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Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweeter Than Honey

God does not give us things to make us miserable, does He?  I have never read where He does that.  His gifts are always for our good and enjoyment.  I read about some gifts this morning that I would like to share with you that I believe will help us in our Christian walk.  Do you need help?  I know that I do.  I have been going through some pretty heavy things lately and I need encouragement to get to the other side of them.
I hope this encourages you too.

Psalms 19:7-11.  I am going to go through these verses piece by piece to see the gifts and what they do for us.
Verse 7 has two gifts in it:  "The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul;  the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;"  Converting our soul is a gift that God does for us when we study His law and convert means transform, I need my soul transformed into His image, this is a wonderful gift and the other gift is making wise the simple.  I am simple and need His wisdom, so there are two gifts that I need especially.

Verse 8  "The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;  The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes."  My understanding of the word 'statues' is that they are the rules that God gave Israel for their well being as they were written out by Moses and placed in the side of the ark, not in the ark as were the commandments and included things for health and comfort for them.  Some of them are still pertinent for today and they rejoice our hearts or bring joy to our hearts to heed them.  And the commandment of the Lord was written on stone and is still enlightening to us as we walk our Christian walk.

Verse 9  "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;  The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether;"  We have nothing to fear as long as we are following His instructions, they are clean and last forever.  His judgments are true and righteous, all of them.

Verse 10  "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.  We should desire His word more than we desire gold because it means everlasting life to those who follow His word and do those things that are pleasing to Him.

Verse 11  "Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward."
In keeping His word there is great reward and as we follow on to know the Lord, it becomes sweeter as the days go by.  This is so true and this little study has helped me to see how important it is to please Him.

His Word transforms us and makes us simple ones, wise, it rejoices our heart and enlightens us in our journey.  We need not fear on this journey we are on because His word endures forever and is righteous and true.  As we walk the Christian walk it becomes sweeter each day of our journey.  Try it, you just might be overjoyed in your Christian walk.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Different Kinds of Friends

I am very sure that you have had all kinds of friends and they may be described in this study.  I know I have had many different kinds of friends and some are still my friends today, even though we don't communicate, if we did it would be like old times.  In first Samuel 18 it tells how close David and Jonathan were and that's how it should be with us.

Proverbs 18:24  "A man who has friends must himself be friendly.  But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

2 Corinthians 2:12,13  "Furthermore when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord.  I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them I departed for Macedonia."  Evidently Paul and Titus were close like brothers and when he wasn't there Paul had no rest in his spirit.  What a beautiful friendship they must have had.  I guess you would call it an ardent friendship.

Then there are friendships that are not so good.

Matthew 26:48-50  "Now His betrayer had given them a sign saying 'whomsoever I kiss, He is the One seize Him.  Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi' and kissed Him.  But Jesus said to him, 'Friend, why have you come?"  Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him."  I would call that a treacherous friend, wouldn't you?

Deuteronomy 13:6-9  it tells about trying to get your family or your friend to go and serve false gods.  That would be a dangerous friend, don't you think?

Job 19:14-19  Job tells how all his family and friends have turned against him in his affliction and abhor him.  Talk about unfaithful friends.  Job had it all. No one wanted anything to do with him and even his wife told him to curse God and die.  That's why we hear the phrase, 'the patience of Job'.  He must have been a very patient man and when it was all over and he proved his faithfulness to God, God blessed his latter days more than his former and he was a rich man to begin with so he was blessed abundantly because of his faithfulness.  But his friends turned out to be unfaithful friends.

I guess we need to be careful of what kind of friends we pick because there are all kinds and we want to be sure they are faithful and true and if we are faithful and true, God will help us pick our friends carefully.  We don't want to be led astray from God by unfaithful friends who don't like what we believe or like the way we live our life.  Let's be very careful who we associate with as bosom friends.  We need to show ourselves friendly to everyone and even help strangers as we have learned but be careful when choosing close friends with whom we confide in.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Office of the Holy Spirit

Ezekiel 36:26,27  "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them."

MB 7  "Whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent, and it is the office of the Holy Spirit to convince of sin.  Those whose hearts have been moved by the convicting Spirit of God see that there is nothing good in themselves.  They see that all they have ever done is mingled with self and sin.  Like the poor publican, they stand afar off, not daring to lift up so much as their eyes to heaven, and cry, 'God be merciful to me a sinner'.Luke 18:13.  And they are blessed.  There is forgiveness for the penitent, for Christ is 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.'  John 1:29.  God's promise is; 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'  'A new heart also will I give you....And I will put My Spirit within you.  Isaiah 1:18 and Ezekiel 36:26,27."

Shall we let the Holy Spirit do His office work in our hearts.  Pray for His Spirit to fill you and you will be filled if you make it a daily practice to walk in the Spirit.  Grandma Joan

Sharing Our Feelings

It is so good to have someone to share your feelings with.  I miss my husband so much and that is one of the main things we did was share our feelings with each other and when that is gone, who do you share with?  It's hard to share with some people because they think you are gossiping, or finding fault or just don't like somebody when that is not the case at all.  Most of the time it just helps to get things out in the open so you can see what it looks like and with a little help from your spouse, you can really see what it does look like in someone else's eyes.  Very good to find out what something looks like to someone else.  And their advice on how to handle things can be most helpful too.

Galatians 6:2  "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  It is good to help lift someone else's burdens, it not only helps them, it helps you too to help lift their burdens as much as you can, and you can always tell them to let Christ share them too and that really helps.

Hebrews 13:3  "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them--those who are mistreated--since you yourself are in the body also."  I understand from those that do prison ministries that it is a very rewarding work, and they come away overjoyed with their encounters with prisoners.  Sharing their feelings, listening to their heartaches and their sorrow over why they are there.  It would be a very rewarding ministry.

In John 11, Jesus expresses His feelings of sorrow over one of His best friends death.  It says, 'Jesus wept'.
You can read the chapter, it is very touching and also the ending is very exciting.  Jesus also feels our pain and sorrow and wants to bring us healing as well.

Luke 10, This is the story of the Good Samaritan that found a fellow traveler that was wounded and stopped to show compassion on him, and treating his wounds and taking him to an Inn to be cared for and paid for his care also.  Sharing feelings for a fellow traveler, who was a stranger to him.  A good example for sharing with a stranger.

Acts 20:35  "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."  Isn't that the truth, it is more blessed to give than to receive.  I love to give, but sometimes I don't have anything to give but some love and let others know that I care but when I can give material, I try to do that too, to those who are weak or have encountered misfortune.  Lately it seems I am on the receiving end but when I get on the
giving end, I will repay for all I have received, if not to the giver maybe to others who are in need.  It just depends on the circumstances.  I love to give.  Do you?  I am sure that most people do and I hope you will share your feelings with others to help them on their upward walk.  Grandma Joan

Friday, March 28, 2014

Things That Are Sweet in the Bible"

We talked about sweet smelling things and I thought about the word sweet and figured that a study on sweet things other than smell might be quite interesting.

Proverbs 16:24  "Pleasant words are like a honey comb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones."  It's very important that our words are sweet."  Psalms 19:14  "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."  If everyone's words were sweet wouldn't it be a wonderful thing to hear.  It would be such a blessing.

Psalms 119:103.104  "How sweet are Your words to my taste sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through Your precepts, I get understanding...."  A great way for us to get sweet understanding.

Psalms 55:14  "We took sweet counsel together and walked to the house of God in the throng."  Sweet fellowship, Oh how much I miss it! Sweet counsel together, how much of that is needed today by just about everybody, me included.

Psalms 104:33,34  "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being, May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord."  When we meditate on His love and compassion towards us, it is sweet to Him and probably be sweet to us too.

Proverbs 3:24  "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet."  How many people have trouble sleeping at night?  I have had trouble sleeping and trouble going to sleep and it seems like the devil wants to bring up all kinds of thoughts to my mind that trouble me and things that I have been forgiven for, but he is cruel and ruthless and he doesn't care what happens to us but God does and so I have learned to pray out loud when this happens and it goes away, the devil is not a match for my Savior at all.  Jesus always wins.

To wind up this study on sweetness, pleasant words are sweet, God's words are sweet and we get sweet understanding from them.  Christian counsel is sweet, and fellowship with Christians of like faith is sweet.  It is also sweet to meditate on His love and compassion towards us.  And sound sweet sleep is so refreshing when you wake up after a nights rest like that.  To sleep without fear is great too.  I was robbed last year while I was gone and I am so glad that I never was afraid to sleep after that and I'm still not.  It was my troublesome thoughts that were annoying me.  But I nipped that in the bud too.  Sleep is so important to good health and I know what it is like to only get three or four hours a night for a long time when my husband was ill.  So friends sleep well, enjoy the sweetness that the Bible offers us.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Sweet Smell

I don't know how many of you like sweet smells but I love them and I thought it would be interesting to see what God says about sweet smells.  I love the smell of a beauty bush, they are hard to find but their smell is out of this world, also gardenias, I had gardenias on a white Bible for my wedding bouquet.  Roses have a special smell but have you noticed that all flowers do not have a sweet smell, some even stink, I think, but their beauty over rides the smell. Some have no odor at all.

John 12:3  "Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil."  I have never smelled spikenard but it must have been wonderful. Maybe you have, I would love to get a faint smell of it just to know what she anointed His feet with.

Hosea 14:7  "Those who dwell under His shadow shall return: they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine, Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon."  The new Christian will have a scent about them that reminds us of new wine.  The smell of grapes fresh off the vine is great and the juice is even greater.  Their character will be fresh like new wine.  What a great way to express the character of a new Christian.  I like that, don't you?  I want to have a character that has a special aroma about me of freshness.

Ephesians 5:1,2  "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children, 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."  Our offerings and the sacrifices that we make to God are a sweet smelling aroma.  We are also told in Revelation 8:4 that our prayers arise like the smoke of incense before God.  I love incense, I guess you could say that anything that smells good I like.  To think that my prayers rise before God like sweet smelling incense is encouraging and should want to make me pray more, shouldn't it?

Well, those are some of the sweet smells that the Bible writers talk about and we can apply most of it to our lives, the smell of spikenard, which someday I am going to see if I can find some and the smell of new wine, I love the smell of fresh grape juice and to have a fresh aroma about us like that for a new Christian is really special, I think.

And of course when our prayers rise to God like sweet smelling incense makes me want to light an incense when I pray and watch it go up before God.  I don't think God expects us to do that but it would be interesting to do.  I don't want to make light of anything that we do but sometimes an example of some of the things that God expects of us has more meaning when we make it real before out eyes.  Will you try to be a sweet smelling savor by being a great Christian in your life?  I think God would appreciate all that we do to be an example to others, don't you?  I want to be.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Vital Ingredient In Life.

Do you feel like your missing out on something, maybe some little area of your life seems to have a void in it? Or maybe you feel like there is a big hole that needs filled and you can't figure out just what it is that you are missing?  This should concern you because any time we have that empty feeling, there is probably something vitally important that concerns us and we need to fill it.

I, personally have felt that void and have been prompted to seek out the reason for it and fill it, sometimes it takes an extremely deep longing for something, we are not sure for what. Let's see if we can discover what it might be.

I named my blog 'Vital Concerns' because I had a lot of 'vital concerns' when I started this blog and I thought perhaps others had the same concerns.  I have tried to cover a lot of them and sometimes twice they seem so vital to me.  Today is one of those days that I will probably duplicate another study but not entirely.

The 'vital concern' that I have right now is 'prayer'.  How much time should I spend in prayer?  How often should I pray?  What should I pray for and who should I pray for?  Is my prayer reaching the throne of God?  Do you think these are vital concerns?  I sure do.

We must have a forgiving spirit when we come to God in prayer, so that we may be forgiven.  Matthew 6:14
We must come to Him in humility and in a repenting, sorrowing spirit.  Luke 18:10-14.
We must come to Him with tenacity or stubborn spirit that won't let go of Him.  Luke 18:1-8.
We must come to Him with persistence, keep on asking and persevering until we receive our answers.  Luke 11:5-8.
We must have an intensity of spirit, a spirit of deep concern and sincere.  Matthew 7:7-11.
We must have confident expectation, expecting an answer.  Mark 11:24.
Oh yes, we must not use empty, pharisaical phrases, phrases that don't mean much or say things in insincerity.  Matthew 6:7.
We must be in an attitude of prayer at all times, in other words, there shouldn't be a moment when we can't reach out to God anytime, anywhere, in emergencies, in temptation, whatever the moment might bring, we should be able to talk to Him as to a friend.  1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Make a prayer list and pray for those on it as often as you feel it necessary.  Daniel prayed three times a day, he made it a point to do that.  We can do the same.  Daniel's life was close to God and I think that might be the greatest void in our lives today, we are so busy and so many things on our minds that we forget to cast all our cares upon Him Who cares for us in all circumstances.  We forget to talk to Him as to a Friend, He is our very best Friend and sometimes we ignore Him, but He doesn't ignore us.  He sees every tear, every heartache, every burden, so let's pray more and let Him take care of all our needs and see if that void in our lives doesn't go away.  It's worth a try isn't it?  I think so.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rest In The Lord.

Are you tired?  Do you need rest?  Is your Christian walk difficult?  Are you struggling with things in your life that shouldn't be there?  Are you suffering with pain and sickness?  There is a quote from one of my favorite books, 'The Desire of Ages' and I probably won't do it justice but it's packed and so can't give it to you word for word, but it goes something like this, 'when you are tired and in pain, just rest in the arms of Jesus'.  I like that and I think of that often when things get hard for me, and I try to just rest in His arms for a while. If you don't have that book, you should order it from Amazing Facts, just press on the button that says 'Amazing Facts' and it will take you to their store.  You won't be sorry, the whole book is on the life of Christ. It is the best that was ever written and is in the Library of Congress.

Psalms 37:7  First part. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."  Are you impatient with your Christian growth, rest in the Lord and wait patiently for His help.  He is there and He is patiently waiting for us to come to Him for help.

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

If we yoke up with Him and rest in His arms, He will carry our burdens because He says His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  He wants us to give our burdens to Him to carry because what He places on us is His yoke and his burden which are not heavy and if we stay yoked up to Him it will be easy for us.  That is His invitation and His promise to us who are weary.

Won't you give your heavy burdens to Him?  If you are tired and struggling in your Christian walk, if you are struggling with pain and sickness, won't you rest in His arms and find the peace from all these struggles  that are confronting you.  Please understand that He is waiting patiently for you to release them to Him.  I know that He will carry them for you.  May God bless you is my prayer.  Grandma Joan

Monday, March 24, 2014

Precious In His Sight

Precious means valuable.  Right now Gold and Silver are valuable but did you know that your faith is more valuable than Gold or Silver?  1 Peter 1:7.

Also a gentle and quiet spirit is very precious in the sight of God.  Have you ever noticed that many times you can tell a Christian by their manner of speaking and their quiet spirit.  It is good to have Christ hidden in our heart, that's what makes a gentle and quiet spirit and a real Christian.

1 Peter 3:3,4  "Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."

This next verse will be a hard one to understand for some people but I will try to do it justice, just because of my age, I think I understand it.

Psalms 116:15  "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."  When it comes time to lay down our earthly duties and face death, it is a wonderful thing to know that you are ready and that God considers you very precious in His sight, because He knows that the next thing you know He will be calling you forth from that earthly grave and you will be with Him forever.  So to Him it is a precious thing to know you are sealed for the day of redemption.

Do you understand how precious you are in the sight of the Lord.  I am trying to understand it.  It's hard sometimes when we can't see who we are serving, that's why our faith is so precious to Him, it takes faith to be a real Christian and even faith is a gift of God.

God is faithful 1 Corinthians 1:9  and when He says we are precious to Him, we are precious to Him.  To me this morning, I need to know that I am precious in His sight.  It will make my day a lot better to know this.
I hope it makes your day more blessed to know that you are precious in His sight.  Jesus gave His life for you, that's how precious you are to Him.  That's how precious I am to Him.  A wonderful thought to carry with us all through the day.  May God help us to realize how precious we are to Him.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Babies in Christ.

Are you new in your walk with Jesus?  I was raised with beliefs in Jesus and when I was twelve years old I gave my life to Him but there are times when I feel like I am still a baby in Christ because I am learning so many things as I am doing my blogs each day.  If you are a baby in Christ, not as much is expected of you as it is those who have been on the walk for years.  You will find that thought in Matthew 12:48.

Matthew 11:25  "At that time Jesus answered and said 'I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes."  So its Ok to be a baby in Christ, He can share more with babies, because they are more inclined to accept the pure words of Jesus and not have their own opinions just yet.

But the fact is babies do grow up and so must Christians and become adults in their Christian experience, but if you are a baby in Christ, just spend time with Him and you will grow up in Christ.  I am still growing day by day and I praise Him for not giving up on me. How about you?  Grandma Joan

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why Trials?

Trials are hardships that try our faith.  Have you had some hardships that tried your faith?  It would be a rare person that could say no they haven't.  Trials are allowed for several different reasons and so I thought it would be good to see what some of these reasons are.

Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac, how God told Abraham to offer up his only son as a sacrifice and Abraham was willing to do it even though there was heartache involved and Isaac was a willing sacrifice.  You can read about it in Genesis 22.  How God tested his faith and supplied a bullock for the sacrifice instead of Isaac.  That would be a terrible test of faith.  But Abraham loved God enough to trust Him with his only son.

1 Peter 1:6-9  "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire; may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love, though now you do not see Him, yet believing , you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls."  Trials come to test the genuineness of our faith and bring glory to God and in the end the salvation of our own souls.

James 1:2,3  "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."  Trials help us to produce patience, which most of us can use a lot of, right?

Psalms 66:10  "For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as sliver is refined."  The refining process is not always a pleasant thing but the end results is purity, isn't that so with silver?  It is the same with us, we just need to understand the love behind it all.

Trials are hardships to try our faith.  We don't like trials or hardships, do we?  I don't and I am pretty sure that most people don't, but there are reasons for them and if we understand the reasons, maybe, just maybe we can thank God for them.  What do you think?  Is it possible to appreciate trials?  That's a hard question, isn't it?  Remember the Bible story of Abraham and Isaac, and how God spoke to Abraham and asked him to offer up his only son Isaac as an offering on the altar.  Abraham didn't question God and Isaac was a willing sacrifice and when God saw Abraham's faith, He provided a ram in the thicket in place of Isaac.  Do you think Abraham wanted to do that?  Do you think he was glad that he obeyed God's command?  I think he was and God blessed Abraham abundantly for his faithfulness.  Will He bless us for our faithfulness?  You can find this story in Genesis 22.  A good story of faith to read.

Psalms 66:10  "For You, O God, have tested us, You have refined us as silver is refined."  Testing us with
trials refines us as it purifies silver, it purifies us.

James 1:2,3  "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."  When our faith is tested, it should produce patience.  I need patience, do you?  I think we can all use more patience, so when our faith is tested we can praise God for helping us have more patience.  Hard to do?  Yes, but necessary for our own souls.

1 Peter 4:12,13  "Beloved , do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."

We can thank God for the trials because after all is said and done, we will be a much better person than before.  Isn't that right?  No one likes trials but think of it this way, do you think Jesus liked the trials He was put through?  A crown of thorns on His head, spit in His face, slapped in the face and flogged twice with His back lacerated terribly, and then a heavy cross put on His bleeding back?  I don't think He 'liked' it but I think His thoughts were thoughts of love and joy for those who would be saved because of His sacrifice.

Maybe someone will see you go through a severe trial and be blessed by how you came through it.  Maybe they will be in the kingdom because of your witness to them.  We never know how others will be affected by how we come through our trials and hardships, I pray that I will be a good witness to those around me.  Grandma Joan

Friday, March 21, 2014

Let's Praise Him

I know that I don't praise God like I should.  He is always doing wonderful things for me and yet I forget that it is He that is doing them.  I was thinking about this and the first thing that came to my mind was to praise Him for His loving kindness.  I guess thanking Him is the same as Praising Him.  I know when I fell a few weeks back that I was thanking Him every time I thought about it that I didn't break any bones.  That was a miracle in itself, I had a huge bruise on my broken hip that I had years back, but no breaks.  I still thank Him for that when I think of it because it was such a great relief to only have bruises.

How do you feel about praising Him and thanking Him?  We have so very much to be thankful for.  I know that I have talked about this before but I want to read some texts that have to do with praising Him.

Psalms 139:14  "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,  Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well."  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image if you please.

Psalms 99:3  "Let them praise Your great and awesome name--He is holy."

Psalms 21:13  "Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!  We will sing and praise Your power."

Psalms 89:5  "And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord, Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints."

Psalms 138:2  "I will worship toward, Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; for you have magnified Your word above all Your name."

Psalms 145:4  "One generation shall praise Your works in another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.

The Psalms are full of praises, I only touched on a few things that we can praise God for and most of them are things that we take for granted and never think of praising Him for, I am speaking of myself here.  This is an eye opener for me.  I need to praise Him a whole lot more than I do and when I see what He has done for me I surely need to praise Him a lot more than I do.  How about you?  Do you need to praise Him more?

This really hits me to the core of my being, He is such a great and wonderful God and I sometimes don't realize His majestic being and how awesome He is and how reverent I should be when I come before Him in prayer and praise.  I expect answers to my prayers and He expects thanksgiving and praise from me.  Is that too much to give in  response for His love and care for me and all the answers to my prayers He has bestowed upon me.  How selfish of me to only think of what I can get and not what I can give to Him.

I really want to praise Him more, don't you?  I hope that this study has helped you as much as it has helped me.  I can see how selfish I am about my wants and how selfish I am about thanking and praising Him.  I want His unselfish spirit in my life, don't you.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Most Encouraging Words.

I have been trying to encourage each of you in your walk with the Lord and I hope I have succeeded to some extent.  I want to be an encouragement to others and never discourage a soul from trying to walk the Christian walk.

I have studied over and over again the fact that I need to spend time in His presence and I believe it with all my heart that this is the way to be a whole hearted Christian.  So today I discovered some really heart warming texts to encourage you on again.

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

Psalms 140:13  "Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence."

Exodus 33:14  God speaking, "And He said, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

He will show us the path of life, and we will find fullness of joy and pleasures forever more.  We will give thanks to His name and the upright shall dwell in His presence.  He has promised that His presence will go with us and He will give us rest.  Are you  ready for these blessings?  I think they have been a long time coming to some of us and I am ready to spend my life in His presence, are you?  I need the rest that He has promised, it is a rest from all worries, and anxieties of life, it's time for that rest, don't you think?  Let's trust Him like we should and find rest in His presence.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

More Encouragement For Those Of Us Who Need it.

Yesterday's study was very encouraging to me and today's will probably even be more encouraging.  I don't want to leave anyone regardless of who they are, with the thought that it is a struggle and a hardship to be a Christian and walk the Christian walk.  If we are trying to do it on our own, yes, it is more than a struggle and a hardship, but we have powerful help all the way.  Let's check it out.

Psalms 107:20  "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction."

John 8:32  "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

Romans 10:17  "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."

Jeremiah 15:16  "Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;"

James 1:18  "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures."

So let's be encouraged, He sends His word and heals us from our sinful conditions and delivers us from our own destruction.  And in His word we will know the truth and it will set us free.  And how do we get faith?  By hearing the word of God or reading it.  When we consume His word as we would food, it will give us joy and rejoicing of our hearts.  How did we get to this place in our lives?  By His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth.

We must spend time in His word if we would be encouraged in our Christian walk.  A few minutes a day to start with and then a little more and more as we learn to love communing with Him each day until we can spend as much time as we have time for or want to spend with Him.  I like to claim the promises I'm reading in prayer as I read them.  May you be blessed and encouraged as you read His word and spend time with Him.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Encouragement For Your Walk With God.

I don't want to be a source of discouragement to anyone, so let me be a source of encouragement to you today.  I know we need encouragement a lot, at least I do and I am always seeking some encouragement from God's word, something to push me on in my search for truth.  So let's receive some encouragement this morning as we delve into the Scriptures for help.

Psalms 19:8  "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;  The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes."  His word will rejoice our hearts and His commandments are pure and will enlighten our understanding.  That's encouraging.

Psalms 119:11  "Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You."  This is the way to know right from wrong and get rid of the wrong by hiding His word in our hearts.  Encouraging too.

Psalms 19:7  "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple."  God's law is perfect, and converts us to His way of life and it also makes us wise unto salvation.  Very encouraging.

Psalms 119:42  "So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word."  We have the promise that when someone comes to us with questions about our beliefs, we will have an answer for them because we have been in His word and trust it.  Encouraging too.

Ephesians 5:26 speaking of the church, and the church is made up of people seeking truth and living for Him who died for them.  "That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by His word."
We become sanctified by His word, so that probably is the most encouraging of all.  Sanctification is the work of a lifetime and so we need to spend some part of each day in His word and let the word sanctify us.

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."  The first few verses of John tell us that Jesus is the Word, so we can understand how the Word is living and powerful and a discerner of our thoughts and the intents of our hearts.

Are you encouraged, I am to know that all heaven is out to save us and help us on our upward journey.  It sounds hard and the way seems thorny but it really isn't with His word in our hearts we will have all the help that we need.  Isn't that encouraging?  To me, it really encourages me on my Christian journey.  I just need to keep His word in my heart and spend some time each morning in His word for the help I need for the day. God help us each one to remember to do that and the path will become a joy to walk instead of a burden.
Grandma Joan

Monday, March 17, 2014

Am I Ready?

Am I ready?  That is a great question when you are about to turn 83 years old.  I know, you are probably thinking, what does this old lady have to say or do about this subject, but just because I am about 83 years old, does not mean my mind is a wreck.  I still think clearly most of the time, if the subject is worth thinking about.  So many things today are not worth my time to think about them.

I am concerned that my life is a life worth living, and that I am an example of Jesus when He was here on this earth.  I know that when I was twelve years old I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit and it meant so much to me at the young age of twelve but that has been a few years ago and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.  I believe that had I been taken at the age of twelve, I would have been ready.

But since I know from the scriptures that I am saved moment by moment as I live my life, I do question the fact, 'Am I ready?'  I think it is so important for us to be ready to meet Jesus when He comes the second time to this earth to take His children home with Him that as old as I am, I want to be ready and it is the most important thing in my life right now.  I don't dwell on it but I do question some of the things that have been a lifelong habit, that maybe, just maybe Jesus doesn't approve of this thing or that and I think it is a good idea to check in with Him and make sure my life is a life free from the riffraff of this world.  What do you think?

We are instructed in Matthew 24:44 "Therefore you also be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."  These were Jesus very own words and I think it is appropriate to read and listen to His call to be ready.  Young and old could be taken in an accident, illness or whatever it could be and so it is very important for us to be ready.

Am I ready?  Moment by moment He is preparing me to be ready and yes there are some moments that I can say I am ready but I don't want to be presumptuous to think He will save me in my sin either, because I know better.  Heaven is a perfect place and I don't want to think that He would spoil all heaven with someone clinging to their sin.  We know better than that, don't we?

So let's be ready moment by moment and hour by hour and day by day and then for sure we will be ready to meet Him when He comes in the clouds of Heaven to gather up His faithful children.  I am so looking forward to no more sorrow, pain  and the troubles of this world.  Aren't you?  Grandma Joan

Sunday, March 16, 2014

He Will Strengthen Us.

We have talked a lot about Christian growth and it is an important  subject to talk about because we all need to grow in our Spiritual life, don't we?  I do, but sometimes I feel so weak and frail in my Christian walk and I thought it would be good for me this morning to talk about being strengthened.  I need this so very much and I know that some of you probably do too.   We could all use the strength that God is willing to give, right?

Psalms 27:1  "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid."

Psalms 46:1,2  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea."

What an awesome God, He is telling us in these verses that no matter what happens He is our refuge and strength.  Are you weak and frail like me?

Isaiah 40:29  "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength."

2 Corinthians 12:9  "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."  His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  So many wonderful promises for me in my weakness.

Psalms 27:14  "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart;  Wait, I say, on the Lord."  We could use a little patience here, couldn't we?  Are you willing to wait on the Lord? I want to be, I need Him to strengthen my heart.

Philippians 4:13  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  We can all say this, because He will strengthen us.  These are wonderful promises for those of us who are weak and struggling in our Christian walk.

Will you join me in letting Him strengthen us so we can be stronger more stable Christians?  We need His strength to face the battles of life that want to swallow us up and cause us to lose out on eternity with Jesus, which is my goal, is it yours?  I hope so, so be strengthened in the Lord and life will be so much easier to face if we face it with Him.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are We Contented Christians?

The dictionary says content means satisfied.  Being satisfied with where we are, what we are doing and what we have is a major thing with God.  He wants us to be contented and happy especially in our walk with Him.  Do you know that I have been doing this blog for almost a year?  It has brought me great pleasure and peace and I believe it has brought me great happiness and contentment.  I don't know who some of you are but I pray that it has done the same for you.  I love doing it because it has lifted me up into heavenly places and has helped me see myself as I really am, a sinner in need of His grace.

Are you contented with your walk with Jesus?  Am I?  The Apostle Paul has some great admonition for us on this subject.  Not just in our walk with Him but in everything.

Hebrews 13:5,6 "Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have, for He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you'.  So we may boldly say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.  What can man do to me?"  Is that contentment?  I think so. He is always there right by our side, so what do we have to be concerned about?  Nothing if we believe Him.

1 Timothy 6:6-8  "Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."
I agree with Paul that godliness with contentment is great gain.  As I have been  studying and sharing with you it has brought me closer to Jesus and I see that it has brought with it contentment which is great gain.

I ask you this morning to join me in my walk with Jesus, it is such a peaceful contented feeling, I know we are not suppose to go on feelings but it does bring peace and contentment and happiness when we put Him first in our life and share Him with others.  It is a great way to live and have the peace of God in our hearts along with all the other gifts that He wants to give us.  Please join me in walking with Him and enjoying His companionship.  What greater joy can we have?  Grandma Joan

Friday, March 14, 2014

Our Faltering Steps

Right now I am going through some very important decisions that will affect my future very much and I need to make sure that I am stepping in the right direction.  I need a motor home to live in and the price has to be right and it has to be clean and livable and the motor has to be sound, so many things to think about and watch out for.

Then I have a car I want to keep, the mileage is low and I have kept it in very good condition and so I need to tow it behind the motor home and the book said it was not towable, so now what do I do?  I got on the internet to see if I could find someone else who had my car and what they said about it.  The company said they couldn't say, and so I found a site that a man had just the same car and he has towed it for thousands of miles on a tow dolly and the next person said how to fasten it down so it wouldn't damage the car.  I consider all of that an answer to my prayer for direction.  I need a tow dolly now and I know the Lord will provide and also provide a motor home that will be what I need and the price will be right.  I still have a month to make all these decisions.  What does God say about our Faltering Steps, I need to know.

Psalms 37:23,24  "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way; Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;  For the Lord upholds him with His hand."

Psalms 40:2  "He also brought me up of a horrible pit; out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock."

Proverbs 16:9  "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

1 Peter 2:21, 22  "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth."

Ok, I would say that I found some very good advice, what do you think?  The first verse above says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, well, that leaves me completely out because I am not good, then I remember that Jesus is standing in my place before His Father and He is good. So my steps can be ordered by the Lord.

Yes, He has brought me up out of a horrible pit of selfishness and sin and has set my feet upon the Rock Christ Jesus and yes, I have been planning my way but He is directing my steps and I praise Him for that.
I have been called to be like Jesus and to follow in His Steps, that is quite a challenge but it is very possible if I am surrendered to Him in everything I do.  I am really learning to trust Him in all of these decisions that I have to make and rest in His care for me.  It is a wonderful feeling to have Him take my worries and troubles upon Himself and set me free.  This is the way I want to live my life, how about you?  Freedom is what I need and I am quite sure I am not the only one who needs to learn to trust Him implicitly.  I can only say,
'thank you Lord for your patience and for teaching me your way and guiding my steps.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Is the Person---

Do you need more happiness in your life?  I think we would all probably say 'yes' to that question.  I don't mean boistrously happy, I just mean a happy, contented spirit within us. For some of us, it is hard to find happiness, it just seems to escape us, it is always something we are searching for.  And for others of us we seem to spill out with happiness most of the time.  What is the difference?  I don't know if I can answer that, but I am sure the Bible will help us to get on the path to happiness and maybe we will see the difference from our study, I don't know but let's find out.

Proverbs 3:13  "Happy is the man (or woman) who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding."

Proverbs 14:21 last part,  "But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he."  Have you ever noticed that when you really, truly help someone in need, it lifts your spirits up out of the pit of 'poor me'?

Proverbs 16:20  "He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trust in the Lord, happy is he."

Proverbs 29:18  "Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint, but happy is he who keeps the law."

John 13:17  Jesus speaking, "If you know these things, happy are you if you do them."  You can read the rest of what these things are in John 13:13 and on.  Some suggested study on your own.

We are happy when we find Godly wisdom and gain understanding of His word.  I remember one place we lived that we were having a Bible study at our home once a week and one evening one of the younger men of the group made a comment of how they were growing in Jesus, and when I went to bed that night, I was so elated I could hardly go to sleep.  They were spiritually poor and were being helped, it doesn't have to be monetarily poor, it can be spiritually poor.

In 1 Peter 5:7  "Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you."  When we cast all our care upon Him then it is time to trust Him with all that care and Proverbs says, 'Happy is he'.  Can you imagine what that is like to let Him take all your care, it is such a relief and does bring a happy spirit.

Have you noticed or maybe not you, but someone who breaks the law, how they feel.  Speeding ticket, or even a parking ticket.  I remember not to long ago I forgot to put up my handicap sign when I parked and I came out to a $450. ticket, my heart sank and I felt terrible and wondered where I would get the money to pay it.  Fortunately when I went in it was canceled because I took my handicap card in and showed it to them.  What a relief!!!!!  Well it is the same with God, when we don't know His law we stumble around trying to live a normal life, but when His law is revealed to us, we can find happiness by keeping it.

The things that Jesus has taught us in His word to do makes us happy when we do them.  Do you want happiness?  Well, we just studied how we can improve that state of mind, didn't we?  I am going to let Him control my life more as I see that is where real happiness comes from, how about you?  It seems simple enough to me.  Let's try it and see if our happiness doesn't increase.  It's worth a try, isn't it?  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Be Made New Again!

Have you fallen away from the Lord?  Do you need a new life in Christ?  Or, have you just slipped up and don't know how to get back to where you were?  All of us have slipped up.  And a lot of us have fallen away and need a new beginning.  Is that you?  It's me.  Yes, I have fallen away through discouragement, or was hurt really bad and lost my way for a time.  And yes, I can use a new life in Christ, can you?  I would like very much to be 'Made New Again'.  How about you?  May I be so bold as to touch upon some of the reasons why we fall away?

One reason I did, was because I was accused of stealing money from a church fund that I was in charge of.  I would never do that, instead we were constantly putting our own money in that fund to help the poor.  So we felt we were abused and mistreated and decided we didn't want to fellowship with that kind of people.
We forgot that we were fellowshipping with God and going to meet with Him each week and not belonging to a social club of some kind.  I never dreamed I was hurting God.

Then there are those who have suffered abuse at home from a parent, a spouse or relative or friend.  Then we decide that following a different path might help us forget our pain, when instead, our pain would have healed over had we remained faithful to God.  We might put ourselves in some pretty difficult circumstances under this type of pain.  I understand that lack of love in childhood or marriage can drive us to seek to be loved, we all need love and want to find it, we just need to find it in the right places.  Is there help for us, I am sure there is, so let's look for it in the Scriptures.

Psalms 51:10 This is David's prayer for renewal  "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."  If we have fallen away, we can ask God to do a new creation within us and He will of course.

Isaiah 40:31  "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."  It takes a while for God to renew our strength, it is a gradual work upon our hearts and minds and then all of a sudden we take off in a renewed relationship with the Lord that is even better than before.

2 Corinthians 4:16  "Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."  Doesn't that give us hope, it does me.  Day by day God will keep working in our lives to transform us into His image.  I like that so much, He is so patient with us, I hope I realize how patient God is with me and appreciate it like I should.

Some admonition for us who are wanting a new life in Christ.

Romans 12:2  "And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

God does the renewing, we choose to allow Him to do His work in us and day by day He will renew our hearts and minds until they are like His.  I know that sounds like a big order, but God is used to doing big orders for us and its His business to renew us as much as we want renewed.  I am willing, are you.  I surely hope so.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Empowering Love

I guess I can't talk about the Love of God enough.  I need to understand such love in greater detail.  Not sure I am capable but let's give it a try, shall we?  We know that He sent His Son to die for us, most everyone knows that, but does that knowledge sink in?  Can we understand what great love that took?  I am not sure that I do.  I try but our earthly love doesn't even compare to God's love for us, does  it?  I don't think so.

2 Corinthians 5:14 first part,  "For the love of Christ compels us..."  The dictionary says 'compel' means 'constrain'.  If we are constrained, we are kept from doing something, probably something that we want to do but is not good for us.  Figuratively speaking, He puts a wall around us so we are safe from our adversary the devil.  I really, truly believe that He does just that.  He takes away our desires to sin.

Galatians 5:6  "For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." Our faith is energized by His love. This looks like the solution to more faith, let His love energize our faith.  I need more faith, do you?  Most of us could use a lot more.  The more someone loves you the more you have faith in them and that causes you to love them more too. It's the same with God, the more we understand His love for  us and we let that love penetrate our lives and hearts, the more we will love Him and the more we love Him, the more we will want to be like Him.

His love keeps us in His presence and keeps us from sinning.  It also energizes our faith in Him so that our love for Him will grow fonder and fonder as He keeps us in His presence.  Don't you want His love to keep you and energize your faith?  I know that I do.  I never thought of these things in this way before and it is really an eye opener.  It helps me realize that as I have been encouraging others to stay in His presence, this just capitalizes on this very thing.

His Empowering love keeps us and strengthens our faith and makes it so much easier to be what He wants us to be, doesn't it?  I think it does.  This has been a blessing to me, I hope you have been blessed too.
Grandma Joan

Monday, March 10, 2014

His Marvelous Ways

Have you ever thought about how Marvelous God is?  The Bible says in Romans  11:33  "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!"

Habakkuk 3:6  "He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations.  And the everlasting mountains were scattered.  The perpetual hills bowed.  His ways are everlasting.."

God is unsearchable in His wisdom and knowledge, His judgments and in His ways.  His ways are everlasting.  Let's search out some of the things that we are allowed to uncover about out God.

Job says in 5:8,9 But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause--Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number."  Then he goes into detail enumerating all of the marvelous things God does.  Read it, and see how Job felt about his God.

Psalms 78:12  "Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan."
Then David goes on to enumerate all the marvelous things God did for them.  Read this too, it will strengthen you in your daily walk with God, because His ways are marvelous.

Psalms 98:1  "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things;  His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory."  And he lists more marvelous things.  Check these out too.

Psalms 118:23  "This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes."  Have you ever seen God at work?  How marvelous in our very own eyes it is?  Even today, you can see His marvelous works in nature, in the beautiful flowers, that is a marvelous thing to me.  I love flowers and I can see His hand creating the beautiful flowers in my minds eye.  How about all the other natural things we have in nature, beautiful rocks and rock formations, beautiful gardens, beautiful snowcapped  mountains, beautiful skies at night with all the stars and star formations.  How marvelous are His ways.

Psalms  139:14 "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,  Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."  Have you ever thought about how wonderfully your body is made?  How your heart beats all day every day, how you breathe in and out all the time.  How magnificent your brain works?  Sometimes we take these things for granted, when all the time God is watching over us and keeping us in good running condition.

This verse is speaking of those that have the victory in their life over sin and are standing on the sea of glass in heaven when the saints are taken to their heavenly home.

Revelation 15:3,4  "They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:  Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!  Just and true are Your ways, O King of the  saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy.  For all nations shall come and worship before You  For Your judgments have been manifested."

I want to be among those who sing this song, don't you?  How great and marvelous are Your ways O God in our lives today and sometimes we don't even recognize You in Your works in us.  Help us to look for Your marvelous ways in our lives and not to forget to thank You for all You do for us.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What Are My Desires?

Are my desires on the level with God's desires for me?  I hope so and I am pretty sure that my greatest desires are in His will, but maybe not, I think that I need to think about them this morning, I feel prompted to check out my heart's desires and see if what His desires for me co-inside with my desires.  See what you think about your desires as we study this out.

My greatest desire is not for myself but to see my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren saved in God's kingdom.  I even have a great, great grandchild that needs saving.  Check out the following text.

1 John 5:14,15  "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."

Is it His will that my children and their children etc, are saved?  In Isaiah 49:25  is the promise I need for this desire.  "But thus says the Lord, 'Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered, For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children."  So I can ask Him to save my children and their offspring and know that it is His will to do just that, right?  So that desire will be fulfilled.  I understand that everyone is a free moral person and has a free choice as to whether they will be saved or not, but God will do everything in His power to bring that about and then they have to choose.

My next greatest desire is that I will represent my Lord and Savior in the most pure and loving way, just like Jesus.  I know that it is His will to bring that about in my life, so I can count on that, can't I?

I have friends and neighbors that do not know Jesus as they should, and my desire for them is that they will learn to know and love Him. Is that within His will?  I believe it is.

My other desire is that I sell my home and be able to visit my son in Missouri for the summer and yes, I have sold my home, and if it is God's will I will spend the summer with him in Missouri.  I want to be in His will, so whether I go to Missouri or not remains to be seen, but that is my desire, God willing.

What are your desires?  Are they in God's will?  Remember the verse in 1 John 5:14,15 "And this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."  We can have confidence in Him if we ask according to His will, so I need to pray, 'thy will be done', when I seek to have my desires fulfilled, then I know that He will answer according to what is best for me.

I feel blessed knowing that when I pray in His will, I can rest in His will and know that all things will be done according to His will.  May God bless you with your desires and that they will be in His will.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Help Me To Love You More!!

I don't know about you, but for me, I have a deep longing in my heart to love more, especially to love God more and I can't make myself love Him more and so today, I am going to study a little while on how I can love Him more.  I hope you will stick with me as I explore this vital topic.

1 John 4:19  "We love Him, because He first loved us."

John 14:15  "If you love Me, keep My commandments." 

Verse 21  "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved of My Father, and I will love him and manifest (reveal) Myself to him."

Verse 23  "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

This is all I can find on loving Him.  And it looks like that we love Him because He first loved us, and if we love Him we will keep His commandments.  Also, it looks like if we want Him to reveal Himself to us we will keep His commandments.  If we love Him, we will keep His word, and Jesus said that they will come and make their home with us.  I can't think of anything better than that.  I want Him to reveal Himself to me, don't you?  And also to make their home in Me.  What an awesome thought!  So how can I love Him more?

I love Him because He first loved me.  So anyone can love Him, because He loves us first.  Evidently when we keep His commandments, our love grows deeper because we spend time with Him in reading His word and our love responds to His love for us.  Staying in His presence evidently increases our love for Him.

I know that when we are young and looking for a mate, that the more time we spend with them, the more we care about them and soon that caring turns to love for them, so it has to be the same with God, so He has helped me by this little study to 'Love Him More".  Has it helped you?  I just need to spend more time with Him in His word and in prayer, and I will learn to Love Him More. My problem is that I don't spend enough time with Him in prayer, I see that now.  Thank you for letting me share my inmost thoughts with you today and the study has really helped me a lot.  I hope by God's grace it has helped you.  Grandma Joan

Friday, March 7, 2014

Who Am I?

Who am I that I should come before so great a God as You?  And yet you say to 'come boldly to the throne of grace'.  Hebrews 4:16.

Who am I that I a sinner in such need of Your grace, that I should expect to have my sins forgiven and such love extended to me?  And yet you say, 'If I confess my sins, You are faithful to forgive them'. 1 John 1:9.

Who am I?  I have been so unfaithful in everything pertaining to my Spiritual life, who am I that you should be so faithful to me?  And yet you say, 'God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His
Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.'  1 Corinthians 1:9.

Who am I, so unworthy to receive so many blessings at Your hand?  And yet you say 'Blessed be the God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.'

Who am I that You should know me so well, that You would call me by my name when I am the least of these?  And yet You say, 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.."  Isaiah 43:1 last part.

Who am I that You would love me so very much as to send Your Son to die on such a cruel cross and suffer such agony for someone like me?  I am not worthy of such a sacrifice on my behalf.  And yet You say, 'that You sent Your Son to this world to die for whosoever, and that whosoever is me.  I don't understand so great a love as that.  That is in John 3:16.

Who am I that I should receive healing at Your hands, so many times, I am not worthy of such loving care, It's Jesus who is worthy, not me and yet, You say that, 'You sent Your word and healed them and delivered them from destruction,' and that is exactly what You have done for me.

Who am I to deserve all these things from You, I am not worthy at all, I feel so unworthy at times that I just sit in awe and wonder who I am to deserve these things?  I know for sure that I serve a loving Father and His Son who are so full of love for this human being that if it had been only just me, who needed saved, You still would have sent Jesus to save me.  What an awesome thought to think about.

Do you see yourself in any of these circumstances?  Surely, you must.  I find myself, just thinking about all these things and saying, 'who am I'.  I am still wondering and then I read this verse just now that tells me who I am. "Beloved now we are children of God." 1 John 3:2 first part.  I am a child of God, what more could I ask for.  You are a child of God.  That's who we are.  Grandma Joan.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Compassionate Saviour

According to the dictionary, compassion means mercy.  If you get a speeding ticket and the judge has compassion on you, he let's you go free.  I was doing 53 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone and I got stopped.  I was in a big hurry to get to my granddaughters which was maybe 3 -4 blocks away and I needed her restroom really bad, so I was going way to fast in this area.  I was pulled over much to my chagrin and he asked me if I knew how fast I was going and I told him yes and I was headed for my granddaughter's which was just across the street from where I stopped.  He asked me why I was speeding and I told him the truth much to my embarrassment and he went back to his car and checked my record and there wasn't anything on it, maybe one a few years before.  He just gave me a warning, he had mercy on me or compassion.  Three plus years ago, we moved into this little town and I have wondered what his name was, I was going to go thank him for his compassion that day.

We have a Savior who is a lot more compassionate than any policeman or judge could ever be.
Luke 9:12-15  "And when He came near the gate of the city, behold a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.  And a large crowd from the city was with her.  When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, 'do not weep'.  Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still.  And He said, 'young man, I say to you, arise.' So he who was dead sat up and began to speak.  And He presented him to his mother."

Can you imagine what that did for the poor widowed mother?  Being a mother of four, I have a small idea what she must have felt like when her son was given back to her alive and well.  It must have been an over whelming time for her.  She goes out of the city weeping and goes back home rejoicing.  What compassion, what love, I cannot understand it but I know it's true.  A lowly, poor widow's weeping turning to joy.

Matthew 15:32  "Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, 'I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.  And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

This was when Jesus fed the multitude with a little boy's lunch, seven loaves of bread and a few little fish.
A hungry multitude and a little boy's lunch and a compassionate Savior, altogether it made lunch for a multitude of people, four thousand men plus women and children.  Can you imagine what that little boy thought and the story he had to tell?  What about the story the multitude told?  Compassion for the hungry.

Compassion for the weeping widow and compassion for the hungry multitude, the same compassion but two different circumstances.

Are you weeping?  Are you hurting?  Are you hungry? You have a compassionate Savior bending over you right now, you can't see Him but He is there wanting to comfort you and help you in your great time of need.
He comforts us and He supplies our needs, maybe not in the same way that He did then, but He still cares and takes care of us.

I remember one time when our first child was just a baby, sixty some years ago, and my husband was working for a little one man owner mill and he hadn't paid him and we were down to almost nothing in our cupboards.  All I had to send him in his lunch was a quart of cherries that we had canned and nothing more.
It's been so long ago that I don't remember what happened but somehow we managed to feed our baby and have food.  Another time when we were so poor and had two growing children, the church brought us food. So God does look after us when we are hungry and when I was sorrowing over my husband's death, He comforted me with His word and when I have been in pain, He has brought relief.

I know personally from experience that He is a compassionate Savior.  Full of love and mercy for this fallen race and ready to lift us up and save us if we will let Him.  Will you let Him lift you up and save you?  He is willing, are you?  He is your compassionate Savior and mine.  I love Him, do you?  I hope so.  Grandma Joan.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Meekness of Jesus

A few days ago, I invited you to come and sit with me at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him and from Him and so today I thought it would be good to study His meekness, and how that might apply to us.  According to the dictionary, meekness means, patient and humble and I believe from our studies that He was just that, patient and humble.  So what can we learn from His patience and humility, first we want to make sure that, that was His characteristics.

Philippians 2:8  "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross."  How can I, a feeble human being describe that kind of patience and humility.  I can't, I can only believe it.  Jesus is the only One who has been that patient and humble.  His disciples did learn from Him and they did succumb to some terrible deaths with patience and humility but Jesus was their example and they were just following their example, which I believe we must do.  We may not all be required to suffer as they did, but we do suffer in our own way and perhaps will have to suffer even greater things as time goes on, but we must not give up and throw in the towel.  Hang on, Jesus is at our side day in and day out to help us through any circumstance.

Romans 15:5  "Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus."  God is patient and comforting and wants us to be like minded toward others like Jesus was and is.

2 Thessalonians 3:5  "Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ"  This verse tells us that God is love and patient and wants to direct our hearts along this same line of thinking.

1 Peter 5:5-7  "Likewise you younger people submit yourselves to your elders.  Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him for He caress for you."

These verses teach us that God is patient and humble (or meek and lowly)  and He wants us all to be of the same mind, to be clothed with humility because if we are we can cast all our care upon Him because He cares for us.  What love!  What patience! What meekness!  He cares for us, more so than He cares for the little Sparrow that falls to the ground, and He does see the little Sparrow that falls.  The song says, 'His eye is on the Sparrow and I know He watches over me.'

This is how Jesus was when on earth and how He is now with His people today.  I think it is very important for us to understand what is expected from us in return for what He gives in response to our choice to serve Him.  Today I learned that His response is love, patience and meekness.  Maybe tomorrow if God is willing we can learn some more characteristics of Jesus.  Hope yo.u enjoyed our little worship.  I did.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Healing Jesus - part 5

Have you been enjoying this topic?  I have, it has helped my faith increase and it has helped me understand the life of Jesus so much better.  His life was full of ministering to peoples needs, in fact, I understand that He did more ministering to their needs than He did preaching and teaching.  I have found that if we can help people physically, they will listen to Spiritual things more readily. It was Jesus method and it can be ours.

 This morning I want to zero in on two blind men who were following Jesus and begging for healing.and when Jesus had come into the house where He was going, the blind men followed Him in and said, 'Son of David have mercy on us', and Jesus answered, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this,? and they answered, 'Yes, Lord'.  Jesus said to them, 'according to your faith, let it be unto you.'  And their eyes were opened."

It's one thing to be blind physically, and it's another thing to be blind Spiritually, I believe that Spiritual blindness is worse because it affects our life here and our eternal life.  Physical blindness has been helped in many ways, with braille for reading, I had a little acquaintance that was totally blind and she said she had it over on us because on cold nights, she could take her book under the covers and read it there and keep warm, a good sense of humor and a sweet lady.  Blind people learn to cope, and not become bitter over their circumstance, but Spiritually blind people can become bitter and angry and unsettled in just about everything, when all they really need is the Healing Jesus.  This story was found in Matthew 9:27.

He healed 'demon possessed people' in Matthew 9:32.  Can we become 'demon possessed' today?  We may not wallow on the ground, foaming at the mouth and that sort of thing, but what do you think about a person with a violent temper, a murderer, an adulterer, a liar, all of these things are brought on by Satan, and they need the healing power of Jesus in their lives, don't they?

Another story about Jesus healing is in Matthew 12:9.  Jesus went into the synagogue to worship and He saw a man there with a withered hand, maybe he had had a stroke, I have seen stroke victims that have withered arms and hands and can't use them, so perhaps this was this man's situation, I don't know but to the Healing Jesus, he needed both hands and He said to the man, 'stretch out your arm' and it became whole as the other one.

Jesus was very observant and saw the needs of the people that perhaps we would never notice, but in His tender, loving care, He noticed things like even a withered hand.  Do you think He sees your problems?  Yes of course He does.  He sees it all and He is concerned about it all too.  He feels our pain, our heartaches, our sorrows, and sees our tears and wants to wipe all of this away, but He needs us to come and sit at His feet a little while each day to learn of Him and from Him our duties in this life, so that we can be blessed and be a part of His family here on this earth.  He is still the Healing Jesus and most of all He wants to heal us Spiritually, so we can have a part in His kingdom when He comes to claim us as His people.  Don't you want to be ready when He comes to claim us as His own?  I know that you do and so do I.  So why not let the Healing Jesus into our lives and be blessed with His Spiritual healing and then He can heal us physically if He sees that we will benefit from it. Would you share your healing experience with others and give God all the credit?  That's what He wants us to do, to glorify His name above all names.  Let's cooperate with Him and  let Him do His work in our lives, what do you say?  I want to.  Grandma Joan

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Healing Jesus - part 4

How's your health today, are you finding healing in His name?  It doesn't happen all at once for most of us but gradually we will find the healing that we need most.  Sometimes it is so gradual that we don't even notice it until its done and all of a sudden, we realize that whatever was wrong with us, it is gone.  Then it's time for thanksgiving and praise to His Holy Name.  That has happened to me, it was so gradual that I didn't even know what was happening until I got knocked down on the concrete and was able to get up without calling out for help.

There was a woman in the Bible that had been bleeding for twelve years and not a doctor could help her, and she couldn't really go out in public like that but she heard of Jesus and His healing powers and she thought in her heart that this was her only hope, and she tried to get close enough to Him to ask for healing but the crowd was so great that she said to herself, 'if I could only touch the hem of his garment then perhaps I could be healed and that is just what she did.  She got close enough to Him to touch the hem of His garment and she was instantly healed.  Jesus felt the power of healing leave Him and asked, 'Who touched me?'  And Jesus turned and saw her and said to her, 'Be of good cheer daughter, your faith has made you well."  You can read this story in Matthew 9:20-22.

Then there is the story of the bowed over woman in the temple, I can really relate to this story because I have broken all my vertebrae in my back and the pain is to great to stand tall like I use to do.  I use to be five feet six inches and now I am four feet eleven inches.  So you can see the toll my disease has taken on my body, and I would love to stand  tall again but if not now, I know when Jesus comes, I will stand tall again.

Luke 13:10-13  "Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  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."

Do you like these two stories of Jesus healing women?  I do, because I am a woman I guess, but they are not the only stories of healing women.  What I noticed about the one in Luke 13, that it says, 'immediately she was made straight, and glorified God'. So important that we glorify God in our blessings from Him.

Have you suffered from a disease for twelve years like the woman above, then turn to Jesus, it may be a physical disease that is wearing out your life forces, or it may be a Spiritual disease that is wearing our your life forces.  Whatever it is, turn to Jesus for healing, remember He heals us Spiritually first and there may be something in your life that He needs to remove, so let Him remove it and bring healing to your soul.  He is bringing healing to mine and I am so very grateful.  God bless you with Spiritual healing, it is so very important for our well being to be healed Spiritually.  May you find the healing Jesus.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Healing Jesus - part 3

Have you every noticed that when you think everything is going just right, something else pops up to destroy that thinking.  That has happened to me so many times and there is a lesson in it for me at least.  I think it might have something to do with my ego, I get to thinking that I am doing alright and maybe now I am ready to meet Jesus when He comes and then I find out that there is something deep seeded in my heart that needs a cleansing.  I think the saying, 'Sanctification is the work of a lifetime' is so very true and sometimes I forget that.  I begin to think I have been Sanctified and now I am ready to meet Jesus.  It's very humbling when He brings something else to your mind that needs cleansing, and sometimes it is a deep seeded thing that you almost feel it needs an operation to get it out.

Well, we do have a Great Physician don't we?  One who never fails us if we ask in all sincerity to have something removed from our lives, no matter how bad or how painful it is to have it removed.  Just yesterday I was reminded of this.  I told you I would tell you a little story of mine about forgiveness and healing.

As I said, I thought that I was doing much better in my Christian walk, when all of a sudden it came to my mind that there was someone who has wronged me terribly and that there was something in my heart that wasn't right towards them.  This wrong has gone on being duplicated over and over, so it is deep seeded in my mind and heart.  I started searching my heart for the problem and praying over and over for the Lord to show me MY heart and the wrong that was there.  I discovered that the other party does not have to ask to be forgiven for me to be able to forgive them.  This kind of forgiveness comes from a heart that Jesus occupies and I for sure want Him to be in my heart and so I spent some time pleading with God to put a forgiving spirit in my heart.  I didn't notice anything spectacular happening, and I was a little down all day over it, knowing I had hidden those feelings for so long, years.  It reminds me of the blog I did recently of harboring feelings for thirty eight years, remember it?  Well, perhaps that is why some of these ailments have come upon me, it does cause illness of all kinds when we harbor resentments in our hearts for so long.  It eats away at us.

2 Chronicles 7:14  This is God speaking, "If My people who are call by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Matthew 6:14,15  "For if you forgive men their trespasses , your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Do I want my sins forgiven, yes of course so very much, then I must forgive, even if the same thing keeps going on and on in my life.  I also want God's healing in my life especially Spiritual healing and if He brings more Physical healing, I will be ever so grateful for that too.

I have been praying and seeking His will in my life as 2 Chronicles says and then it says He will hear from heaven and forgive my sin and heal.  Like I said, I didn't feel anything spectacular, but today I have peace and forgiveness in my heart and I pray that it stays there regardless of what the future holds for me.

Have you been holding something like that in your heart for years, it is a painful experience and can cause all kinds of illness, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and many more.  I pray that my little story has helped you realize that no matter who we are, we need God's presence in our life so He can speak to us by impressing our hearts and minds of the cleansing that we need.  I may never again feel that I have made it Spiritually, as I see how human I am and frail in my Christian experience. You can pray for me too, as I pray for each of you each day.  Hold on to Jesus, don't hold on to your resentments. There is healing in His name
for all sin, no matter how hideous it is. Do we have a healing Jesus, YES, WE DO.   Grandma Joan

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Healing Jesus - part 2

I love to read about all the wonderful things that Jesus did while on this earth.  It is so amazing to me that some people didn't even say 'thank you'.  Did you ever stop and think how important those two little words are.  When I was about thirteen years old on my birthday a lady at the church handed me a birthday card with a really pretty handkerchief in it. I was so timid and afraid that I just stood there not saying a word and my mother spoke up and said, 'what do you say to her?' and I said 'thank you'.  But that's not the end of the story, I was so humiliated because it was done in front of people, that I went home and cried and cried over my humiliation, not realizing that I was learning a powerful lesson.  The lesson sunk so deep into my heart that I have actually said 'thank you' when there was nothing to thank anyone for.  To this day I say 'thank you' for everything and if I forget, which is very rare I always come back to the incident and say 'thank you'.

There were ten lepers who decided that there only hope was if they could see Jesus and He would heal them.  Lepers where not allowed to get near anyone, but these men were so intent on being healed from their disease that they didn't pay much attention to the rules this particular day.  They finally found Him and just plowed right through the crowd with everyone falling back so as not to get touched by them and asked Jesus for healing and he told them to, 'go show yourselves to the priests and as they went they were cleansed.  Now there were ten of them but as they went their way, one of them as he saw that he had been healed, returned to thank Jesus for the healing, but the other nine went on their way.  Luke 17:11.

What a great lesson for us who have not been taught to say 'thank you'.  Just recently I think I told you about my terrible fall on the concrete in the back yard.  Well, I have recovered completely from the bruises and sore muscles, but the fact that I didn't break any bones was so miraculous that I  really haven't gotten over it yet.  And every time it comes to mind, I am still thanking God for just bruises and sore muscles and no broken bones.  I don't think I have ever heard of anyone recovering from osteoporosis but all evidence shows that I have or am at the present time.  I am extremely thankful.

Jesus is still in the business of healing, but are we in the business of saying, 'thank you', for the blessings we receive from Him?  There are conditions for the promises that He has made to us and I think the greatest condition and maybe the only one, (I am not sure about that) but to me the most important condition for healing is the cleansing of my heart from all sin.  It's not hard to come to this point in life if you are dwelling in His presence and reading His word and taking it to heart.  He is faithful to let us know and to bring to our minds the things that are not right within our hearts, that no one else knows about but me and of course He knows.  Tomorrow I will tell you a little story of mine about forgiveness and healing and hope that it will help you understand the importance of a clean heart.  In the mean time, don't forget to say 'thank you' like the one leper who returned to say 'thank you'.  The other nine went their way, and they were healed too.  What ingratitude, you say, yes, it was an ungrateful attitude, but let's make sure that our attitude is one of gratefulness and thanksgiving and we will be a much happier Christian when our hearts are full of gratitude.  Grandma Joan