world until sin came and so sin is the cause of sickness and in order to get well we must do something about the cause and condition of our heart spiritually.  Do I have some sin I am clinging to and don't realize it?  Is there something in my life that I need to expel with God's help of course.  Is there something that I am clinging to that I know is sin and maybe that is why I am not prospering physically.

What do you think about this? Can you do some heart searching and see what might be hindering you from having the health that you desire?  I have been doing this and am still doing it in hopes that God will reveal to me my great need spiritually and thus be able to help me physically.  As I have said before, I am a sinner in need of His help each day.  So let's do some heart searching and see what happens, let me know if you find the answer to this big question.  I need help too.   Grandma Joan

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Path down the Mountain and the Path to the Kingdom.

Remember yesterday we talked about climbing Peter's ladder?  How have you been doing?  It's probably something new that a lot of you never thought about as being a ladder, it didn't dawn on me for quite a while to call it Peter's ladder but really that's what it is all about climbing up to a new nature in Christ.

Well, today I promised to finish my story about my climb up Mt. McLoughlin in Southern Oregon. After my scary surprise at the crest of one part of the climb seeing the back side of the mountain nearly straight down from where I was standing, I decided to descend by myself instead of waiting for my husband and the others.
I started down and all was going fine, not steep or scary with trees all around me and all of a sudden I came to the end of the path with no where to go.  I then realized I was lost and as I was standing there contemplating what I should do next, I heard voices not too far behind me.  Lo and behold it was my husband and the eldest daughter, they were lost too.  What a relief to know someone was with me.  We heard a voice far down the mountain hollering and so my husband let out one of his warhoops and they answered and told us where to go to get back on the right path.  I would never have thought of hollering for help let alone doing it.  My voice would never have carried like that but being that he worked in the woods as a timber faller he was good at yelling TIMBER when a tree was about to fall.  I believe God saved me from tragedy that day, I could have spent the night on the mountain alone and scared but He caused my husband and daughter to get lost too in the very same place.  How good God is.

Well that made me think of the path that we are on in this world, it can be the right path to the kingdom or the wrong path and of course we want to choose the right path.

Isaiah 42:16  "I will bring the blind by a way that they did not know;  I will lead them in paths they have not known.  I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight, these things I will do for them."

Psalms 16:11  "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalms 130:3  "You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways."

Psalms 23:3  "He restores my soul, He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake."

I am so glad that we have a sure Guide, Counselor and Comforter to make sure we are on the right path to the Kingdom and that we stay on the right path.  We have all these promises of staying on the right path and there are lots more, this is just a few to get you started searching.  We really don't have to worry about our path as long as we stay in His presence.  He will make sure that we stay on it all along life's journey.  I hope you will let Him guide you safely to that eternal shore, I will meet you on that great day and we can share our journey's of life with each other and praise God for His safe keeping all the way.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Let's Do Some Climbing

I am not in to climbing heights, it scares me to death.  Seriously, I cannot do it, never have been able to without tears, even in an airplane it scares me to leave the ground but once up I'm OK.  I tried to climb Mt. Mcgloughlin in Southern Oregon I was doing great so I told my family  to go on ahead and I would catch up.  I am a dreamer I guess because they did go ahead and all of a sudden I came out in the open and right in front of me was the back side of the mountain straight down nearly and I just froze, I couldn't go a step farther and I was sitting on a rock trying to control myself but no one was around and all of a sudden these two little boys came around the corner, couldn't have been more than five or six and their two dads and I really had to wipe my tears in a hurry.  I took their picture for them with nothing but space behind them and they went on their way and I started back down the mountain.  I will tell you what happened later, it was pretty scary and the last mountain that I ever tried to climb.

Today, I wanted to climb Peter's ladder with you if you don't mind, it is quite sturdy and we can both handle it and it isn't scary at all, in fact it is quite informative.  It is one of my favorite parts of the Bible, full of promises.  Would you mind if I asked you to read the first four verses of Second Peter 1 and then we will start up the ladder, so do that now and we will continue.

Verse 5 says "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue (first round) ( virtue means goodness, and goodness means the quality of being good), and to virtue, knowledge, (second round,we all know what knowledge is but here it is talking specially about the knowledge of God and we get that by studying the word of God.) and to knowledge, self-control, (third round, we all know what self-control is) and to self-control, perseverance (fourth round, which means persistent, we must be persistent in our climb and get all that we can out of it.)and to perseverance, godliness, (fifth round, which means god-likeness, which can be accomplished through the power of God in us, we cannot make ourselves god-like) and to godliness, brotherly kindness (sixth round, and that is self-explanatory) and to brotherly kindness, love (seventh round, now this is not talking about the kind of love this world thinks about when you say love, it is talking about agape love, which is God's kind of love for others.)

If we climb this ladder successfully there is some promises in verses 8,9 & 10.  "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed form his old sins.  Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble."  That is a great promise, isn't it?

These rounds on this ladder need to be diligently applied to our lives, now I know that we can't do this all at one time and God doesn't expect us to but we can read it over and over and pray over it until it becomes a part of us.  That's why I like this particular chapter, because I have read it so many times and I am still working on reading it again and again, so don't give up and you will have victory after victory and won't even realize that the power of God is doing it's work in you.  It just happens as we study His word.

Tomorrow maybe I can finish telling you the rest of my mountain climbing experience.  We will see if I can work it into my worship then.  So until then be of good courage and climb Peter's ladder faithfully each day until you have it down pat.  Remember the promise, 'if we do these things we will never stumble.'  I know you can do it with God's help, so can I, so let's do our best, it is God that works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure," and it is His good pleasure, so let's  let Him do it for us.  OK?  Grandma Joan

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Vital Concerns: Power of His Word.

Vital Concerns: Power of His Word.: We need the 'Power of His Word' in our lives.  In John 15:5  God tells us, "That without Me you can do nothing".  That&#39...

Friday, July 19, 2013

His Words are Powerful.

Do you need power in your life|?  Power over temptations, power to have your devotions each morning, power to say no when you need to, power over your tongue, power over what you watch, power over what you eat?  Oh my, we need power don't we?  At least I do.  There is a verse that has me studying to see what it means.

Ephesians 3:20  "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us."  What is this power that works in us?  I am asking God to explain this to me because I want Him to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or think in my life and so I need to know what He is talking about.  What kind of power is this?

I believe the power lies in His word.
Hebrews 4:12  "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"  This is why I believe that it is His word that is the power that is working in us.

Jeremiah 15:16  "Your words were found, and I did eat them.  And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart."  My translation would say, 'I filled my mind with your word and it brought joy and rejoicing to my heart.'

Psalms 119:130  "The entrance of Your words gives light;  It gives understanding to the simple."  The entrance of your words in my mind gives light and understanding and I am a simple one so that is specially for me.  I am talking about myself here.

Romans 10:17  "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."  It builds up our faith by hearing the word of God and who doesn't need their faith increased?

John 1:1  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, He was in the beginning with God."  I believe we can say that 'In the beginning was Jesus and Jesus was with God , and Jesus was God, He was in the beginning with God.'  So according to this verse Jesus is the Word and the Word is power.  Remember the verse in Hebrews 4:12 that says, 'the Word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword.'

Colossians 1:27  "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

The answer to my question at the beginning was 'what is this power that Ephesians 3:20 is talking about, according to the power that works in us."  According to these verses, it is Christ the Word in us and how does it get in us?  By reading and assimilating His word and applying it to our life then we can claim the promise "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us."

This has helped me understand this verse more than I ever have before and I hope it has helped you because there is power in His word.  Christ in you the hope of glory.  That is pretty powerful in itself, just thinking about it.  I am going to make some notes in the back of my Bible to this effect so that I don't forget what I have learned today.  How about you?  I hope it has helped you as much.  Continue in His presence and in His word and tomorrow I may have some more on the power of His word.  See you then.  Grandma Joan

Bread?

Home made, how many of you like a good home made loaf of bread?  Yum!  I love home made bread, I love to eat it, smell it and really love to make it although I don't make it anymore for just me so I gave my bread mixer away, and have wished I hadn't a few times but we like Ezekiel bread, it is next to the home made kind.  Not advertising for it but it is really good and wholesome.

We all know what bread is, but what is spiritual bread?  Spiritual bread is more important to us than
 physical bread, spiritual bread will keep us from temptation, but physical bread will just supply us with fiber and nutrition.

Job 23:12  " I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."
Luke 4:4  "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

John 4:31,32  "Master eat.  But he said unto them, 'I have meat to eat that ye know not of".

Elijah received supernatural strength from eating the bread the angel brought him.  "And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat;  because the journey is too great for thee.  And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God." 1 Kings 19:7,8.

We need to have our devotions the first thing in the morning so that we will have the strength to resist temptation when it comes.  If we get up and run off to do our chores or to go to work and forget our time with God, we will find it easy to fall into the traps the devil sets for us.  He is a clever foe, you know.  Waiting to see who he can trip up, so we must be well guarded like Ephesians 6;17 says, "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God."  By feasting on the word early in the day, it will keep us from falling into temptation throughout the day, but we must put God first and foremost.

James 4:7,8  "Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee, draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

So let us draw near to God by coming to Him early in the day and feeding on His word and talking to Him in prayer and we will have the power to resist the devil and make him flee.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, July 18, 2013

One Thing is Needed.

I am sure we can all think of one thing that is needed, but is it the right 'one thing'?  I can think of a very important 'on thing' right now, and it is important to me but is it the 'one thing' that I need most?  Probably not.  We get our priorities mixed up and do not always put first things first.

Jesus said to Martha, Mary's sister, Luke 10:41,42  "And.Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her."

What was the good part that Mary had chosen?  She was sitting at Jesus feet communing with Him and Martha her sister was busy getting things ready for a meal and wanted Mary to help her but Jesus commended Mary for choosing the good part of communing with Him.

Another time someone came running up to Jesus and knelt before Him asking what he could do to be saved and Jesus repeated some of the commandments and he answered Jesus and said all these things I have kept from my youth up and Jesus answer was, "One thing you lack; Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and COME, TAKE UP THE CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME."

What did he lack?  He needed to get rid of the things that were holding him back from following Jesus and
'Come and follow me, spend time with me".

This is Jesus admonition to all of us.  Get rid of anything that is standing in our way of following Jesus and come and follow Him, kneel at His feet, spend time with Him.  I can't stress this enough, since I have been spending more time with Him, I am learning to know Him and am learning to love Him more each day.  This is the reason for Jesus admonition that one thing is needful or one thing you lack.

How is it with you, are you lacking that 'one thing'?  I was, but now am trying to fulfill the admonition of Kneeling at His feet and learning from Him.  Doing this blog each day helps me more than it is probably helping anyone else but I pray I am not the only one being helped by it, but if I am, I am totally satisfied that my relationship with Jesus is growing stronger each day by doing my worships on line.

Of course I spend more time than this with God, this is just the cream of the crop that you are getting.  If we want to grow up in Christ, we must spend time with Him.  I always talk to Him in prayer before I read my Bible or do my blog.  That way I am prepared to listen as He presents different things to me that I need each day.  It has been such a blessing to me and I do hope and pray that you are being blessed also.  May God continue to bless each one of us daily as we supply that 'one thing that is needed' staying close to Him and talking to Him and listening to Him through His word.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Easy and Light

Are you tired?  Are you carrying a heavy load that is too heavy for you to bear?  Do you need rest?  I think all three things fit most of us.  We are tired of carrying a load that is too heavy and we need rest.  There is an invitation to rest and I want to share it with you.  I think that many, many people are carrying a load far too heavy for them and I hope some of you are reading this, this very day and I do hope it will help.

Would you like to have an easy and light load to bear?  Would you like someone who is gentle and lowly and not condemning to help you?  Then here it is, all the help you need is at your fingertips.

Matthew 11:28-30  "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Psalms 55:22  "Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you.  He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."

And then when your burden becomes easy and light, then you can help someone else.

Galatians 6:2  "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Can you imagine what kind of a world we would be living in if everyone followed this counsel.  It would be like heaven, wouldn't it?  But it isn't so let's follow the counsel God has given us for lifting our heavy burdens from our shoulders and then let us lift someone else's.  So 'cast your care upon Him for He cares for you.'
1 Peter 5:7.    Grandma Joan

Another Unseen Companion Story

I guess you can see why I am a Christian, I have so much to be thankful for.  This happened about 54 years ago, my son was just two years old and we were picnicking with friends and were eating lunch or just finishing up and the kids went down to the waters edge at the lake and my son had three older siblings, not that old, the oldest being eight and a half.

We were sitting there visiting around the table when all of a sudden I heard a loud voice yell, 'the baby'.  I turned to see what happened and my baby son was floating face down on the water and I jumped up and ran as fast as I could and dashed out and picked him up and he had held his breath until I got there.

I couldn't figure out why no one else ran down to help and I found out after I calmed down a bit that I was the only one who had heard the voice yell, 'the baby'.

Who do you think yelled at me that day and why didn't anyone else hear it?  I will let you figure it out, it is pretty simple for me to understand.

I didn't entertain an angel that day but I sure heard one and I will go back to the Psalms 91:11,12  For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up lest you should dash your foot against a stone.  How blessed we are to have such care over us at all times.  We will never know just how many times our lives have been spared until we see Jesus and He tells us of all the times that we came near death and didn't even know it.

You have angel companions watching over you too so don't be presumptious and careless, just know that they are there when you need them and they are always wanting to help us if we will serve God and do His will.

The first verse in Psalms 91 explains that.  "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."  Remember I have been stressing staying in the presence of the Lord day by day and we can count on His merciful care when we do this.  I am a sinner saved by His grace and you can have the same experience. I am sure some of you have had greater experiences than I have and would love to hear them.  Stay close to Jesus is my advice because He cares for you.  He really does.

Grandma Joan

Unseen Companions.

Did you know that we have an unseen companion that is with us where ever we go.  I have a little story to tell you about an unseen companion, not sure if it was my husbands or mine but it really doesn't matter, it was a wonderful experience.

A few years ago we were traveling over the United States and we were on our way home, we were driving a pickup and pulling a nice travel trailer.  We were going through upper New Mexico and it was all big ranches and sparse homes, mostly none.  We had two gas tanks in the pickup and when one went empty, my husband always filled it when we switched to the other, so we always had a full tank handy.  Well this day we were out in a forsaken part of NM and as far as you could see, nothing, anyway that you looked and our tank started to sputter and spit so he switched tanks and nothing happened. We coasted off the road as far as we could get and he jumped out and got a container and started hitchhiking and no one, I mean no one would even offer to give him a ride.

Finally a car pulled over and told him they would give him a ride to the next town which was at least twenty miles south and that would have left me alone with the truck and trailer, which I was a little nervous about that but didn't complain because what else were we to do?  While he was talking, a police car pulled up behind us and the policeman asked what the problem was and my husband told him and he said, 'no problem, I have a can of gas in the trunk of my car.'  So the people left and it was a scorching hot day and they got the gas can out and came up and put it in our tank and I kept looking at the policeman, his features were so soft and his eyes so gentle and he was so kind and considerate, a man of very few words, I mean few.  He had my husband step up in front of our truck to put the cap back on for safety sake and he looked at me through the windshield and smiled and waved at me.

He walked my husband back to the door and when He got in he shook hands with the policeman and asked what we owed him and he said, 'nothing'. I spoke up and told him, 'your not a policeman, you are an angel and he just smiled and looked at me with those gentle eyes.  We thanked him and he went back to his car and we started ours up and pulled out in the road and there was no police car behind us, it was at least twenty miles both ways and straight as a pin and nothing on the road either way.  Who do you think came to our rescue that day?

The Bible tells us in Psalms 91: 11,12  "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."

Hebrews 13:1,2  "Let brotherly love continue.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

I don't know whose guardian angel it was, it doesn't matter, what does matter is that we did entertain an angel on that hot day out in the desert, his countenance was etched in my mind to this day and I am so thankful that we have unseen companions with us all the time.  That particular day he wasn't unseen, we saw him and he was beautiful, kind, considerate, compassionate, and caring.  I will never forget that day and it happened just like I told you, nothing added to make it fancy or anything, just a plain visit from God through His guardian angel.  Praise the Lord for His protecting care.  It was not a good situation.  By the way we always kept both tanks full after that.

Watch for angels, you may get a visit some day and be sure to thank them.  Thank God too for watching over us so tenderly and keeping us safe.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Dangerous Walk.

Have you ever been on a dangerous walk?  I was overcome with anxiety one time years ago and I took my German shepherd with me and went down the dark alleys in town, she was a good protector and I really wasn't afraid but it could have been dangerous had I not had her with me.  Then one time years later but still years ago, my grown daughter and I went for a bike ride down a trail that was known as dangerous.  She wanted to do it so away we went and we were safe but still it was a little eerie.

Well, in our Christian walk there are some dangerous places too.
John 12: 35  "A little while longer the light is with you.  Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you, he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going."  Jesus was talking to His disciples but I believe He was speaking to us too.  We need to walk while we have the light of Jesus shining on our pathways, lest the darkness overtakes us.  Speaking of the darkness of this world.  That would be a dangerous walk in the darkness of this world.

Romans 4:2  "But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully."  That would be a dangerous walk too, wouldn't it?

There is someone else walking about that is dangerous.  1 Peter 5:8  "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."  So be on the lookout for this adversary, he really is dangerous and we need to be fortified with the word of God to combat this dangerous person. It's really best if we stay in God's presence where we have safe keeping from this adversary.

Then I want to quote Psalms 23:4 to you.  "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

Even though the walk sometimes can get dangerous when we get side tracked, we have this comforting verse that tells us, we need not fear because He is with us to protect us and comfort us.  I love Him, don't you.  He is soooooo good to us in every way and even if we stray, He still loves us and draws us back into His loving arms.  I really do want to stay there.  How about you?  So make sure you stay on the right path when you are walking and everything will be OK.  Grandma Joan

Let's Exercise!

Do you like to exercise?  The one I like the best is walking and I am not able to go for walks like I use to.  We use to have a mountain behind our house in Oregon and my grandkids and I would hike to the top every morning and run back down, that was our exercise for the day.  It was fun and the kids enjoyed it too.

I was thinking today about walking our way to the kingdom and when I searched it out I found so much about walking that I thought I would share it with you.  It really makes sense.

Micah 6:8  "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God."  As we learn to exercise, let us learn to walk humbly, putting others first in our lives, that's pretty simple but not always easy to do, so let's practice walking humbly.

2 Corinthians 5:7  "For we walk by faith, not by sight."  I believe the next text explains what walking by faith means.
Isaiah 30:21  "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left."  So walking by faith is listening to God's word telling us which way to walk, I think we will find the directions for which way to walk in the Bible, by daily study and talking to God in prayer.  So let's practice walking humbly and by faith.  Good exercise!!

Galatians 5:16  "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."  What does 'walk in the Spirit' mean?  Could it be walking in God's will and not our own?  I think so because if we are walking in God's will, we won't want to walk in our fleshly lusts.  So let's practice walking humbly, and by faith in God's will or in the Spirit.  This exercise is good, do you feel like you are gaining ground in your walk?

Ephesians 5:2  "Walk in love...."  How hard is it to walk in love?  If we have Christ's love in us it should be fairly easy to walk in love.  So now we walk humbly, and by faith in God's will and in love.

Colossians 1:10  "That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."  So now we walk humbly, and by faith in God's will and in His love and worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  What a walk this has been, are you tired from our walk?  I hope not, we are supposed to be refreshed when we spend time with God, specially walking with Him, what a privilege is ours to be able to walk with God.  There is a reward for this kind of walk.  Do you know what it is?

Revelation 3:4  "....They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy."  Shall we plan on walking with God in white someday?  That will be a great ending to our wonderful walk.  Don't you think so?

Grandma Joan

The Faithful One.

One of my greatest needs is to have someone in my life that I can trust implicitly and I mean implicitly.  Is that something you need too?  Someone who never fails you when He makes a promise, someone whom you can go to with anything, anything at all.  Someone who is always there, regardless of circumstances.  Someone who doesn't condemn you when you fall short?

I told you before about my friends, and I love them and of course I love my children and they are there when I need them but it isn't the same as someone with the power to change things that need changing and to heal and to forgive us when we fail Him.  You know who that Someone is don't you?  I can't help talking about Him so I know that you know what I am thinking, but do you realize that He is a Faithful Someone who never let's you down.  I am learning this lesson and it's a wonderful lesson and I hope that I can achieve what I am learning to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:23,24  "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it."

I've got to put this one in my promise note book too.  This is a wonderful promise and it is just for me right now and maybe you too?  I need sanctified completely, my whole spirit, soul, and body.  How about you?
I think probably there isn't anyone out there that doesn't need this promise fulfilled in your life.  It also says that He will preserve us blameless until Jesus comes?  But the best part of it all is that He says that "He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it."

He is the faithful One, God is faithful who calls us and He will also do in our lives what needs to be done to save us.  Can you find a better promise than this?  I don't know what it would be.  It's just what I needed this morning.  I can trust Him with my problems that overwhelm me and know that He has it all under HIS control.  I love that and it takes all the worry out of things.  He not only will save us but He takes care of us while we are here on this earth.  We just need to learn to trust Him.

Have a worry free day in the God who is Faithful.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Cleansing Miracle.

Do you ever feel dirty?  Not dirt dirty, but soul and spirit dirty?  The closer we come to Jesus the more we will see ourselves as we really are and this is a good sign, it means that His Holy Spirit is at work in our hearts.  So I don't feel bad at all when He shows me something that is not right in my heart.  I am not proud of it and many times ashamed of what it is but knowing that God's Spirit is working in me means so much.  I came across a 'cleansing miracle' that I have read many, many times but it didn't hit me until this morning what a miracle it really is and so very simple anyone can do it and it only takes a few minutes of your time but I can tell you that if you take the time, you will be so rewarded that you will probably take more time each day until like yesterday I spent over two hours and I had such a wonderful day.

Psalms 119:9 tells us what this miracle is.  "How can a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to your word."  This was written to young men, but believe me it works for us oldies too.

John 15:3  "Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."  This is just two verses but packed with instruction that really works a miracle in our lives and doesn't take that long each day but it does become such a good habit that you want to spend more time and more time until you feel that you can't survive without it.  I know because it has become the first thing I want to do when I get up in the morning.  I usually spend time with God talking to Him in prayer and ask for His blessing on my study and on my day and then I am ready to see what He has for me this day in His word.  It is a wonderful way to start your day

I have been reading a book called 'At Jesus Feet', by Doug Batchelor, it's about Mary Magdelene and it really is worth getting if you want something spiritual to read.  I only read spiritual material because I want my mind to be fortified with the word and strength to resist temptation when it comes.  I mean as far as books go, I glance at the paper when I get one but that's about it. Once a week a little newspaper from our town comes and its nice to know what is happening locally.  I am not an ostrich with my head in the sand not knowing what is going on but it doesn't occupy much of my time.  If you want that book, just press the Amazing Facts button and follow the instructions.  I do not receive anything for advertising this, I just want to help you.

So what do you think of my cleansing miracle?  It works so wonderfully that I can't help but share it with you.  I hope with all my heart that you will try it and don't give up, because it doesn't take long to see what it is doing for you.  And by the way, thanks for your prayers for me, God is really helping me with my patience and I feel so much better about my problems when I trust Him with them.  I hope my prayers for you are an encouragement and that you are growing in Christ each day.  It really is a beautiful way to live.

Grandma Joan

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Perfect Work

What in the world is the 'perfect work'?  It is something that I just found out that I am very limited in and need an abundance of.  Can anyone guess what that might be?  I am sure that I am not alone in this.  It is one of the fruits of the Spirit and of all the fruits, this is probably the one that I am in most need of.  I would love  to have this 'perfect work' done in me.  My need is so very great.  I must confess to you that I am profoundly in need of patience.

Patience means the ability to bear trials without grumbling.  Can you do that?  I am not sure that I ever have but hopefully somewhere in my life I was able to do that but right now it is hard, there are so many things looming up in my life without a solution or should I say with only one solution that I can see but God is trying to teach me to bear this trial without grumbling.  I hope I will not disappoint Him.

James 1:2,3,4  "My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

Let patience have its 'perfect work'.  I never saw these verses in this light before, but I can see what God is trying to teach me.  I hope the testing of my faith produces lots of patience, because I need it just now.  I need this 'perfect work' done in me and I believe He will do it.  That I may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.  What a promise!!  I need to write this one down in my promise book.  By the way, I have a little note book that I write all my special promises in and then at night if I am a little down and want to be lifted up, I start reading in my little promise book.  What a boost it is!

Why don't you try keeping a little note book filled with your favorite promises?  You could start out with this one.  This is a good one to read every day or even more if you hear yourself start grumbling about a trial that you have been subjected to.

If you believe in prayer, why don't you pray for me to have an abundance of patience right now so that I may  
be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  Even though I don't know most of you, I pray for you every day that God will bless you and save you.  I know that He is.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy Promises.

How many of you desire happiness, I mean real happiness, no flawed happiness?  I desire that kind of happiness with all my heart and I would guess that just about anyone out there would desire that kind of happiness.  So today I am going to share some Bible promises with you about happiness.  Because I need them, I thought that some of you might just need them too.  So here goes.

Psalms 144:15  "Happy is that people whose God is the Lord"  If God is our Lord, then we should be a happy people, shouldn't we?

Proverbs 3:13  "Happy is that man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding." According to this verse, finding wisdom and understanding will bring us happiness.  Let's search for it, OK?

Psalms 146:5  "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." We should be happy that we have Jacob's God for our help, that is a wonderful promise.

Proverbs 14:21 "He that hath mercy upon the poor, happy is he." We should have mercy upon the poor and that will help us in our search for happiness.

Proverbs 16:20  "...whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he."  Trusting in God will for sure bring us abundant happiness.

1  Peter 4:14  "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you."  If we are being made fun of or criticized for our Christian beliefs, we should be happy knowing that the spirit of glory and of God is resting upon us.  We need to remember this in case we run into this kind of problem.

Job 5:17  "Happy is the man whom God correcteth."  Most of us do not like correction but when God corrects us it is for our future, eternal good and we should not only be happy about it but be grateful for it.

Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."  We need a vision of what God can do in our life, otherwise we perish in our own thoughts.  Keeping God's law will give us vision to keep us going in the right direction.

I hope these verses helped you with your happiness.  Pray about it and God really will work in your life to bring happiness.  I have always been a happy person until my husband passed away and I have had a real hard time getting my happiness back again.  But this little study has helped me and I am going to ask God to bring my happiness back to me.  You can do the same.  Grandma Joan

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friends

I guess I never realized how important friends are until my husband passed away and all of a sudden I realized that I had not made any close friends since I have lived in Washington.  I have family, of course, that love me and try to take care of me but the friends that I have always had in close proximity, I have not made since living here.

I have good friends but they are either gone or live far away so I cannot visit them or they cannot visit me.  One friend visits me twice a year and she is a faithful one, I love her and we have such a good time when she comes, wish she were closer.

Now, I said that I didn't have any close friends, but I do have friends but not the kind that visit or come by just to chat and see how I am doing.  That is what I miss, someone I can call when I am hurting or down and they will come over to just be with me for a while.  What a blessing those kinds of friends are!!!

I want to be that kind of friend to someone, but at my age it is hard to get out and do much of anything unless someone takes me or they are just a short distance away.

Now that I have told you all about my friend situation, I want to tell you about my very best friend.  He is always with me, beside me, counseling me, comforting me, blessing me with His presence and helping me through my hurting times, He is the One and only friend that will never fail me, ever.  I can talk to Him any time I want and don't even need a phone.  He walks beside me through thick and thin and helps me with my decision and He is always right, I never have to worry about His counsel.  At times I can feel His presence close beside me, even though I can't see Him I know He is there and every day He becomes more dear to me than any earthly friend could ever be.  You guess it, His name is Jesus.  What a friend I have in Him.

There is a song, 'What a friend we have in Jesus'.  It is so very true, He is the best friend you could ever possibly have.  He never turns away from us, we have to turn from Him if we don't want His presence.
It's always our choice.

Proverbs 18:24 last part "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother".

Jesus said in John 15:15,16  "No longer do I call  you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give it to you."

He chose me to be His friend and keeps me informed as to His Father's will for me and has appointed me to bear fruit so that whatever I ask the Father in His name He will give it to me.  I realize that I must ask according to His will not mine, that is called surrendering my will to His.  Not an easy task but very rewarding to those who are willing to do that.

What do you think of my Friend?  I love Him and hope that you do to.  He is the very best friend you could possibly have and never fails to love us and care for us, even in our most dire need, He is there.

Grandma Joan

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

More Wrinkles out.

There are some important things we need to know regarding discernment in order to get all the wrinkles out of our life.  For one thing the more wrinkles you have in your life, the less happier you are and the less people will like to be around you.  Believe me, I know, I have had plenty of them, too numerous to mention and you wouldn't want to know anyway, would you?

Let's turn in our Bibles to 1 John 4:1,2  "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God;  because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God;  Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God."  How can we discern which spirit it is?  If the person believes that Jesus Christ came from God in the form of man or as it says in the flesh, that spirit is from God.  I have run across people that do not believe that Jesus Christ came from God and took on the form of man, it was hard to believe but it is true.

Verse 3 says, "and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.  And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Verse 4 says, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the wold."

Now we know how to discern which spirit is of God and which is not.  If the spirit that is working in our life is of God, we will believe that Jesus Christ came from God in our flesh to redeem us from this world of sin and degradation.  This really will take a lot of wrinkles out of our life, if our life is hid in Christ and we keep in His presence at all times, soon the ironing will be done and Jesus can come and take us home with Him.
What a day that will be!  There is a song by that name and one of the phrases that I like in it is ' when He takes me by the hand and leads me through the promised land, what a day, glorious day that will be.'  I can't wait for that day, how about you?  Can you picture Jesus taking you by the hand and showing you the promised land that will be yours forever more?  My husband and I use to lay in bed at night and sing that song together and someday I will see him again and we can sing it together again and it will come true.  I can't wait, can you?
Grandma Joan

Wrinkles ironed out.

To discern means to detect or perceive with the eye or mind.  Is it important to be able to discern between right and wrong?  Is it possible for us to be able to discern between what is good and what is bad?  What do you think?

Personally, I believe that it is a very important part of our life according to the Bible.  Let's take a look.
Solomon prayed for discernment in 1 Kings 3:9.  "Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.  For who is able to judge this great people of yours."  And the Lord heard his prayer and answered.

  In verses 12 and 13.  "behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.  And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days."

There was also another gift in verse 14, but there was a condition to this, "So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments as your father David walked," and the extra bonus was, "I will lengthen your days."  He never asked for riches, honor or long life but only for an understanding heart to judge God's people.  God blessed Him with all the other things, riches, honor and long life.

Solomon's father David prayed in Psalms 119:18 "Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law."

As you can see, it is important for us to be able to discern right from wrong and good from bad and the way we receive good discernment is to ask God for it.  If we are sincere like Solomon, we will receive the discernment we need to make life much less complicated and more smooth.  Who wouldn't like to have some of the wrinkles ironed out of life.  So we can pray the prayer of David, 'Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.  And God will answer.

Tomorrow I want to study a little more into this thought, so hang in there with me and we will find out more about keeping the wrinkles out of our life.  Try some ironing today and see what happens.

Grandma Joan

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Very, Very Expensive Gift.

Have you ever received a very, very expensive gift?  I am talking about maybe thousands of dollars.  I am sure that some have but not me, at least from a human.  But I have received a very, very expensive gift from my Father in heaven when He sent Jesus to pay for my sins.  I cannot imagine the cost, and I believe it will take all eternity to learn the real value of that gift.

Can you imagine yourself giving your very own child to pay for someone's sin, small or great?  And then on top of all that, watching them be tormented and tortured and spit on and nailed eventually to a cross?  I read somewhere that when one was beaten with thirty nine stripes, any more than that could be lethal and Jesus was beaten twice with 39 stripes.  In those days the whip they used had metal strips on the end of the cords and tore the flesh open.  Can you imagine what He went through for you and me? That is a hard one to comprehend, isn't it?  I am pretty sure that none of us could watch our child suffer like that without fainting, which is exactly what His mother did.  But His heavenly Father watched it all and I am pretty sure that He suffered extreme agony watching His Son treated in such a hideous manner.

He paid the price for your sins and mine and every murderer, every rapist, every thief, everyone's sins that day on the cross and what do we do in return for such an expensive gift to us, some turn their backs on Him and deny Him, some pretend to be Christians and deny Him or bring reproach on His name and others choose to follow Him and serve Him and glorify Him with their lives, words and deeds.  What would your choice be?

Read John 18 and 19 and then from what I have described to you answer the question I just asked.  I do hope your answer is that you will glorify Him in your life, I want to and I really can't imagine anyone not wanting to, but I am sure there are some.  May God help us to have the desire to be one of His followers.

Grandma Joan