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Friday, January 31, 2014

Fullness of Joy

Yesterday we talked about building our faith on a sure foundation which is Christ Jesus.  Today I thought it would be appropriate to study fullness of joy, which is something that I need, probably the one thing that I could use a lot more of.  I am not talking about happiness, I am talking about the joy that fills the heart up to overflowing because we are contented in our faith walk.  I need and want that fullness of joy that we are offered in the Bible,  how do we get it?  Let's find out.

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."  We have been talking about staying in God's presence a lot on this blog, and still I think from my own experience I need to talk about it a lot more.  In this very verse is one of the reasons that I need to stay in His presence more and more.  It says, 'In His presence is fullness of joy'.  Do you want fullness of joy?  I sure do.

John 17 is Jesus prayer for His disciples and for us that are living since then.  And in verse 13 He is asking His Father for something special for us.  "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves." It was His joy to go to the cross to save us, I don't think He was happy about the suffering he was facing because He was pleading in the garden to let it pass from Him, but it was His joy to go through with it because he saw all who would be saved eternally if He went through with it.  What kind of joy is that?  It's the joy of knowing that you are doing your Father's will and that was the joy that He had and that is the joy that we need in our hearts, the joy of knowing we are doing our Father's will.

In John 15, Jesus is talking to His disciples about abiding in Him, which is what we have talked a lot about on this blog, and it is so very important.  In verse 11, He tells us what abiding in Him does for us.  "Thee things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."

I have written almost 300 blogs and have had viewers from nine countries around the world and have had as high as 68 viewers in one day and as low as 3.  The title of my blog is Vital Concerns and I have tried really hard to hit on the Vital Concerns of our personal lives. I have prayed for my viewers and am hoping that some of you if not all have been touched by the Jesus that I have learned to trust in and have learned to share with you.  This has done me the most good of all.  To be able to share my love for God with you has meant a better relationship with Him myself and each day my desire is to grow closer and closer to Him as I study to share with you.  May you continue to be blessed as I continue to share as long as God gives me the grace and strength to do it.  By the way, I mentioned to you my horrible fall I had recently, well, I am recovering from it very well and had no broken bones, which was a miracle in itself.  Praise God for His loving intervention.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Sure Foundation

The story is told of a man who was a builder of homes and he worked for a contractor who really appreciated his work and one day he told this man that worked for him, you have been a faithful employee and been really particular in all that you do when you are building.  I am going to put you in charge of this next house and you buy the lumber and do everything that needs to be done to this house.  You are in charge of it.  So the man thought about it a lot and decided he could make more money if he bought second grade lumber and pocketed the difference in the cost.  He did this with everything he did with the house and when it was done, he had painted it and covered up any inferior work and it looked pretty good.  Then his boss came up to him and said, 'you have been so faithful and done such a good job in your work, I want to reward you with this house, it is yours for your faithfulness.'  How do you think the man felt?  I can imagine he felt pretty sick, I would have.

We are in the process of building a temple for the Lord, a temple for Him to dwell in,  what is the first thing we do to make sure it will stand the test of time..  We make sure it has a real good foundation.  So today I wanted to take the time to see what a sure foundation is.

1 Corinthians 3:11  "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
Our foundation that we lay should be on Christ Jesus and the things that He taught, don't you think?

Ephesians 2:20  "Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone." In that era of history, the foundations were made of stone and they had to have a special stone for the cornerstone.  It had to be of a particular shape and size and fit the corner perfectly in order to hold up the building.  If Jesus is our chief cornerstone, don't you think that is the perfect way to build our temple of beliefs?

Luke 6:48  "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.  And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock."  If our building of beliefs is founded on Christ Jesus, when the tempest of trials come, nothing can tear it down.  The winds of strife can come, the floods of false doctrine can beat against it, the enemy can try to beat the door down, but nothing can tear down our faith and trust in Christ.  Isn't that right?

Isaiah 28:16  "Therefore thus says the Lord God:  'Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.'"  Jesus Christ is a tried stone isn't He, and a precious Cornerstone too for a sure foundation.  So there you have what kind of foundation we are to build our faith on.  We are warned not to act hastily in changing the truths that we have learned.  If our foundation is Christ Jesus, we have nothing to fear.  Make sure you are building your faith on a sure foundation and no matter what anyone tells you are tries to undermine your foundation, remember it is built upon Christ the chief cornerstone and nothing can tear it away unless we act hastily and allow the enemy to discourage us and undermine our true foundation.  My prayer is that you will not let anyone tear away any of your foundation of faith.  Hold on, Jesus will see you through.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Our Mediator and Intercessor

When we go to a court of law in our land, we have to have a lawyer intercede for us, sometimes people act as their own lawyer, but usually we hire one.  He tries his best to get us off the hook, so to speak.  If we are guilty he has to work really hard and sometimes we have to pay for our crime, whatever that might be.

When it comes to our Christian experience, Christ has already paid for our crime (sin) when He died for us on the cross.  So in the judgment day, to put it in plain language, Christ is our lawyer, (intercessor) He presents our case to the Father and holds out His pierced hands as proof that He has paid for our crime or sins.  God accepts His sacrifice for our sins and we are counted as if we had never sinned.

Christ is our Mediator and Intercessor, He earned this position by His death for us on the cross.  We are told in John 14:13 that, "Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."  We must come to the Father in prayer in the name of Jesus that the Father may be glorified through the Son.  Right there we see that Jesus is interceding for us.  We must go to the Father through Jesus His Son.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.  Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

To be reconciled to God and having our sins covered by the righteousness of Christ is the most wonderful news I have ever, ever heard.  Get the full meaning of this.  What ever sin you have ever committed, Christ took that sin to the cross and died for it so you wouldn't have to.  Then when He went back to heaven after His resurrection, He became our intercessor before His Father for you and for me.  Do you get it?  The sins of the whole world were laid on Him, that is why it was such terrible torture to Him who knew no sin.  This separated Him from His Father of which He thought was forever and that broke His heart and He did it all for you and for me.

It has to take a very hard heart to not see this and accept it.  If your heart has been hardened so that this does not affect you, please, I pray that you will seek God in prayer and let Jesus intercede for you until your heart is softened and becomes tender until you see the magnitude of this horrible, yet wonderful thing Christ has done for you and me.  He is interceding for you and for me right now before the Father.  Will you let him reconcile you to the Father.  I will and I pray that you will too, just now as you are reading this little study.

If you need more texts on this subject, you can read Hebrews 10:5-22 and 2:14-17 and there are more but perhaps this is enough for this time.  I do pray for each of you who are reading my blog that you will let these studies sink deep into your heart and be blessed each day.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Reward of the Faithful

I remember when I was a little girl how my mother rewarded me with good things to eat, perhaps that's why I like to eat, I don't know but one time she changed things and promised me a brand new bicycle if I would stay home with my Aunt and Uncle while she went on a weekend date and he took his two kids but didn't want me along.  That should have been a warning shouldn't it but I guess it wasn't.  Anyway, what little girl wouldn't want a brand new bicycle?  So I stayed home and got my new bicycle.  It was beautiful, and well worth staying home for.

We have a reward promised us if we are faithful.  It far outshines the bicycle and is not only a physical reward but an eternal reward that far surpasses anything that we have ever seen or heard. Let's read about it.

Isaiah 65:1-5  "They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit; They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people; And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  They shall not labor in vain nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.  It shall come to pass, That before they call, I will answer;  And while they are still speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the Lord."

Isn't that the most perfect place you have ever heard of.  I have a hard time even picturing it but I know it is true because I know the God that has promised it.  He has kept His word with me and I know His word is true and faithful.  Read Revelation 21 and 22, it is even a more beautiful picture of our eternal home with God.

Doesn't this picture of our eternal home and there's more in Revelation, doesn't it make you want to be there, God will be there in person and His Son and all the Holy angels.  I have always said since I learned these truths that the first thing I want to do is meet Jesus and then I want to witness His meeting with Adam when they first meet in heaven. I know Adam loved His Redeemer and it will be a wonderful thing to see them embrace and Adam will probably fall down and worship Jesus and praise Him for saving him, as we all will probably do.

None of us will be worthy to be there but Jesus has made a way through His life and death here on this earth to save us and through His mediation that He is doing now, presenting us to the Father with His hands out-
stretched with the nail prints showing His Father why we are worthy to be there.  Because He died for us to save us and when we accept this salvation which has been provided free to all, we will be worthy through Christ to be there.

Don't you want to be there?  I do and I will be there by God's amazing grace and you can too.  I do hope that you will make that decision for Christ today.  What could hold you back?  Nothing is worth giving up  the Reward of the Faithful for, nothing.  Tomorrow, I want to study Christ's mediation for us that is going on right now this very time.  Won't you join me for this very important study?  Grandma Joan

Monday, January 27, 2014

Put it off and Put it on.

What in the world are we to put off and put on?  In preparation for the coming of Jesus, there are some things that we need to put off.

Colossians 3:8,9  "But now you yourselves are to put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds."
In order to prepare ourselves for heaven and the second coming of Christ, we are to put off the old man of sin.  And it names some of the sins we are to put off.  Here are some more things to put off the old man of sin.

Galatians 5:19,20,21  "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

How do we go about putting off the old man of sin? Philippians 1:6  "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

1 Thessalonians 5:24  "He who calls you is faithful , who also will do it."

Who will take care of the old man of sin? He who has begun a good work in you will do it and He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.  What do you have to do?  Give the old man of sin to Christ.  That is your work, nothing more.  Surrender it all, give it all up to Him who will take care of it all.

Now it is time to 'Put On'.
Colossians 3:12-17 "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body and be thankful.  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.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Some more things to put on:
Galatians 5:22-26  "The fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law, And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires,  if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited provoking one another, envying one another."

How do we put on the new man?
Philippians 1:6  He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
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 does abide mean?  It means to stay with Me, stay in My presence so that you can have My help at all times.  Whenever we ask for the help of His divine presence in overcoming the old man of sin, we have His promise that 'it shall be done for you'.

Will you put off the old man of sin and put on the new man in Christ?  He has promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Will you yoke up with Him? I am praying for you reader, whoever you are that you will follow Christ because He is faithful Who calls you and will do it for you.  What more could you ask for?
Grandma Joan

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Is Jesus Coming Again?

Is Jesus coming again?  What do you think?  What have you been taught? Would you like to know for sure whether He is or He isn't?  The Bible is pretty clear on this subject and I would like to share with you what it has to say about His coming.

John 14:1-3  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me, In My Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

Acts 1:9-11  "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, 'Men of Galilee why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.'"

Matthew 24:30,31  "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Matthew 25:13  "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man is coming."

Revelation 22:7  "Behold, I am coming quickly, blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
Revelation 22:12 "Behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work:"
Revelation 22:20  "Surely I am coming quickly.  Amen"

Jesus has left us plenty of proof that He is coming again and warnings to be ready because we do not know the day or the hour of His coming.  Do you want to be ready?  I do and I am sure that you do.  The reason for this blog is to help prepare you for that day.  I have tried to use personal experiences to help you understand subjects even to my shame so that you can see the importance of getting ready.  When I see what is going on in this nation of ours and our freedoms being taken away from us, I know that His coming is near, even at the door.  Will you be ready?
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Press the Amazing Facts button to the right and order the Bible studies that will help you get ready and be ready.  It is all in the Bible, no fear of being misled.  I want to see you there, will you be there.I plan to be, not because of anything I do or have done but by His mercy He saves us.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What happens when we die?

When you walk through a cemetery, you see all kinds of epitaphs on tombstones and one will say, 'our mother is resting in the arms of Jesus until the resurrection morning'.  Another one will say, 'our mother is walking the streets of gold in heaven with the Angels'.  Actually, where is she?  The story is told of a school boy walking through a cemetery and came upon a tombstone that said, 'Stop my friend as you go by, As you are now, so once was I,  As I am now, so you will be, so be prepared to follow me'.  The boy pondered that for a minute and then took out a crayon and wrote on the tombstone, 'To follow you, I'm not content, until I know just where you went'.  Isn't that the great question that a lot of folks are pondering today, there are so many answers, but which one is right?  The Bible tells us exactly what happens to the dead.

When Lazarus died, Jesus said, Lazarus is asleep in John 11:11.

Ecclesiastes 9:5  "For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.  Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun."

Genesis 3:19 tells us that we were made from dust and to dust we will return.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18  "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with a trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words."

If our loved one has gone on to heaven when they died, what reason would there be for a resurrection when Jesus comes to gather us all together.  These verses tell us that those of us who die in Jesus will be   resurrected when He comes and will be caught up with Him in the air.

Our God is a loving God and those who die, are sleeping a dreamless sleep in their graves until Jesus comes. What would happen if they were taken to heaven when they die and they saw all the misery their families are going through, maybe some raped, some murdered, some fighting and hurting each other. Some dying of terrible diseases and in horrible pain. How would they feel.  God is a merciful God and is allowing them to sleep in their graves until He comes to claim them for His own.  There are a lot of other texts to convince you of this but I don't want to bore you with text upon text, but if you press the button that says Amazing Facts you can get the whole Bible Study from them on the whereabouts of the dead.  It is such a relief to know that they are asleep in Jesus and not watching all the crime and sin in this world.  To me that would be a horrible thing.

There is no fear in death if we are living our life in Jesus and letting His Holy Spirit guide us and protect us.
What is there to fear.  I would fear greatly if I was out of His loving care and not living His life in me.
I know this was a heavy study, and I pray that you will ask for the study from Amazing Facts on the state of the dead and you will be blessed.  Grandma Joan

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spiritual Power, What Is It?

I probably would be safe in saying that there are not many people in this world who would not like to have power.  Some kind of power.  Some like power over people, a common one.  Others would like power over circumstances, pretty common too, huh? Any kind of circumstances or just certain ones?  Any certain people or just certain ones.  How about a special kind of power that would make life a whole lot better and would give us wisdom, understanding, perception, and make our lives just what God would want us to be.  Would you like that?  Me too.  Let's see what we can learn about this power.

Psalms 62:11  "Power belongs to God."  So if power belongs to God, then Spiritual power has to come from God, doesn't it?  We can have that power, do you know how that comes about?  Paul said in Romans 1:16  "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation, for everyone who believes..."  The Gospel of Christ is power.

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."  So the Word of God is powerful and sharp.

Isaiah 40:29  "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength."  Do you ever feel fainthearted in your walk with God, He is speaking to you right here and now and He will give you power and increase your strength.

Psalms 89:34  "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My mouth."  The dictionary says covenant is a 'formal binding agreement'.  And God says He will not break His covenant nor alter what He says.  Wow!  We better get serious about His word, hadn't we?  Serious enough to listen to what He has to say and serious enough to do it.  This is where our Spiritual power comes into play.

Do we trust what He has to say?  I am afraid a lot of people take God's word very lightly and do not realize that He is Real, He is All Powerful, He is Everything to us, why do we doubt His very existence at times.  I have a friend who is an Atheist and he makes no bones about it, I have wished so often that I could share God with him, he was raised in a Christian home, but as I have talked to him I have realized that he was not taught who God really is and what He can do for him.  For example, his parents drink alcohol, and my friend is an alcoholic, I believe he might have quit by now because his health was telling on him.  He has changed his diet and maybe when he comes back, (he has been gone until April of this year) I will be able to talk to him about God.  I pray I can and that he will listen.  That is, if I am still here.  So what have we learned today from our study.

We have learned that 'power belongs to God'. We learned that we have to believe in the Gospel of Christ.  What is the Gospel of Christ?  The Gospel of Christ is the Good News that Jesus came here as a baby and lived our life of obedience and died our death to sin so that we could live His life like He lived it and die His death, that is death to sin.  He did all that for us that we might have eternal life with Him forever.  That is the Gospel of Christ in a nutshell.  We have learned that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto Salvation. We also learned that the Word of God is powerful.  So spending time in His Word brings us Spiritual power.  We also learned that His promises that He has made to us, He cannot break or alter what has gone out of His mouth.  Can we trust Him?  Yes, we can.  Will you trust Him, I hope so.  I pray that this little study has made an indelible impression upon your mind of trust in God and the power He can give us to all who believe, to overcome any negative in our life.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, January 23, 2014

NEVER say never!

I was raised in a Christian church that believed in Trust and Obedience but as I stated yesterday, I got off into the ditch of  'working my way without God's help'.  Every church has offshoots of some kind, people get it in their heads that things are just not right in the church they belong to and decide to start their own church so to speak.  And there were those in our church that did the same thing, all through the years there have been some of one kind or another.

This particular ditch I am going to tell you about I heard about it for a long time, and as the title to my post says, I said, 'I will Never do that, it is way out.  Well, remember, I said that Satan always has traps that you can fall into if you are not studying to show yourself approved.  Well, I fell into it with the help of several people in the church.  First, we were accused of stealing $2000. from a fund that we had charge of and instead of stealing from it we kept putting funds into it.  It was a charity organization that we were in charge of.  Talk about being hurt, we had put our whole life into this church and then this happens.  Well, there was a lady in the church who was into this particular off shoot that I had said NEVER about.  She worked through my husbands parents to convince us to watch a video by the leader of this offshoot.  The first time I watched one, I was ready to smash the TV, but as clever as Satan is, he knew that and so he started my mind into thinking about the way we had been treated and what had been said on that video.  Well, to make a long story short, we joined the Never organization and was in it for four years, and that is where I really learned to be critical.  It wasn't all bad but I will have to say that most of it was.  I never quit loving the Lord and studying and I studied myself right out of it.  It was an awful mess.

I will say this about all offshoots in general, regardless of what church they shoot off of, they are usually covering up the grossest sins that you can think of.  And that was what I was made aware of.  We were put into a ministry that was doing just that.  What an eye opener!  BUT, I will have to say that the fellowship was great among the people.  Not the leaders.  I was put into a subleadership position and we had lot's of fun and fellowship in our little group.  It was one of the greatest times in our lives in that respect, but that is the way Satan works, it's not all bad , and it is not all wrong, only some of it. Be not deceived, God is not mocked.  And we were deceived into thinking this was where God wanted us.

When we finally left, we had a terrible time with going to church again, all we wanted to do was criticize and condemn everything we saw and finally a little church saw our predicament and took us under their wings and we were back home again.

That was the ditch of fanaticism the other ditch was a ditch of my own choosing.  Satan DOES NOT CARE what ditch we fall into, as long as it is a ditch.  That one was easier to climb out of than the other one.  But for some it is not easy to climb out of.  We have to humble ourselves and admit that we have been wrong and that is not easy for some to do.  In fact a stubborn person has to really let God take hold of his stubbornness and help him to rely totally upon God which is what we must all do, but for some it is not an easy thing for them to do.

Being deceived is a terrible ditch to fall into and some people believe it with all their hearts and cannot see truth even when it is shown them.  I pray for them every day that they will see what Satan has done to them.
It is not a life of rest, peace, and joy, like the truth of God leads us into.  Satan plays tricks on us and makes us think his way is truth, and rest,peace and joy but then turns it all into ashes.  So don't be deceived, God is not mocked, whatever we sow, we will reap.  There is no doubt in that, I have reaped what I have sown and so have others, some have never found their way out, or back to God.  You can pray for them every day, you don't have to know their names, there are thousands out there in the same situation.

Please take care of your own Spiritual needs and pray and study to understand truth and stay close to Jesus our Savior and He will see us through all this mess.  I truly believe that He will do just that. Never say never, because we never know what kind of trap our enemy of souls is laying for us.  Just stay close to Jesus is my counsel to anyone being tempted to fall into one of the enemies traps.  We have the truth in the Bible to follow that will keep us safe.   Grandma Joan

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Help for Emotional Trauma.

We have all suffered from some kind of emotional trauma, some not so painful and some so painful that they want to escape from it.  These are the ones God is speaking to today.  Those who have been beaten up by the world and circumstances.  The pain is terrible at times, I have heard the pain in so many words and I have suffered also and I know how bad it hurts.  Not like some of you I am sure.

You can't function like a normal person.  Your can't be a good mother, or wife or friend.  Your are hurting so bad that you feel there is no help for it, it actually hurts physically, you fill up with it and don't know what to do.

Psalms 143:2-4  (Does this describe you?) "Do not enter into judgement with your servant, for in your sight no one living is righteous.  For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in darkness, Like those who have long been dead.  Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed with me; My heart within me is distressed."  My heart goes out to you today, please listen as God speaks to your heart through His word.

Psalms 147:3  "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  He does this out of love for you.
He loves you personally, as if there was no one else on the face of the earth to love, HE LOVES YOU.

Isaiah 53:10  "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."  Do you understand what He is telling you?  He was wounded for your sin and even for the most hideous ones, He took our punishment so we wouldn't have to and He took our beatings on His back twice so we could be healed from them.  Will you accept what He has done for you?  All this for you.

Don't let Satan traumatize you any more.  He loves to torture and God loves to heal and He will heal.  Satan loves to beat you down and make you feel worthless to yourself but you are not worthless to God, you are worth everything to Him.  There are people who love you and would take your beatings for you if they could but God has already done this for you.

James 4:6,7  "God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble, Therefore SUBMIT to God and RESIST the devil and he WILL flee from you."  When those thoughts come to your mind that the devil has put there, offer up a trusting prayer that God is there and will cause the devil to flee.  It is really that simple.
Yes, I know the damage the devil has done, he has tried to ring your heart out and cause you to want to escape out of your trauma and you CAN with God's help.  You must trust that He will do what He has promised.  If you submit to Him He will cause the devil to flee and that's what you want and need.  Whatever you do, don't resist God's help.  Listen to David's prayer and pray His prayer as often as you need to I have prayed the whole prayer lots of times and still do when I need to.

Psalms 51:10-12  "Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit."

That prayer means so much to me.  Let me tell you what it means to me.  God wants to create in me a heart that resists all the devils temptations that cause my traumas, He also wants to renew my spirit so it will be steady and strong and He will not cast me from His presence and will restore joy to my heart through the salvation that He offers.  Do you know how I know this, because that is what He did for David when He prayed this prayer.  Pray the whole prayer, it is a wonderful healing prayer for everyone.  What He has done for me He will do for you, if you trust Him.  Guaranteed.

Please accept this healing that God is offering you through His Son Jesus.  The relief will be so tremendous that you will probably just sit down and cry the relief will be so great.  When this happens, don't forget to thank Him, He loves to hear our thanksgiving and praises.  You know how you feel when someone thanks you for what you have done for them, you just want to do more and I am not so sure that God doesn't feel the same way.  So trust Him and see what He will do for  you. I am praying for you. Whoever you are, I know that you are hurting.  Jesus says in Matthew 11:28  "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Accept His rest for your soul, its a promise.  Grandma Joan.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Are You Being Deceived?

Deception in our Spiritual beliefs is not something that is uncommon.  It can happen to just about anyone who does not know the Word of God.  No one likes being deceived in any way but Spiritual deception is the worst of all.  The Bible says there are many deceivers out there, so we must be careful that we do not fall into a deceiver's trap and there are many of them if we do not know the word of God and use it as a rule of our faith.

I have been deceived, I am not proud of it and at the time I thought I was serving God with all my heart but if we do not study to show ourselves approved unto God, we can be deceived, if we do not pray for under-standing of the Scriptures as we read, we can be deceived.  I want to share the greatest deception out there with you and hope that with God's help, I can do it justice.

We can fall into two ditches as we travel life's journey.  The ditch on the right or the ditch on the left.  We are told in the Bible that the road to heaven is a straight and narrow road and that we must stay on that road.  What is that road?  It is the road of trust and obedience.  It is not trying to make up our own religion, religion has many aspects and many of them are not on the straight and narrow road.  They have taken to one ditch or the other.  I would like to share the big ditch I was in.

It wasn't a bad ditch to be in, in some respects it was a healthy ditch but do you know that Satan always mixes truth with error, if you are not secure in the truth you believe, he will come and mix some error with it.
That's what he did to me.  I was into obeying to the letter, everything God wanted me to do, I believed I was eating the right things, dressing properly, and acting appropriately. My speech was sorta of OK, but I didn't really think it was bad, I didn't swear, take God's name in vain or anything like that, but I was into one thing that was destroying me, Oh, how much I hate to admit it, I was in to picking everyone else apart and finding fault with everything, everyone did, except me.  I am so ashamed of that and have repented over and over again of my waywardness and of the ditch I was in.  People didn't eat right, they didn't dress right, their language was bad, I just was not a happy camper in my beliefs.  I knew something was wrong with my beliefs but didn't know what it was.

Gradually, as I tried to comprehend the truths in the Bible, I discovered that the ditch that I was in was a deep ditch of which I could not climb out of without help.  So where was my help?  My help comes from God, and God only.  The big mistake I had made was trying to be a Christian all on my own and of course it never works.  Jesus even said, 'of myself, I can do nothing', so how was I to get out of this ditch except to let God take complete control of my life and that was the only way I was going to make it.  That is not an easy thing to learn, to let go of all earthly support and let God take control.  As I have studied the art of complete surrender, I have been able to gradually climb out of this deep ditch of 'do it yourself beliefs' and let God have His way with me.  Has it been easy?  Yes and no.  I am still climbing, but in Matthew 11:31 Jesus says, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."  If I yoke up with Him, He carries the burden and that makes it light.

So what has happened to me when I learned the real truth about my relationship with Christ, instead of criticizing others, I want to help others.  Instead of being down all the time because I don't know what is wrong with me, I have learned that whatever state I am in, to be happy.  Is that easy?  No, I am still learning.
There is joy in helping others.  There is great joy in leading others to Christ, and usually the best method to do that is being a friend and lending a hand when you can and sharing your happiness with them.

Did I give up on my eating the right things?  No.  Did I give up on wanting to be obedient to God's will for me?  No.  Did I give up on dressing modestly?  No.  What did I give up?  I gave up my critical attitude of others, of finding fault with others, and just allowing God to work in each person's life as He sees fit to do.
And LETTING HIM HAVE HIS WAY WITH ME, SURRENDERING MY ALL AND LETTING HIM WORK OUT HIS WILL IN MY LIFE.  I can tell you this is a restful journey, just letting God do what He wants to do for you is so restful, so peaceful and so wonderful.  I don't want it any other way.

Do I fall into that ugly ditch?  Yes but if I tend to slip, I cry out for help, I have a Helper that keeps me from getting to deep into it and the ditch I seem to be slipping into now is on the other side of the road.  It is the ditch of not being able to see the good things around me, not in people but just things.  I don't praise the Lord enough for the good in my life, but I am learning.

 I learned a great lesson the first of this week.  I have osteoporosis real bad and have broken so many bones I can't count them any more.  My whole spine has been broken twice and the pain I cannot describe.  I have broken my left hip and have three pins in it.  Have broken many ribs, probably 20, some twice.  I am not asking for sympathy, I am going to praise the Lord for what He did for me this week.  I was outside picking up after my dog and our back yard has a privacy fence all around it so you don't feel the wind and I went to dump it and opened the gate and a gust of wind hit the gate and knocked me down just that quick on the cement sidewalk.  I landed on my back, on my broken hip and got a whiplash that caused my head to hit hard on the cement. My German Shepherd came over to me and after I figured out I might not be broken, I asked her to hold still while I used her to pull myself up.  She was so good about it and walked back into the house with me after I closed the gate.  I fell harder there than I did when I broke my hip.  I have been sore mostly all over but no broken bones, I am so grateful, it could have ended in a terrible tragedy for me but instead it ended in praise to my God and I am still praising Him.

I have broken bones when the car hit a bump, or stepped off a curb, or opened a gate and fractured a rib.
See why I am praising the Lord so much.  Only two of my breaks were  from a fall.  The rest were just from simple things, and I have been so careful.

God has said in Galatians 6:7  "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."

Don't be deceived my friend, even into the modern day deception of doing your own works to earn eternal life.  For whatever we sow, that we will reap.  I can testify to that.  I may share my other deception that I fell into tomorrow.  It is so important to pray as we study so that we will have a safe guide into the truths that we want to follow.  Don't be deceived, God is not mocked, whatever we sow, that we will reap.  Grandma Joan


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Best Time

There is always a best time for everything.  I have always had certain days for different things and because I was a stay at home mom most of the time, I had days for laundry, ironing, baking, cleaning and it seemed every day was full with four children to care for.  I loved my duties, I don't ever remember complaining because I was too busy or tired of doing them.  I still have a certain day to do laundry, a certain time to make my bed up clean, certain times to vaccumn, I guess it is called organization.  I have always loved to organize, organize dressers, cupboards, pantries, if something needs organized I love to do it.

Well, did you know that God loves things organized and has certain times for certain things, I guess that is where I get it, it must be a gift from Him.  I am kind of getting off the subject just a little so let's get back in line here.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the time factor in our lives.  I will be 83 in four months and a lot of people never reach my age, for some reason their lives have been cut short and I was thinking of a verse in 2 Corinthians 6:2  "For He says, 'In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.  Behold, NOW is the accepted time, behold, NOW is the day of salvation."  We do not know just when our time will come so don't you think it is a good thing to seriously think about whether we are ready to meet our maker, God says, 'NOW is the day of salvation', NOW is the best time to secure our salvation, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Here is our admonition, I am fully aware that we do not like to think about the time when we will lay down our life, I don't mind thinking about it anymore because as we have been studying, I know that my life is hid with Christ in God and as long as I keep it there, I am safe.  But listen to this verse.

Matthew 6:33,34  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  The Best Time Is NOW.

Isaiah 55:6  "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."  Are you a procrastinator?  Now is the Best Time to seek the Lord, don't procrastinate any longer because Now is the day of salvation, Now is the time to seek Him while He may be found and while He is near.

Organize your life in such a way that God is put first in everything.  First thing in the morning, seek Him, it is the Best time to do it, before you get tangled up in your days duties.  Seek Him all day long as you go about your duties, His Spirit is your Guide and Counselor.  Is there anything Better than this?

Now is the Best Time, won't you give your life to Jesus just now, while there is still time.  Don't put it off any longer, make Him first and last and best in everything you do and you will be ready when He comes at His Second Coming or whether you fall asleep in Jesus now.  NOW IS THE BEST TIME.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Are You Running Away?

Have you ever ran away from anything.  When I was a little girl I ran away from home, I was about 10 years old and I got in trouble for something and so I told my mother I was leaving.  We lived out of town about 5 miles and I would have a long walk to somewhere, I didn't know where.  I walked for about 5 minutes and decided I had it pretty good at home and had better go back and anyway where was there to go, for a little girl.  It wasn't as dangerous in those days but it still could have been a catastrophe.

I did a blog a while back entitled, 'A Relentless Pursuit'  I think that was the title, anyway it was about God pursuing us Relentlessly until he catches us in His loving arms and wraps us up in His love.  I just added that but that is actually what happens.  There was a man in the Bible that tried running away from God and God went to the ultimate to get Him back. You can read about it in Jonah 1.

God came to Jonah and told him to get up and go to Nineveh and preach against their great wickedness and he decided to get on a ship and run away from God, so he paid his fare and boarded a ship to Tarshish  and went down into the ship and went fast asleep.  But God sent a great storm on the sea and the ship was about to be demolished and the Captain found Jonah fast asleep and asked him, 'What do you mean Sleeper? get
up and call on your God, perhaps He will consider us that we don't perish.  You know the story, Jonah told them he was to blame for the storm and to just cast him into the sea and it would be calm again.  So they picked Jonah up and cast him into the sea and the sea became calm again.  Now God had prepared a big fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah prayed from the fishes belly and repented and God caused the fish to spew Jonah out on dry land and he went to Nineveh to warn them of their wickedness.  You can read the whole story.

This shows how far God will go if we try running away from Him.  He will pursue us and catch us in time, it may take years for some of us to let Him catch us but it only took Jonah 3 days and He was ready to obey God's calling.  Can you imagine, seaweed wrapped around him and all the stuff that was in the belly of the big fish and there he was, he had time to think about what he had done and how foolish it was to try to run from God and it is a foolish thing for us to try to do too.  God loves us too much to let us go without trying to bring us back to our senses.

Have you tried to run from God?  Are you running from God now?  Turn around and don't run any longer, He loves you and if you let Him catch you, He WILL wrap His loving arms about you and bring you back to where He wants you to be, just like He did Jonah. Will you let Him?  I know that there are many of you reading my blog most every day, and some of you are running from God.  STOP where you are and turn around and give your heart to Him, you will never be sorry.  Have you noticed the troubles that are in this world today, how crime has increased and how governments are being corrupted, Jesus is warning us by all these things, to come back to Him and if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, He is pursuing you and WILL catch you if you will let Him and make your life one of restfulness and give you peace that you have never had before.  It is a wonderful thing.

I have let Him catch me and wrap His loving arms about me and I have found peace and rest in Him.  He is guiding me day by day, sometimes I find myself being a little impatient about my circumstances but then I remember I am to trust Him completely and my peace returns.  How about you?  Will you let Him catch you and do the same for you.  I pray that you will.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Growing Up Into Christ

Do you desire to be like Jesus?  I do.  It's my greatest desire.  I am so tired of sin and what it does to a person.  It makes you miserable, you know you are not living according to your conscience and according to the Scriptures, but what do you do to change things?  Well, there is really only one thing to do.  That is to surrender your heart to Christ, but how do you do that?  There are so many questions, perhaps we can look up some answers.

In the Bible the New Heart is referred to as the New Birth.  Unless man is born from above, he cannot be a partaker of the life which Christ came to give.  See John 3:3.  It is God who causes the buds to bloom, and the flowers to bear fruit, it is by His power that the seeds that we plant develop. Do these buds and flowers and seeds grow by any power of their own? No.

And it is the same with us, we cannot grow up into Christ by our own power, we must have His power to
grow.  How do we get that power to grow?  By accepting Jesus as our Savior and spending time with Him each morning feeding on His Word.  Jesus is the bread from Heaven.  See. John 6:32.  So we MUST spend time with Him if we expect to Grow in Christ.  Never, and I say never open His word without asking Him to bless you as you read.  It makes a world of difference in our understanding and comprehension.  And when we do this, it becomes part of us, and He fills us with His Spirit and we start growing up into Christ just as surely as the bud flowers, and the flowers bear fruit and the seed sprouts and grows into maturity, that is the way it happens when we are growing in Christ.  It doesn't happen overnight but it does happen and it happens in different ways and with some people sooner than others, it depends on our sincerity and our longing to be like Him.

Won't  you decide to surrender to Christ and allow Him to come in by His Spirit and cause you to grow and flourish like the plants?  He does it for the plants and He will do it for you.  He is doing it for me and I am no exception, He will do it for anyone who sincerely wants to grow into His likeness.  Grandma Joan

Friday, January 17, 2014

God is Always With Us!!

Have you ever felt down and thought there was no hope or thought that as a Christian maybe, just maybe you had spurned God's love and He moved away from you.  There is hope for such an experience, always hope.

The other day I was a bit down and feeling lonely and blue and I was begging God, 'please don't leave me' and instantly the verse in Hebrews 13:5 came to mind, "I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you".  I was overwhelmed with such an instant answer to the prayer of my hurting heart.

Have you been in this situation?  If so, the answer is the same, 'I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you".
Don't you think that promise is enough to keep us in His presence and to always love and obey Him.  What else is there to do that has such a beautiful ending?  I can't think of anything better.  That instant answer to my prayer has helped me each day to know that He will never leave me or forsake me.  Here's another one that you can count on.

Matthew 28:19,20  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS even to the end of the age."

It's not just when we are down and out but ALWAYS WITH US,  what a promise.  Can you count on His promises, by all means,  when you start on your Christian walk, you will have time after time that you will experience answers to your prayers that will encourage you as you journey along.

HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US AND HE WILL BE WITH US ALWAYS ON OUR JOURNEY TO THE KINGDOM.  I believe that, do you?  I hope so.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Let's Pretend.

When I was a little girl we use to play a game called, 'Let's Pretend'.  You could pretend to be anything that you wanted to be. It was a fun game to pretend that you were someone else.  Maybe it was a dream of what you might become when you grew up.  Let the imagination go wherever it wanted.

I was thinking of applying that to this world we are living in right now.  We could pretend that everyone in it is a Christian, I mean really Christlike.  Can you imagine what this world would really be like.  That would totally eliminate all crime and probably most accidents, it might even eliminate hospitals, because everyone would have a wholesome diet and have a healthy lifestyle.  It might even eliminate doctors and nurses, ambulances, fire trucks, police departments for sure, politics, and you could go on.  I may have gotten a little carried away but all in all it would be a much better place to live, nearly like heaven.

Now think in terms of your personal life, if you became that Christlike Christian because someone shared Christ with you and then you in turn shared with someone and they accepted the same and on and on it would go.  How many more souls would be in the kingdom of heaven if everyone won one.  Would it be worth it?  I can tell you for sure that it would be well worth it.

Now let's pretend we are in heaven walking the streets of gold, because that is what they are, you can read about it in Revelation 21, you can read all about the beautiful city God has prepared for those who love Him.
We keep running into people who thank us profusely for their being there.  Because you see when you win one and they win one it just multiplies.  You may not even know them but in the long run you have made it possible for them to be there, otherwise they would be lost forever.  Can you see how very grateful they would be?  They wouldn't have words to express their gratitude.

I'm through pretending, but I hope you can see the point of how important it is for us to share our faith even if it is just one person.  But of course when we are real Christians we will want to share it with everyone we talk to.  That would multiply enormously, wouldn't it?  I need to get on fire with my Christian experience how about you?  I am trying to do that with my blog, I don't get out very much, in fact seldom.  But the internet is a great place for someone like me to share my faith.  You can do the same or invent your own way of sharing.  God bless you, and someday we won't have to pretend, we will actually be there enjoying eternity with our Savior.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Victory is Yours

Do you need Victory over some besetting sin in your life?  I do, without elaborating on my sin, I would like to say that God does give us the Victory if we truly, truly want it.  We have to want it more than anything else.  God has to be first in our lives and shouldn't He be?  What else should come before Him?  I can't think of anything I would want to place before God, but we do it even when we wouldn't think of doing it.  Like our appetite.  Does that ring a bell with anyone?  It sure does with me and when we abuse our bodies by eating between meals and keeping our stomach working all the time or whether we are putting the wrong things in our bodies that harm us and cause disease.  We are breaking the sixth commandment that says, 'Thou shalt not kill.'  Because we are wounding our bodies  and causing disease or weakness which inevitably will cause our death.  Does that sound reasonable?  It does to me and when I actually realized what I was doing to myself, it was easier to give it to God and let Him deal with it by giving us the Victory over it.  It sounds simple but giving up something that we have indulged in for years is not that simple because we have an adversary that doesn't want us to put God first in our life.

Philippians 4:13  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Galatians 5:16  "I say then, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."

1 John 5:4  "For whatever is born of God overcometh the world, and this is the Victory that has overcome the world--our faith."

Do you need power over the adversary, Satan?  Then you have it, read the next text.

James 4:7  "Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you."  Do you want him to flee   from you, then resist him, God has promised that he will flee from you. When you are tempted and you will be, resist him, offer up a prayer for strength to do just that.  God does hear and answers our prayers according to His will and it surely is His will that we resist the devil and get Victory over our evil habits.  It is always His will to forgive when we ask and to give us the strength to be overcomers in His name.

When Jesus was in Gethsemane He was resisting the devil unto blood.  The Bible says that He sweat great drops of blood, when he was resisting the idea that Satan planted in His head that He didn't have to go through this crucifixion ordeal.  Of course Satan didn't want Him to, because that would give all men the power to overcome Him like Jesus was doing.  Satan lost the battle and he can lose the battle over our lives too if we just resist him.  We are not asked to resist unto blood, we are just asked to resist him.

When we are ingrained in a habit for years, it is not always our desire to give it up but when we see what we are giving up when we give up sinful habits, eternal life with Jesus, it makes it a lot easier to give up anything that interferes  with eternal life.  Wouldn't you agree?  So let's gird up our strength by letting Christ fight our battles for us and it is His will to do this, and WE WILL HAVE THE VICTORY over any besetting sin in our lives.  VICTORY IS YOURS. Grandma Joan

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Touch of the Hands.

Have you ever noticed that when someone lays a loving hand upon you, how wonderful it feels.  I know how good it feels to have someone put their arms around me and tell me they love me or that they are sorry I hurt or they feel my sorrow.  It means so much, and without friends or family to do that, life is pretty empty isn't it?  At least it feels empty, but it doesn't  have to be.  Jesus still touches us even today with Spiritual healing, with Physical healing and Mental and Emotional healing.  Oh, to have the touch of the hands of Jesus, what a wonderful thing that would be.  I am not worthy of so great a blessing but even in my unworthiness, He has touched me.

Has He touch you with His All-powerful touch?  He can and He will if you just surrender your all to Him and obey Him.

1 John 3:22  "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight."

How hard is it to give up our sinful ways and let His Divine Hand touch us and heal us Spiritually.  We all need Spiritual healing, none of us are exempt from the need of Spiritual healing. This text that I am going to share is specially meaningful to me.

Luke 13:11  "And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.  But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, 'Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.'

In Matthew 9: 27-29 Two blind man followed Jesus saying, 'Have mercy on us and Jesus asked them if they believed that He could heal them and they said, 'yes Lord',  Then He touch their eyes saying, "According to your faith let it be to you."

Do you need the touch of Jesus hands today?  I do and I know that most of you would love to have Him touch you and make you whole Spiritually as well as Physically and Emotionally.  But the fact is we need His Spiritual wholeness the most.  I need it most definitely.  I long to be Spiritually whole.  Most of the people that Jesus healed Physically became a follower of Jesus.  Would you become a follower of Jesus and allow Him to touch you Spiritually and allow Him to forgive you and believe that you are forgiven and forgive yourself.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself, but we must believe He has forgiven us and then accept His forgiveness and go forward with a clean heart and life, staying in His presence and believing in His spiritual touch on our lives.

The Touch of His Hands is a powerful thing and He really does want to touch you and make you whole.  Will you let Him, or will you spurn His love and choose to live in the mire of this world?  I want Him to touch me and heal my Spiritual infirmities, I invite you to do the same.  Grandma Joan

Monday, January 13, 2014

Missed Oppportunities

I want to share something with you today that I have regretted for years, it's not a big thing, but big enough for me to remember and wish I had done what I was impressed to do.

I was shopping in Penney's Department Store and when I went to pay for my purchase, a young lady came up with some baby clothes to put on layaway.  Immediately I was impressed to pay for her items, I don't know why but perhaps she was to too poor to pay for them and had to pay for them gradually, I don't know the circumstances that surrounded her.  I stood there watching her and didn't say a word.  I was well off at the time and could easily have paid for them.  I have always regretted the missed opportunity to do something kind for someone in need.

I am hoping that God will grant my request of giving me another opportunity to make up for my lost one.
I have wondered since that day so long ago, how many opportunities I have missed since then, I have no idea but I sure am hoping that I will see the next one and the next and not miss any more. I have been very sad over that.

Several years before that when my children were small I went to the store for something and saw a young man hitchhiking on the corner and it looked like he had his mother with him and she wasn't young by any means and she was sitting on the suitcase while he had his thumb out.  That kept bothering me, it was cold and I knew I could do something to help them.  So I stopped and invited them to come home with me to warm up and I would make them breakfast.  They were so grateful and I packed them a lunch and took them to the next big town where the freeway began. I didn't lose that opportunity to be Christ's helping hand and I have always been grateful that I didn't pass that one up.

Through the years I have always wanted to be a servant, I don't know why, it must have been planted in my heart as a young child.  I think of all the times when Christ healed the blind, the deaf, the maimed, the lepers, the paralyzed and raised the dead, and fed the multitudes.  He was a servant and that is probably where I got the idea that I should be, and I love serving people to this day.  I hope that I will always be a servant for my Lord and not miss any more opportunities to serve Him.  How about you?  Have you missed some times when you could have brought happiness to someone's heart.  I know that I have and probably many times over. Those two incidents have stuck out in my mind as a lesson to me of how it affects a person when he follows God's leading and when he doesn't.  I pray that I never miss another opportunity.

Matthew 20:25,26  "But Jesus called them to Himself and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant."

Galatians 5:13  "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

There I have it, the reason why I have had that deep desire to serve.  I always wondered why.  I just hope and pray that God will give me many more opportunities to serve others and that my health will improve to the point that I can do as much as He will give me to do.  How about you?  You probably have lots of experiences that you could share about being a servant or not being a servant and the missed opportunities.
Let's not miss any more opportunities to served Christ and our fellow man.  We are admonished to do that. What will you do with your opportunities?  I pray that we will not miss any more.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Enjoy Your Trip

Have you ever heard someone say, 'Why would I want to be a Christian, they don't have any fun.'  'Their life is so boring.'  'There's nothing to do.'  'I'll wait till I have lived the good life and then I'll be a Christian.'

Speaking of the good life, I think I mentioned previously that we owned and operated a nursing home  some years back and one of our patients had no mind left at all, all she did was holler and yell every time we tried to help her.  Guess what, she was a wino and had destroyed her brain cells with wine.  Is that the good life?

Proverbs 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise."rr

Proverbs 23:20,21  "Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty."

I had a father when I was a little girl, who didn't come home a lot because of his drinking, and when he did, it was a nightmare.  I woke up one night to screaming and ran to see what was wrong and he was trying to kill my mother and when he saw me standing there he stopped. When he was sober he was so sweet.

Proverbs 23:1  "When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a  knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.  Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food."  Also leads to poverty.  See above text.

Proverbs 23: 29,30  "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions?  Who has worries without cause?  Who has redness of eyes?  Those who linger long at the wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly;  At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper."

1 Corinthians 6: 19,20  "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

If our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, then how should we take care of it?  Should we drink wine or any fermented drink?  Should we be gluttonous in our appetite? Should we smoke? Should we harm our bodies with drugs, even prescription drugs?  Should we over exercise, overwork, over sleep?  All these things lead to poor health, poor mind, poor body functions.

Is all of this the good life that people don't want to leave behind to become a Christian?  Christians do enjoy life a lot more than someone who thinks they are living the good life in sin.  Believe me, I have seen more than my share of that 'good life'.  I love being a Christian, the benefits are beyond our imagination.  We have Angels watching over us, we have a body that can be filled with God's Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us, we can be filled with His love and share it with others.  Then we have a future life in heaven if we have lived the good life here.  I don't mean floating around on a cloud, playing a harp, I mean living in a mansion, having a home in the city and in the country, where flowers never die, where we will have all the good things to eat,  where we will never grow old.  Don't you want to be ready when Jesus comes, it isn't very far away, you can tell by the way things are winding down in this old world.  Those who have gone to sleep in Jesus will be raised at the brightness of His coming and those who have waited for him and are alive will be caught up to meet Him in the air to live with Him forever. What a trip that will be. I want to enjoy life forever with Jesus my Savior, don't you.  You can enjoy this trip too, if you so desire.  Think about the good life, the real good life.  Let's prepare for that trip to heaven and the good life He has to offer us, forever with Him.
Enjoy your trip as a Christian, don't be ashamed of your values.  Bring glory to God in your life and yours will be a happy, enjoyable trip to heaven.    Grandma Joan

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Fruit of Love

I can't seem to get off the word LOVE, it seems so important in the Christian's life.  I read a quote from a magazine, that said, and I quote, "Mildness, gentleness, long suffering, not being easily provoked, bearing all things, these are the fruits upon the precious tree of love."  They are also part of the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22,23.

Why did God send His Son to this earth to suffer and die for humanity?  It was because of His Great Love for Humanity.  No other reason.

John 3:16  Everyone knows this verse very well.  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him might not perish but have everlasting life."  God so loved.  We can't understand such love and we don't know how to portray it either, but God can love the world through us as He did through His Son.  It should be our constant prayer, "fill us with Your Holy Spirit and with Your
love.

Love is powerful, it breaks down walls of separation, it draws people to Christ, it saves marriages, it brings reconciliation, it makes friends with just about anybody, it's a sign of obedience to God, it leads to boldness in sharing His love, it leads to service.  It leads to selflessness, self-sacrifice, it has a gentle, mild spirit, it causes us to be patient in all things.

You can see how important love is in our life, it is not just love as we know it, it is God's love that we need.
When we are filled with the love of God, all these traits of character will blossom in our lives and make us a very fruitful Christian.  Don't you want to blossom out with God's love?   I do, I pray for that all the time, that He will fill me with His Spirit and His love.  We can't go wrong when we do this.  I hope and pray that you will blossom with the love of God filling your heart and spilling out to others.  Grandma Joan

Friday, January 10, 2014

Love Wins Hearts.

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."  Today, I would like to talk about loving Mercy.

Forgive me for bringing up our street work again, but there were so many wonderful experiences that show how much God loves even the street people.  They will return the love that is shown them and an example of that is a little Chinese man that was there every time we went to Portland to skid row.  He slept under a bridge and was a happy little man.  He always greeted me with a kiss on the back of my hand, so sweet, that it was worth all the effort it took to plan and go.  He would gather papers out of the garbage behind businesses and then would turn them over and write stories in Chinese on the back of the papers and then he would show me what he had written and then tell me the stories.  I always looked forward to seeing him.

Sometimes we would take sandwiches, or cookies, or apples whatever we could afford or was donated for the trip.  One day a young man, probably 18 or so, came up and I gave him a package of cookies, he was so thin and so thrilled to get them.  He disappeared for quite a while and I wondered what happened to him, then all of a sudden there he was again, not to get cookies but to kiss me for being so kind.  He wanted to kiss me on my lips but of course I couldn't allow that but told him he could kiss my cheek by my ear and that he did.  I could tell my love for him found love in return.  Same with the little Chinese man.

1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter and I would like to enumerate some of the things love does or doesn't do.
Love suffers long, and is kind.  Love does not envy; Love does not parade itself; is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it's own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.

Now I know for a fact that I fail in some of these things that love does not do, and I pray that God will give me victory over them.  I know He will.  God's love never fails and if we have his love in our hearts, our love will never fail either.  Please read the whole love chapter, it is good to go over things like this to see how we are measuring up.  It is good for us to evaluate our lives and be a blessing to those around us, and to those we meet.  I think I need to start reaching out to others more, how about you?  Let's let our love be a sweet aroma around us, how about it?  Love, Grandma Joan

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Afraid of what?

When I got the impression that I would like to work on skid row in Portland, I decided to call the Portland Police Dept.  to see what they had to say about it and the Officer that I talked to was very emphatic about not doing it, he said it was a dangerous place to put ourselves into, but knowing me, that didn't even phase me.  So we decided to do it.  I was a little skeptical the first time we went but my fears were put to rest when we were received with smiles of appreciation.  They are human beings just like we are who have been hit with bad times or choose to live like that, and many of them it was their choice to live like that.  They slept under bridges and different places and used candles to keep warm or to read by.  They lined their little coves with cardboard to keep warm.

My husband and I were in charge of a Community Service Center in Oregon and we had lots of clothes donated to us and decided to use the warm clothes that were donated  that we couldn't place with locals, and give them to the street people.  They were so appreciative and we made many friends on the street and not once were we ever threatened or anything like that.

One time we were just closing up our pickup and getting ready to leave and I saw this great big man coming towards us and when he got closer I could see that he had sutures from ear to ear across his neck.  I did have a spark of fear then because of his size and those sutures on his neck.  He walked up and was so friendly and nice and I asked him what happened to him and he said he had 'gotten into a fight and a guy sliced his throat'.  We helped him with what we could and were on our way.

I am telling you this experience to let you know that when we are working for God, there is no need to fear.
It was a wonderful experience and because we were not afraid to work there, the Portland churches opened up a center for them when they saw the work that could be done there.  It reminds me of the following text.

1 John 4:18  "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

2 Timothy 1:7  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

So let's not be afraid to share our faith in any way possible that we can.  There are so many ways and my way may not be your way but you have a talent that you can share, I know.  There is no fear in love, because God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power to do His work and love to carry it forward and a sound mind to use to know what He would have us do.  God bless you as you go about His business of loving others and lending a helping hand.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sweet and Sour

Some people like sweet and sour sauce,  I kind of like it myself.  I am not sure that I would like a sweet and sour disposition, would you?  Do you fit that description?  Do I?  At times I am sure that I do, not because I want to but because I forget Who I am representing in this world.  I know someone who describes anyone with a sour face, 'that they look like they have been sucking lemons'.  I see people in town shopping that look so sad, I just want to say something to them to cheer them up.  And I have seen people on the street that look like they have been chewing on nails, they look so mean.  And then there is the person that when you smile at them, they return your smile and it feels so good.

When we were living in Oregon, we use to go to Portland once a month to do street work and it was so much fun.  One time my older daughter bought a sack full of stocking caps to give out on the street, it was cold and they were all accepted with smiles.  I had her little girl with me and she handed them out and they appreciated her little gift so much.  We also gave them clothes and food as we were able.  That was a very sweet experience.

There are lots of sweet things, honey, sugar, maple syrup, even stevia if you like it.  Some people don't, but I do and use it every morning in my lemon water.  No calories.

Then there are sour things like, lemons, sour grapes, vinegar, and food that has gone bad.  I don't think we need to talk about the sour stuff too much.  There are relationships that go sour, there are business dealings that go sour, there are just too many sour things in this life, so let's discuss the sweet things and it will cheer us up a great deal.

Psalms 119:103  "How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth."  God's words are to be sweeter than honey to us, are they to you and me.  I surely hope so.

Psalms 55:14  "We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng."  Christian fellowship is sweet, I have had sweet fellowship and I have attended churches where there is no sweet fellowship.  The latter being a very sad situation.

Proverbs 16:24  Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones."  How true that is.  Oh, how much we need to speak pleasant words to each other.  How much it would even lift our spirits to hear pleasant words spoken to us.

Ephesians 5:2  "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."  A real Christian has a sweet aroma about him, have you ever noticed that?  They just ooze with the love of God.  How much we need to be like them.

So now, we may like sweet and sour sauce very much, but a sweet and sour Christian would be something
that you would fear, I think.  You would never know which disposition you would be confronted with.  And really if they are dual in their disposition, do you think they are really Christians?  The Bible tells us that a real Christian is a sweet Christian and speaks pleasant words, and has a sweet aroma about them.  I like to be around Christians like that, don't you?

Let's examine ourselves to see which we are, sweet or sour or both.  I hope that everyone reading this today is the sweet Christian with pleasant words and a sweet aroma about them.  I want to be like that, don't you?
I pray that we will be like that altogether.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Courage for the Elderly

God knows that I need courage at this age, I have many things wrong with me and if it wasn't for Him, I would give up, I still get around good and am thankful for that, still do my own housework and am thankful for that, I have pretty much given up on my yard work, at least for this year, not sure what next year will bring but hopefully will have strength to do flower beds and gardens again.  I have a friend who tells me old age is not for sissies, what do you think?  I think it is important that we stay strong spiritually and the Lord will take care of our minds and body.  That's my thinking.  He is taking care of mine.  I found a few promises for the 'aged' and would like to share them with you since some of you might be as old as I am or creeping up there at least.

Psalms 92:12-15  "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him."

This is why I have hope at my age, God is not through with me yet, He says, 'I will still bear fruit for His kingdom in my old age.  I believe Him, this is why He has given me this site to share His truths with you and others who are reading.  I pray for you each day, that you will be strengthened in the truth about God that I am sharing with you.

I believe He has a project for each of us regardless of our age, even small children can share the love of Jesus with their friends.  So age doesn't count with God, He is no respecter of persons and their age.

I am encouraged that my work is not over, and neither is yours.  Hold on to the truths that you have learned and share them with others so they will know them too.  Be faithful to what you are learning and practice the presence of God in your lives.  He is there with you and will bless you in your daily walk with Him.  I truly believe that and I know for a fact that He is with me guiding me day by day and lifting me up day by day so that I do not stumble as much as I use too.  He wants to do the same for you and probably is, you just need to be observant to His ways.  May God continually bless you as you walk with Him.  Grandma Joan

Monday, January 6, 2014

Our Guardian Angels

We are told in the Bible that sometimes we entertain angels unaware and I know that is true, as I told you our angel story when we were on the road in New Mexico.  It's happened to lots and lots of people a I have read so many stories of angels coming to the rescue, supplying needs and help when no one was there to help.  God uses His Helpers to go to our side when we need it and there is no other way to get help.  Like when we were stranded in New Mexico, there was no help around and no one would stop to help and when they did they could only help one way and not come back.  We were out of gas and nothing for miles and miles.  Then a police car shows up out of nowhere and has five gallons of gas in the trunk which I am told they don't carry gas in their trunks especially on hot days.  Anyway, when he went back to his car, we turned to look and there was no car on the road that was straight as a pin for twenty miles or more.  God knew what would happen to me if left alone for who knows how long while my husband tried to hitch hike to get gas. I am so thankful for guardian angels.

Remember the story of Daniel in the lions den.  Daniel 6:22  "My God sent His angels and shut the lions mouths, so that the have not hurt me..."  He sent his angels to protect and deliver him from the lions.

Remember Peter when he was in prison.  Acts 12:7  "Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying  'Arise quickly!' And his chains fell off his hands."  Read the story in Acts 12.  It's a good story.  There are so many good stories that help us in our Christian walk of faith.

Psalms 34:7  "The angel of the Lord encamps all around them who fear Him, and delivers them."   I can vouch for that.

Psalms 91:11  "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."

If we reverence God, we have angels camped all around us to deliver us in times of danger.  And also to keep us in our Christian walk of faith.  They are there to help when we are tempted, when we stumble, we we cry and are in pain, they are there to comfort us.  We have such a great God, who is interested in every little thing in our lives. Aren't we the most blessed people to serve a God like that.  I am so thankful.  I hope you are too.  I promised a few days ago or longer that I would do a study on angels and their work and so there you have it and I needed it just to refresh my mind on how wonderful it is to have such powerful beings right beside me all the time.  I love angel stories, and I have read lots of them.  I have an idea that some of you have entertained angels unawares sometime or another, if you thought about it.  You might share them with me, I would love to hear them.

Enjoy life more by just knowing they are there beside you.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What Does Your Face Say?

Sometimes I wonder what mine says.  My mother, bless her heart, had a very stern countenance and I am afraid that I might have inherited it.  Just a little while ago it was brought to my mind that this certain individual doesn't really like me and we have never had words, good or bad and I was contemplating on this when it seemed like God impressed me that my countenance might be the cause of people not liking me.  I may have a stern countenance like my mother had.  I don't mean that she never smiled, but it wasn't real often.

I decided that I had better delve into this and find out what the Scriptures say about our countenance.  I think I will dwell on the good countenances and not the bad, we all know what a bad countenance is, don't we? There is the angry countenance that Proverbs 25:23 talks about.  Then there is the unfriendly countenance that it speaks about in Genesis 31:1,2.  I kind of think that might apply to me, not sure what mine reveals.
There is the fierce countenance it talks about in Deuteronomy 28:50.

But I want to know what a good countenance is, don't you?
Proverbs 15:13  "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance".

Judges 13:6  "So the woman came and told her husband, saying, 'A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; ...."

1 Samuel 16:12  "So he sent and brought him in (speaking of David)  Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good looking...."

I would like to have a cheerful countenance, how about you?  Also I would like to have a countenance of an Angel of God, that would be wonderful and a bright eyed and good looking countenance.  I think I have found the solution to having a great countenance.  It's in 2 Corinthians 3:18 Here's what it says:  "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."

I can tell you that I do not want a stern countenance anymore.  I can see that it would scare people off and specially children.  My prayer is: "Please Lord, give me a cheerful, angelic countenance that attracts others not scare them off.  I am so sorry, I don't think I knew that I looked like that.  Thank you for showing me what I am like."

How about you, do you need to pray that prayer too?  God will give us the desires of our heart if it will help us reflect His character and you and I both know that a cheerful countenance does reflect His character.
So let's pray that prayer until we reflect the countenance of Angels, shall we?  Grandma Joan

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Sure Way to Receive God's Blessings!!!!

I want to make sure that I am in tune with God, don't you?  I want His blessings more than anything else in this world, and I don't think it is impossible to receive many, many of them.  For every promise of blessings, there is a condition that we need to abide by and none of them are hard, unless, we love sin too much to let go of it.  I hope that is not my case or yours.  I really do love God and have been studying to show myself approved by Him and staying in His presence as much as I can.  How about you?  In Psalms 119: 1-8 there are some blessings promised us and I want to share them with you.

Verse 1  "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord!
Verse 2  "Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!
Verse 3  "They also do no iniquity, they walk in His ways."
Verse 4  "You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently."
Verse 5  "Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes."
Verse 6  "Then I would not be ashamed when I look into all Your commandments.'

His Testimonies, His ways, precepts, statutes, law and commandments are all one and the same.  You will find them in Exodus 20. Read them over and pray over them for guidance and see which ones you need to have changed in your life, God will do it if you are sincere.  Look at the blessings that you are missing out on, I have studied them a lot and I know that I have had to give some things up in my life to be able to receive His blessings.  We need not be ashamed when we look into all His commandments, if we sincerely want to follow Him all the way.

Verse 7  "I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn  righteous judgments."
Verse 8  "I will keep Your statutes, Oh, do not forsake me utterly!"

 It is not a hopeless thing to serve the Lord our God, He is willing to do it all for us if we will get rid of self and consent for Him to live within us and do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Sometimes we will feel forsaken, but if this happens, don't give up, keep in His presence where the help is that we need.  We just need to keep learning and doing as God leads the way and the promise is that we will be blessed indeed.  We don't change overnight once and for all.  Jesus said in His prayer in John 17:17,
"Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth."

We need to study to show ourselves approved unto God, how do we do that?  By reading His word and his word is truth and we are clean through His word.  John 15:3.  Our journey to heaven is not an over night thing, we just keep moving upward and onward until we become so much like Jesus, He can take us home with Him when He comes.  There is nothing else in this world to look forward to, is there?  I don't think so.
I really am looking forward to living with Jesus forever and ever and I hope that you are too.  May God help us as we journey on to that end   May all His blessings be yours for this New Year  is my prayer for you.  Grandma Joan

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Yoke Is Easy

When you think of a yoke, what comes to your mind?  I grew up on a farm and what comes to my mind is a 'single tree or a double tree'.  A single tree was when we used just one horse, a double tree was when we hooked two horses together and they pulled equally.  I am not sure if that is called a yoke or not, maybe it is where they are hooked together at the neck, no one ever explained that to me, but I know they were hooked together so that they pulled equally.

Back when they used oxen, I recall seeing a picture of something around the neck of the ox and I don't know if that was called a yoke or not but it seems like it was.  Anyway, when they broke in a young ox they yoked him together with an older ox and the older ox did the work while the younger one followed along guided by the older ox.  The largest portion of the burden was upon the older ox and the younger ox was yoked loosely to the older one so as he just followed where the older one went, whether to the right or to the left, the younger ox followed.  This is just what I heard recently and it makes a lot of sense when you read the verses in Matthew 11:29,30.

Now, when you read Matthew 11:29,30  "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."  What picture do you get of being yoked with Christ?  Walking along side of Him, while He is guiding you step by step, carrying your burden for you and you are walking along beside Him in ease.  What a beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ.

Will you find rest for your soul while being yoked up with Christ?  I heard this yesterday and it was such a good illustration of our walk with God, I just had to share it with you.  I hope you caught the picture that I did.  It was a huge helpful picture of our walk with God.

Please let Him carry your burden for you and rest in Him, because His yoke is easy and His burden is light, if we are yoked up with Him.  I love that picture, I am going to carry this picture with me always, so I won't get discouraged with life's burdens, remembering Who is carrying the burden and Who I am yoked up with.
What a lesson for me, my burden will become less heavy and less painful walking along side of Him and letting Him carry them for me.  Let's walk today with Christ carrying our burdens and guiding us step by step so we won't stumble.  Grandma Joan
PS.  How are your New Years Resolves coming?  I pray you are making great strides!!!!!