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Monday, November 30, 2015

Is There A Fanatic In The Attic?

Fanaticism, what is it and how does it fit in our character?  This is a subject that almost scares me to tackle.  First I want to pose some questions.  Will the way we dress save us?  Will what we eat save us?  Will spending all day in prayer save us?  Will spending all day reading the Bible save us?   Will pointing out other's sins save us?  If you are guilty of having an unbridled obsession on any of these topics or any other topic, then you have a fanatic in your attic.  Now all these topics are good of themselves but when that is our whole religion it becomes an unbridled obsession.  We become critical of others and condemnatory and generally speaking a fanatic is covering up something in his or her life that they don't want people to see or find out about.  For instance:

I met a man in another state that was always criticizing everything about the church and he kept cornering my husband telling him all about all his fanatical ideas and he had a weird appearance and after we left that area we were told that he was abusing his wife's children.  I suppose he has been in prison for a while, but not sure what happened to him.  All his complaining and fanaticism was a cover up of what was going on in his life and he did a good job of covering it too, for a while.  Sin almost always catches up with us, doesn't it?

I have a friend that I just made recently that dresses odd, she is clean and really matches her clothes well but always has her head covered because the Bible says a woman should have her head covered.  She dresses in long dresses that don't look bad but the style makes her look old and people are always taking her for 20 - 30 years older than she is.  She believes in praying for hours and reading her Bible for hours, she does all these things to earn salvation, at least thats what I gather from our conversations.  Yet she doesn't share Jesus with others, doesn't fellowship with people of like faith and altogether is quite the loner, however she is the type of person if I told her about it she would probably quit doing it.  She is a sweet person and wouldn't hurt a flea, but she has some fanatics in the attic too.  I will end up talking to her about some of those things because it is bothering her that she looks older than she is and someone is always mentioning it to her.

I believe in having a strict vegetarian diet, but I don't promote it to anyone.  I wear long dresses to church because I feel modest in them, but I don't expect everyone else to do the same.  I believe in prayer and Bible study, two or three hours a day combined and sometimes longer, and sometimes less, depending on the time I have.  It's a good way to stay close to God and to be filled with His thoughts and character traits.  But I don't expect everyone else to do what I do.  I think in the past I might have had a few fanatics in my attic, because I believed that I had to earn my salvation instead of allowing Jesus to transform my character so that I could live a Christian life and keep myself surrendered to Him. 

We are not all on the same rung of the ladder in our walk with the Lord and should not expect others to be on the same rung as we are on.  It is a progressive journey and we need to give others the same space that we need in our Christian growth.

At one time in my life, I thought people should eat like I ate and study like I studied and I finally found out that I was being a Pharisee or a Hypocrite whatever you want to call it.  Now I allow others to grow at their own speed and am trying my best to be patient and understanding in this area.  As I have said before, I surely haven't arrived and I have a long way to go to being like Jesus, but my desire is there and with God's help I will make the goal that He has for me, and no more fanatics in the attic for me, I hope.  Grandma Joan.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Faith I Live By.

There have been so much written on 'faith' and still it seems a mystery to many.  I have struggled with it some too, in fact quite a bit.  Faith as the grain of mustard seed, what kind of faith is that? A mustard seed is no bigger than a straight pin head, a small one at that.  How much faith is that? I have written a blog on faith and still it seems a mystery to me at times.  The Bible says that 'The just shall live by faith', Habakuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11.  Have you any idea what that means?  The just shall live by faith?  This study is going to help me so much, I can feel it coming!!!

Hebrews 11:1  "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  It seems like we hope for things that we cannot see.  The just shall live by things that they cannot see.  Can we always see what is before us?  I can't.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring, I wish I did, it is not for me to know, it is for me to trust God in the things I don't know or can't see.  The other night at prayer meeting the pastor said faith and trust are two different things, so I asked him to explain.  He said, 'you have faith in something and then you trust that it will go through'.  What do you think?   It sounded OK to me, but I'm not through yet, there is more to living by faith than meets the eye.

Romans 10:17  "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God"  It sounds like if we want more faith, we need to spend more time in the word of God to build ourselves up in the faith.

Romans 1:17  "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'."  It seems to me that the righteousness of God is revealed by the 'just' living out their lives by faith, from generation to generation.  Do you see that too?

Hebrews 4:2  "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."  When we hear the gospel, it needs to be mixed with faith in order for us to benefit from it.  It is something we cannot see, we can only experience the gospel and only because we have mixed our faith with it.  In other words we must believe it to experience it, totally by faith.

Hebrews 11:6  "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him."  We MUST believe that He is and He rewards those who diligently seek him.  How do we seek Him? Through His word, diligently.  This study is causing me to diligently seek Him and His saving faith.

Acts 26:18  Jesus tells us that we are sanctified by faith in Him.  We must have faith to believe that we are sanctified in Him.

Ephesians 2:8  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."  We are saved by grace through faith in Him.  Faith is a gift from God, because we cannot save ourselves, it is strictly through faith in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:7  "For we walk by faith, not by sight".  We can believe that, can't we after this study, we simply have to walk by faith, not by sight.  Our Christian walk is simply by faith.  We must trust Him for everything in life.  This is the faith that I live by, How about you?  Do you live by faith, there is no other way that I know of, it is the Biblical way and that's the way we want to walk.  I'm sure that those of you who are following my journey believe the Biblical way is the only way.  It is the way of peace, joy and love for others.  Let's walk by faith and live by faith in the One who has saved us and provided a way for us to be sanctified and saved by faith in His name.  Grandma Joan



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Are Your Burdens too heavy to bear?

Yes, sometimes they are way too heavy and we become bent over with the weight of them.  I do not pretend to be burden free or have all the answers to these kind of problems.  Perhaps it is our children that are giving us problems, maybe a spouse that doesn't love the Lord, or it could be financial problems, what ever the problem, it could become a heavy burden too hard to bear.  There are many types of burdens that we tend to gather up and try to carry on our own and they become so heavy that we can't carry them any longer, what do we do?

We are told by many to lay them at the feet of Jesus and He will carry them for us.  That is very good advice, but how do we do that?  It is not something we can see, or lift up and deposit somewhere, they seem to converge on us without us realizing it and since we can't lift them from our minds and hearts, there has to be a way to get rid of them 'so to speak'.  There is a song that says, 'Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus'.  How do you do that?  I wonder how many people have tried to do that and didn't succeed.  I have and I have learned so many lessons lately about life, that I am over whelmed with gratitude to God for caring so much for me to allow me to learn these lessons.

I was telling my son yesterday that I feel like a little Job, you know, the man in the Bible that lost everything.  Well, I really haven't lost anything important like he did, but I have gone through a series of 'how do I take care of this', it would be such a heavy thing and I didn't know how to find the answer.  I discovered a very important issue that God was having with me, it was, ' being forgiving when a wrong was done to me'.  First it started with a small thing and I clung to it to try and solve the problem but it didn't work.  Some gossip that someone said and didn't really make it right when they were wrong.  So then (I am just speaking for God now) God said, I need to teach her to forgive and the little thing didn't work so now I will add something that I know will hurt her and see what she does with that.  So the next thing stunned me, it was an act of unkindness that really hurt from someone that I loved, so what do I do with that?  I mourned over it for a few days and then I said to myself, I have to forgive them, this thing is way too heavy for me to carry and its been many years since I've been treated in this manner, many, many years so I only knew one way to forgive and that was to ask God to put forgiveness in my heart for this heavy thing that was hanging over me and crushing me down.  I begged Him to help me to forgive and that is exactly what He did, He put a forgiveness in my heart that I had never known and a love that did not waiver.

Well, here comes the final blow, well maybe not the final one, but I hope it is.  I know if you have kids you will know what this did to me,  it blew me away, my thoughts were not good.  I thought about this yesterday and God seem to say to me 'remember Job', yes I remember Job, but I'm not Job, 'well, I just want to make sure you know how to forgive, you have learned a great lesson but this one will prove whether you have really learned it or not.

Someone very important to me in their status, told a whole bunch of lies about a child of mine and it was so bad and so untrue that I simply could not take it.  It was almost a crime and I was carrying it around like a ball and chain.  It hurt really bad, if it had been true, I could have accepted it to some extent, but lies, no way was I going to sit back and let it go, it was the biggest problem among people that I have ever faced.  This person was held in high esteem but they picked someone who was wicked in his transactions and with his mouth, as a friend and the friend hated my child and probably me, so he loaded the person down with his lies and this person told them to a couple of my family members as truth and it got back to me.  Wow!!  What now?

How do you forgive someone like that?  I kept mulling this over and over and I kept praying for God to put that forgiveness in my heart for this person and it just didn't work.  I wrote them a letter and got it off my heart that way, but ended up getting rid of the letter, so now what do I do, I knew if I confronted them it would be a bad scene and what I really needed before anything was said, was forgiveness and the other day I was put in the presence of this person and I was praying the whole time which was about an hour and the hard feelings left and I had forgiveness.  What a relief!!  Now I think I can confront them in peace if the opportunity arises and I'm sure it will because they need to learn a lesson too, don't you think?  For their salvation sake I believe I can help them now that I have learned how to forgive something that hard to take.  It has affected a lot of people and needs to be made right but the best part of the whole thing is that I have learned to forgive again.  I don't want to go through that again, the lies involved character, thousands of dollars and so much more and it really weighted me down like I've never felt before.

Was my burden too heavy to bear?  Yes, it was, way more than I could handle and way more than God wanted me to try and handle on my own.  He has a miraculous way of changing things and the heart is one of His Specialties.  So now that I have learned this lesson, can I forgive again if something happens, I so hope so.  Unforgiveness is probably the hardest burden for me to bear.  I just don't like it at all.  I have always been a forgiving person, I thought, until something too heavy to bear was laid upon me and I fell apart, literally fell apart.  This was over a period of months.

I am so very thankful that God can lift the heaviest burdens and it is nothing to Him to do it.  He is well aware of our hurts and can heal the brokenness that comes from the hurts and we must let Him heal our brokenness before He can heal our bodies and our spiritual lives.  He is willing, are we willing to let go of our hurts and live for Him.  I hope I am, how about you?  Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus, He will heal our brokenness and save us as He did Job.  Grandma Joan

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lord, I Am Not Worthy!

I find myself hesitant to ask God for His blessings and favors to me because I feel so unworthy.  I use to feel like I could ask for anything and He would give it to me, but that is not the case for me any more.  Back, years ago in the 1970's, I believed that I had to prove myself to God by the things I did and was continually trying to make myself better day by day.  About this time I heard a few people talking about 'Righteousness By Faith' and it puzzled me because of what I had been taught, I couldn't even comprehend what they were talking about, so I found a couple of old books written on this subject.

Now, I want you to know that I have been a sincere follower of Christ all my life, but that doesn't mean that I had it made or had it all together right.  It means that I had a great desire to follow Him and do what is right and I was trying with all my heart to do that.  But something was wrong and I didn't know what it was.  I kept reading the book of Romans and 1 John and even in Philippians and 1 Thessalonians, over and over and it just did not agree with what I had been taught and I would ponder them and ask questions and no one, not anyone could help me with answers to my questions, so I just let it slip for a while because I did not understand and it appeared that no one else did either, so if no one could help me, then I must be interpreting things wrong.

These old books were on that very subject and so I read them over and over and I discovered that the closer I came to Christ the more unworthy I felt and that didn't seem right either but that is what was happening and then I read a statement that woke me up to a certain fact, the fact was that the more I studied about Christ and His life, the more I could see my own faults and sins and the more unworthy I felt.  I learned that Jesus died on the cross for me and took the punishment for my sins so long ago, and that if He hadn't done that, I would suffer death for my own sins and that would be my eternal destiny but instead Christ did it for me and I don't have to suffer eternal death for my sins, so now the thought came to me, 'who is the One who is worthy'.  It's not me, I have done nothing to bring me into a right relationship with God and I can't possibly do anything to merit eternal life with Him.  He did it all right there on the cross.  He took my sins, your sins, no matter what they were or are and they were nailed to that cross in the person of Jesus Christ.  He took all the murders, rapes, theft, tortures, immoral acts, you name them and that is what He bore for you and me on that cruel cross.

Now, I understand a little bit more about being worthy.  Who is worthy of the blessings I receive each day, who is worthy of my sins being forgiven, who is worthy to come before a Great and Holy God?
Yes, who is worthy?  I am not, neither are you if you are honest with yourself.  Jesus is the Worthy One and only Jesus, He paid the price for our salvation and when we accept his Sacrifice for our sins, then and only then can He take them and present them to the Father for forgiveness,  He presents His nail pierced hands as a promise He has made to us that we will be forgiven if we ask and the Father sees how earnest Jesus is in presenting our case before Him and applies the blood of Jesus to my account and to yours.

We can come before the Great and Holy God in the precious name of Jesus who died for us and is willing to present our petitions to His Father and apply His merits to our account.  What an awesome thing to realize that we do not earn our salvation by the things we do or don't do but by the precious blood of Jesus.  Let me share some texts with you.

Ephesians 2:13  "But now in Christ Jesus, ye who were sometimes afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ."  If you have felt far away from Jesus, can become near to Him through His blood that He shed for you and I.  A wonderful thought.

Philippians 1:6  "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Who will do the work in us?  It is not me, I have learned that I can make a mess of my life on my own, but when He is performing His work in me, it becomes a perfect work because it is not my work, but His.  An awesome revelation to say the least.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24  "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God that your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it."  That tells us the same thing that Philippians tells us, that He will sanctify us wholly and our whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus is willing to take our sins and present them to the Father in His name and through His blood and also to do the work in us that will prepare us for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I hope that you understand this, Romans is full of these thoughts, read the whole book and you will see the gospel of Christ more clearly.  That is your assignment for this day.  May God bless you as you study His word and apply it to your life is my prayer for you.  I am just a nobody and this is what I have learned as I study His word.  I have not attained but I am attaining day by day and so will you and I am learning more and more as I travel this Christian highway, even though the Bible calls it a narrow way and few there be that find it, it is possible to travel on it because He is doing it for us as we surrender our lives to Him day by day.  What a glorious future lies before us in Christ.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Powerful Prayers

I am searching this morning for 'How to have a powerful prayer life'.  First thing that comes to my mind is the powerful prayers that Jesus prayed and the results of those prayers.  People were forgiven, they were healed of all types of diseases, they were raised from the dead, they had a new spiritual life.  One man, as soon as he was told his sins were forgiven, was so relieved of his stressful situation, he seemed to be happy just to know that his sins were forgiven and then Jesus told him to rise, take up his bed and go home.  He hadn't walked for years.  Can you imagine the joy that he had knowing his sins were forgiven and then being able to walk home, the joy that his family must have had?  It is hard to imagine such joy and just knowing that there is nothing between you and Jesus that would keep your prayers from being answered like that.

I remember a time when I was helping my husband lift a wood stove up on a hearth that he had made and a vertebrae popped in my lower back and instantly I had a swelling on my spine that was at least two inches across and red and I couldn't use my legs.  To make a long story short, during the day time I was put on the couch in the family room and at night in my bed, to get back and forth between the rooms I had to have assistance and used crutches to swing my legs and someone to keep me from falling.  I was on the couch for eleven days wondering about my life and what I was going to do in that situation.  I was in traction to keep the pain down and on my back, and had plenty of time to consider my life and future life.  God had me turn to Psalm 6 and it seemed to hit me square in my conscience.  The whole chapter is only 10 verses long but the first few verses seemed to fit my situation.  You can read the whole chapter but I will concentrate on the first four or five.  This was David talking and it seemed to fit me perfectly.

Psalm 6  "O Lord, rebuke me not in Thine anger, neither chasten me in thine hot displeasure.  Have mercy upon me O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.  My soul is also sore vexed; but Thou O Lord, how long?  Return O Lord, deliver my soul: O save me for Thy mercies sake.  For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give Thee thanks?

I read these words and contemplated them with my situation and the thought came to me that if this was to be my lot the rest of my life, then with God's help I could live with it.  I would not turn my back on Him because of my condition.  I was laying there thinking on this when I realized the pain in my spine was gone.  I got out of the traction, I don't know how now, but I sat up, and then I stood up and I was in such shock that I fell back on the couch, my husband came in just about that time and I said, 'look, I can sit up, I can stand up, see what my spine looks like and the swelling and the redness was gone and all that was left was a little tiny dark mark where it had been.  Talk about joy, I could walk again and am still walking and that was about forty years ago.

I don't know why God healed me, I am nothing special, and I didn't do anything special for Him to have mercy on me, except to accept His decision for me for the rest of my life.  Now I am handicapped in that I can only stand for a little while without pain and walking with a cane or walker or hanging on to a grocery cart.  My whole spine has been fractured twice and I shouldn't be walking but I am, I have a lot of pain now and then but I have learned to live with it.  I went through a very stressful period in my life which caused a lot of stress, terrible stress and I was told that, that was what led to my condition of Osteoporosis, which is what has caused the breaking of my vertebrae and a broken hip and most of my ribs and some more than once. I have prayed for healing and am still praying for healing, but only if it is God's will.

I know that prayers can be a powerful means in our lives, to save others for God's kingdom and to heal our brokenness and right now I have been thinking about all this and the the verses came to my mind yesterday in Isaiah 59:1,2.  "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,  and your sins has hid His face from you that He cannot hear."  I am praying every time I think of this that God will show me what is standing between Him and I in the way of my healing and of the salvation of those that I pray for each and every day.

I know that He has answered many prayers of mine just recently, but it's not enough, I want to be so close to God that I can see the answers before my time on this earth is up.  Is that asking too much?  I don't think so, He is a powerful God and His love for us is just as powerful and I know that the Holy Spirit takes our prayers to Jesus in a powerful way, and Jesus presents them to His Father in a powerful way too and so all in all our prayers are powerful because of who is handling them.

God is showing me some things that need improvement in my life and I am accepting each one and want to live for Him so that my prayers will be as powerful as is possible in this life.  He has been so good to me, just recently He saved my life by impressing me to get to the emergency room and ask for a blood transfusion.  I have never accepted transfusion before , but since that incident I have been feeling better and better and my blood count has risen higher than it's been in years, so I know He is helping me, I guess I am just impatient.  I want so much to be well, so I can do so much more for Him but maybe I can do more for Him in this condition, I don't know.

I do know this, that I love Him and am seeking His guidance each and every day and to be filled with His Holy Spirit so that I will live close to Him and can hear Him speak to me even more than He has in the past.  I never hear an audible voice but the impression in my mind will be so strong that I cannot ignore it.  I believe this is one of His ways of leading us in His paths of righteousness and if we are following Him to the best of our knowledge, we can be sure that the nudges we get are from Him and He is leading us to His kingdom.  I want to pray more powerful prayers, really powerful prayers, how about you?  I know it is possible to receive definite answers from my own experience.   I just want more of Him in my life.  I hope my little testimony has helped some of you out there with your prayer life.  It is so important, we can't have a real relationship with Him without it.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Purpose.

My purpose of these blogs, is to help you have a closer walk with Jesus day by day and to learn to trust Him with all your heart.  Actually you are following my experience, as I walk with the Lord, I am not there yet but I am struggling just as you are and my intentions are to be in God's kingdom when He comes in the clouds of heaven to claim us as His own.  My greatest desire is to be with Him eternally.  We may slip and fall and come to Him weeping because of some sin we have committed but He is always there to reinstate us with all the mercy and forgiveness that we need in our situation.  I am learning to love Him more and more and trust Him more and more.  It is because I am spending more time with Him and trying to memorize more scriptures and I am learning how to have a different prayer life and how to pray for those on my prayer list.

Speaking of prayer lists, I would encourage you to make one and list each name of each person that you are impressed to pray for.  List their needs and ask God to forgive them for their waywardness and ask Him to apply the blood of Jesus to them so that the demonic spirits that are controlling them be driven away so that God's Holy Spirit will be able to strive with them and draw them close to Him.  I use to pray for everyone else and forget to pray for myself, so not in a selfish way, I put my self at the top of the list so that I can pray for cleansing and forgiveness so that my prayers will be heard for those whom I pray for.  I remember those closest to me and then those who have been part of my family in the past and my friends in the past and present and I remember my pastor and His needs and how he needs to be close to God because of his position and to always speak truth.  You will have your own way and your own lists, including our government,  missionaries, programs, and all those that are working for God.  I just now am learning to add some more to my lists by trying to help you form a list.

Because I am handicapped, I cannot kneel, so before I get out of bed, I do a blog for the day which is usually a short study that helps me in my daily walk, and then I focus on a scripture to memorize and then I bring my prayer list before God and spend time talking to Him about each individual thats close to my heart.  And before I get out of bed I asked to be baptized by His Spirit and filled with His fullness as He has promised to do if we ask.  Then I cautiously slip out of bed to face another day.  The reason I said cautiously is because I don't trust myself at all.  I want to remain in His will all through the day but I know how easy it is to let self come to the front, we must let God keep self subdued and let Him be in control of our life, and put others first.

I want to share a scripture with you that I have memorized that is full of promises that I need every day and it means so much to me, I like to repeat it over and over until I have it so down pat, I won't forget it.  I am going to repeat it in a personal way as I do many scriptures.

Psalm 103:1-5  "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,  Who forgives all my iniquities, who heals all my diseases, who redeems my life from destruction, who crowns my life with tender mercies and loving kindness, who satisfies my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagles."

Isn't that a beautiful text to start your day with, I love it and it means so very much to me, it is hard for me to memorize now at my age of 84, but I can still do it, it just takes more effort and takes longer.  God has been very good to me and has given me a great longing to please Him, all my life I have wanted to be like Jesus but didn't know exactly how to get there and I want you to know that I haven't arrived yet but I know He is leading me and holding my hand all the way and when He comes I will welcome Him, UNLESS, I let go of His hand and trust in myself instead of Him.

I hope my little journey and purpose for this blog has helped you, it has helped me to share with you how I have been traveling this rocky road to God's kingdom, it hasn't been smooth, I have suffered heart ache, severe pain most of the time in the last few years, tripped up lots of times when self got in the way but as an overall picture, I am still holding His hand and He is the best friend I have ever had and ever will have.  He never gives up on me and never condemns me, just forgives and encourages me to keep on holding on to His hand.  May you be blessed as you realize you are not the only one who is stumbling along and reaching out for a better life here and now.  May God bless you as He has blessed me, and more.  Grandma Joan

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Gift of Love

"Who loved me and gave Himself for me."  Galatians 2:20.  How personal is this?  I am one of those whom He loves.  Each person in the world can say, "He loved me and gave Himself for me.'  I can say it, you can say it, and it is true.  He does love each one of us immensely, so much so that He gave His life to redeem you and me.  I ask you again, how personal is this?  There is a beautiful song that says, 'When He was on the cross, I was on His mind'.  He was thinking of us down through history whom He was saving as He hung there on that cruel cross.  Do you think we understand that kind of love.  I don't think I do, but I want to.  So how do we come to understand it?  I'll share a few texts that might help us.

Philippians 2:5  "Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus."  I think we might understand His gift of love if we had His mind formed in ours.  What do you think?

Proverbs 3: 13  "Happy is the man who finds wisdom.  And the man who gains understanding."
If we have the mind of Christ we will find wisdom and gain understanding of the things of God, and one of those things is understanding His gift of 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." Three gifts from Him and love is right in the middle of them.  Power, love and a sound mind.

Colossians 1:27  "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  Christ in you the hope of glory is a mystery, isn't it?  We don't know how it takes place, we only know when we experience it and we can experience it when we have His mind dwelling in us.  His Spirit dwelling in us.  He indeed is willing but our flesh is weak.

His gift of love is so perfect, so unblemished, it is so hard to understand the totality of it all, but when we ask Him to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit, we can count on Him doing it and giving us His mind because He has said, 'let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus.'  And that Christ in us is the hope of glory, another great promise to help us understand His great gift of love. In the book, Desire of Ages, we are told to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating Christ's lasts hours on this earth.  It will help us understand His great gift of love and in being filled with His love, we will be able to love like He does.  And be able to share it with others.  Let's pray to be filled with His gift of love, so we can pass it on to others.  God bless you as you seek to have His mind in you.  Grandma Joan.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Unlimited Help

How many of you need help in your daily life?  In decisions, in directions, in speech, in choices like what to wear, what to eat, where to go, life work, O, so many ways in which we can use unlimited help.  I know that I need unlimited help in all the ways that I mentioned above and probably many more.  Following is some verses that I thought should be put to memory because of the content of them and how much it would help in my daily life.  This is the prayer that Paul prayed for the Ephesians and we can pray this prayer for any and all those on our prayer list, there is much power in prayer.

Ephesians 3:14 -19  "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Would it be alright with you if I dissected these verses bit by bit and show you how it has helped me?  First off, I memorized them, then I read how the whole family in heaven and earth is named.  Remember this is Paul's prayer for the Ephesians and it can be our prayer for those on our prayer list too.
He will grant us answers according to His riches in glory, and to be strengthened with might, how? Through His Spirit in our hearts, that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith; so that we will be rooted and grounded in love, and may be able to comprehend with all saints, this love that He is offering us which passes knowledge, that we may be filled with ALL the fullness of God.

God is able to do exceedingly abundantly ABOVE ALL that we ask or think, according to the Holy Spirit's power that works in us.  It will glorify Him in the church through Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.  (Emphasis supplied)

Can we comprehend His riches in glory?  I can't.  And be strengthened with might, so that we can obey Him through His Spirit because His Spirit dwells in our hearts through faith.  We will be rooted and grounded in His love and be able to comprehend His love that He has offered us which passes knowledge and we will be filled with all the fullness of God.  How able is God?  Exceedingly, abundantly able to do above all that we can ask or think to ask ACCORDING to the Holy Spirit's power that is working in us.  I pray for that power every morning before I even get out of bed, that God will baptize me with His Spirit and then fill me with His Spirit so that I will be victorious in my daily walk with Him.

Can you see the unlimited help that we have through His Holy Spirit.  It is powerful indeed.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Feeling Unforgiven?

You are not alone, I say God has forgiven me but really what happens, I don't forgive myself and that in turn probably means that I don't feel forgiven at all.  Otherwise why would I feel so bad about something I have been forgiven for.  Does anyone here understand that feeling?  Now, I know that I have been forgiven, but for a long time I kept playing over and over in my mind some things that I was so sorry for but couldn't ask for forgiveness because the person was not here any more or I lost track of them.  I have even tracked down people that it was important for me to speak to about the way I had treated them.  Then there are those that have passed away and I can't say a word to, but I can ask God to forgive me but there was a time when I could not shake the feeling of the wrong I had done and felt unforgiven.  I know there are a lot of people that feel the same way, unforgiven.

There are several reasons that we feel unforgiven, one is that we have separated ourselves from God in that we don't spend time with Him and therefore don't think that He is interested in us.  Another reason could be that we don't trust Him to forgive us or that we have made such horrible mistakes that He can't forgive us.

1 John 1:9  "If we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Me must take God at His word and believe Him, unbelief is another reason we don't feel forgiven.

Here is a text that I love and gives me so much encouragement about the way He  treats us, it is so wonderful I know that is what He is doing for me, so here it is and let it soak in at any age, you don't have to be elderly, you will fit in at any age.

Isaiah 46:4 "Even to your old age, I am He, and even to grey hairs I will carry you!  I have made and I will bear; even I will carry you and deliver you."  That doesn't mean just in old age will He carry us but up to old age and even before we have grey hairs He will carry us.  So let's not worry about not being forgiven.  God has promised if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive.  Let's believe Him and when He says He will carry us, it means when we are weak and can't navigate ourselves through all the problems we are facing, He will carry us through them and we will come through victorious, because He has cleansed us from all unrighteousness.  Hold on to His hand and believe what He says.  Grandma Joan

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Special Power That's Needed.

There is a power that is given to each person that will cause us to become men and women of powerful prayer warriors.  We absolutely cannot do anything for God without it, yet it is freely given to us if we ask for it. This power is self-control.  We must have it according to Scripture.  An old dictionary defines self-control this way;  'the ability to check or regulate, to restrain, to govern self in all aspects of life.'

We can possess purity of thought, purity of heart, purity of life even in this day and age with the power of the Spirit of God blessing our minds.

Romans 12:21  "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Keeping one's mind busy with thoughts that will elevate and ennoble one's character is the formula for success here.

The best way to do this is to memorize God's Holy Word.

Psalms 119:11  "Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee."

Proverbs 23:7  "As he thinketh in his heart so is he."

Psalm 24:3,4  "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully."

Here is the secret of self-control, Victory through Christ, what a majestic experience, what a beautiful way to live out our life and the reward is:

Psalm 24:5  "He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."  What a promise for us who want to live with God eternally.  All through the power of God, through hiding His word in our hearts so that we won't sin against Him.  That is the simple way to have Victory over sin, if we really want it.  I have memorized a lot of Scriptures in years past, it is harder for me now but I still like to do it and it is a great way to enhance our relationship with God.  Try memorizing Psalm 103: 1-5,  I think I have finally got it, a wonderful text to start out with, full of promises.  Try it you will love it.  And your prayers will produce high dividends if we have God's word embedded in our minds.   Grandma Joan


Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Precious Heavenly Trait

The world promotes self-esteem and self-exaltation on every side.  It is the very essence of life in the world.  You hear it wherever you go and whatever you do you are encouraged to have self-esteem and to promote self-exaltation.  People do it to get promoted in the job world, it even works in the Christian world, in performances, in leadership, in schools and colleges, wherever you go you will see self-esteem and self-exaltation being promoted as the way of life, the way to get ahead, people trample underfoot others to make it to the top. Isn't it amazing that this trait of character is just the opposite of the Precious Heavenly Trait of Humility.

To be unpretentious, humble, and submissive to God's will is of great value in God's sight, 'Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."  Isaiah 57:15.

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?

Colossians 3:12 &13  "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."

1 Peter 5:5  "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."

There are lots more to show us the character traits of meekness and humility but this is enough to show you what it means to God and I didn't read a thing about promoting self-esteem or self-exaltation, did you?  If we walk humbly with our God like we are admonished to do we won't have any desire to promote self in any way or to trample on someone else to get to the top.  Let's be like Jesus and even if they spit on us, we will not retaliate.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Living Faith

I believe God exists, don't you?  It doesn't seem to take much faith to believe that.  There is too much evidence that He exists for us to doubt His existence.  But to have living faith might be different.  I am anxious to study this to see what the Bible says about living faith.  The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 that "Without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."  Is that the answer to having living faith?

A living faith is one that increases our spiritual strength, enabling us to develop an unfaltering trust in our Heavenly Father, and in the power of His Holy Spirit, faith will flourish only as it is cherished.
When we pray for it, we might as well seek for the highest degree of faith available.  That would be genuine Biblical faith, wouldn't it?  It will impart great belief in God, great trust in Him and above all, a loyalty to Him that will make us immoveable, the kind that we read about in Hebrews 11.

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

Romans 10:9,10  "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." We must believe until we have a righteous experience and then we will confess to others of our experience.

John 20:30,31 "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.  We need to have a life in His name in order to testify to others of His love and as we study the life of Christ and the things He did in the presence of His disciples, our living faith will grow into a great trust in Him and loyalty to Him that will make us immovable

1 Timothy 1:5  "Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith."

It seems to me after reading this study that we must be sincere in our study of His word and spend time studying His word every day, I prefer early morning when my mind is fresh.  We must realize that God has already instilled in us His gift of faith and it will grow as we commune with Him and learn to really have a genuine relationship with Him,  Then we will testify of His supreme love for us and the salvation that we have in Him through His living faith that He imparts to us.  What a wonderful experience this will be as we contemplate what this living faith will do for us as we study to have a closer walk with Him and to really be someone that He can impart this living faith to and someone that will share it with others and in the process we will be saving ourselves an others.
Grandma Joan

PS.  I have only touched on this to stimulate your study, there is so much more, please don't stop here but continue to study and show yourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Goodness of God

Have you ever thought about 'how good God is'? or how He demonstrates His goodness to us? or what does His goodness mean?  Personally, I have never given it a lot of thought until now. I have always known He was a good God, and gave us good gifts and wants us to be like Him, but never thought about all the goodness he bestows upon His children, I guess I just took it for granted.  I am so sorry that I would take anything from God for granted.  That is a selfish attitude, just to expect things from God and not consider His goodness, so just now let's consider His goodness from His perspective.

Exodus 34: 6  "And the  Lord passed before him and proclaimed, 'the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth."

Psalm 31:19  "Oh, how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you, which you have prepared for those who trust in you in the presence of the sons of men."


Psalm 52:1 (last part)  "The goodness of God endures continually"

God's Goodness Manifested in Material Blessings:

Matthew 5:45  "That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

Acts 14:17  "Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

Psalm 86:5  "For You, Lord are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon you."

Psalm 145:7  "They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall  sing of Your righteousness."

Jeremiah 31:14  "I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord."

Are you satisfied with His goodness?  It is a terrific encouragement to know that the Lord is more than eager to provide us with His goodness, and to enable us to experience successful, victorious Christian living through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit if only we take the time to daily ask for it."
Grandma Joan



Monday, November 16, 2015

Gentleness A Valuable Asset

Gentleness is a powerful attribute for the Christian to attain to.  Gentleness is mildness combined with tenderness.  A great attribute to be gentle in all our words and actions.  I am sure that you have been treated harshly at one time or another, it hurts doesn't it?  It definitely does hurt, I have been there and it hurts so bad sometimes you just wish you get away from it but can't, your stuck where you are, but if we are Christians and profess to be, then we should be gentle at all times and with all people.  Isn't that right?  Mildness combined with tenderness, what a virtue to obtain.  I surely want to be like that, don't you.  It sounds so good and if I treat people with mildness and tenderness, just maybe I will receive the same in return.  Probably not always but we can always be mild and tender to those who are harsh with us.

Matthew 11:29  "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."  Rest for our souls, an appropriate blessing for our souls.

Titus 3:1 & 2  "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men."

2 Timothy 2: 24 -26  "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will."

We want to be like Jesus in all His character traits, and we will be if we surrender all our ways to His ways and ask for an infilling of His Spirit.  He will come in and cause us to want to do His will and give us the strength to do it.  It is a miraculous thing to give your self and all you are and have to God to do His will in your life.  You will never be the same again, never, unless, you decide you don't want to live in His will.  This is a daily, morning request by us to be filled with His Spirit, not just when you think you need it but we need Him every day all through every day.  I really don't know how else to put it.  It is so powerful that it is hard to explain but it really truly works.  Please try it, you will love walking with God day by day just like Enoch did in Bible days.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Long suffering, a Divine Attribute.

Longsuffering is very patient, I can sure use this attribute a whole lot, couldn't you?  Patience or longsuffering is not the easiest character trait to develop, as a matter of fact, we cannot develop it ourselves without God's help, I'm talking about the heavenly attribute of longsuffering.

To appreciate this character trait, all we have to do is look around us at the world of abuse, crime and wickedness and we can see how much we need longsuffering or patience.  Distress and perplexities are all around us and the worst ones are the ones that are inflicted on us by others.  Sometimes it amounts to harsh and cruel treatment my those who have no control over their tongues.

James in the third chapter, compares the human tongue to a little fire that turns into an inferno doing vast damage.  To survive such experiences one has to receive special help in the form of longsuffering, another attribute of heavenly origin.

When God met with Moses on Mt. Sinai He declared Himself to be, 'The Lord God, merciful, gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth.'  Exodus 34:6.

If we seek a baptism of this heavenly grace, on a daily basis, we will be able to put up with the short comings of others, and be able to pray for a divine blessing on their lives also.  Then like the apostle Paul we will be able to say, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' Philippians 4:13.

I want so much to be patient and longsuffering with others, don't you, it really is a heavenly attribute and only the Holy Spirit can impart that into our lives.  It is very much needed in this day and age of all other times in this world's history, this is an attribute that we all need so very much.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Heavenly Peace

Everyone seeks peace, but because there are varying degrees of peace, what do you say that we seek the very best peace there is.  I want that peace that passeth all understanding, don't you?  There are lots of counsel on peace and we will start with the one I just quoted out of context.

Philippians 4:7  "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,  shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."   Can you imagine what kind of peace that would be?  It passes all understanding and will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Psalm 119:165  "Great peace have they that love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them."  I experienced that not too long ago.  We can have God's peace so that nothing does offend us and we can still love the person that offends us.  It is a great reward for being one of Christ's followers.

Proverbs 16:7  "When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh his enemies to be at peace with him."
Yes, I believe this with all my heart, even our enemies will be at peace with us.  How great that kind of heavenly peace is, we would desire this with all our hearts, I'm sure.  This is the greatest peace of all.

This kind of peace  brings  pleasant, relaxation by imparting a mental or spiritual state of mind that frees us from disquieting and perturbing fears.  I think of Jesus who slept in a boat through a storm an Peter who slept soundly the night before his scheduled execution.  Both had that heavenly peace that passes all understanding.   We need that same freedom from fear today, don't we?

How can we acquire that kind of peace?  When the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ on earth imparts heavenly peace to someone,  He completely delivers that person's mind from fears that would make him or her anxious or restless.  Can you imagine that kind of peace, that would deliver our minds from any fear that would make us restless or anxious?  I am all for that kind of peace, aren't you.  Let's pray for heavenly peace, for the Holy Spirit to fill us with that kind of peace.  Grandma Joan.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Heavenly Joy.

What is heavenly joy?  Do you have a definition?  I don't think I do but I will when I finish this study.  There is not much joy in this world anymore is there?  I have tried different methods to bring me joy, but without fail.  I need real heavenly joy in my heart, how about you?  I'm sure most of us would like to have more joy, there seems to be plenty of sadness.  Today as I was sitting in my chair resting, I heard what sounded like sobbing, very loud and I looked out my window and an older lady was sobbing her heart out and it looked like maybe her son trying to console her.  Have no idea what happened but I felt so bad for her.  Not much joy!

Satan has tried to cause us to believe that we will get real joy in self-pleasing and self-serving, but it never brings heavenly joy, we may have momentary joy but we really need everlasting heavenly joy.

John 15:10 & 11  "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father;s commandments, and abide in His love.  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."    That has to be heavenly joy!!

Romans 14:17  "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."

1 John 1:7  "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."  That would be real heavenly joy, to be cleansed from all sin.

We will find joy that never fails in Christ.  Romans 15:3 says that, 'Christ pleased not Himself', pleasing self does not bring joy, but pleasing others brings heavenly joy.

About the early disciples, the Bible declares, 'they were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.' Acts 15:32.

Today we need to pray for heavenly joy with great intensity and desire, only then can we pass this blessing on to others.  Let's try it we just might like this heavenly joy.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Divine Compassionate Love

Divine Compassionate Love is a force that never fails.  There is great comfort in the fact that God loved humanity so much that He gave His beloved Son to rescue us from sin and restore us unto His likeness.  What love!  There is nothing like it.  We don't even understand a small portion of His love to us.   We need to hunger and thirst and pray for that Divine Compassionate Love to be imparted to us.

It is very much lacking in our lives today as we see what is happening to  Christian homes that are breaking up, devastating the lives of men, women and children.  Our Christian hearts are lacking that Divine Compassionate Love that causes us to be like our Savior.  We may not admit it but the statistics show that, that is what is happening all around us.

Matthew 5:44  "But I say unto you, 'love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.'"

How do you do that?  Simply ask God to take away that awful hurt that someone has caused you by saying something evil about you or doing something evil to you.  You will be surprised how the sting  will go away and you still love the person that did it.  It is a wonderful feeling, I have encountered this very thing.  It's called Divine Compassionate Love.

Matthew 24:12  "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."  Is this a description of the world today?  We need to be filled with His Divine Compassionate Love, it is a necessary character trait which without it, we shall not inherit our home in heaven that God is preparing for us.

Galatians 5:13 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."  Without God's Divine Love we cannot serve one another, like we have been told to do.  We need the compassion that goes along with the serving, because we see others as Christ saw them and with a willing heart we will serve them.

Ephesians 5:2  "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor."

Let us walk in His Divine Compassionate Love every day and be sure to be filled with His love before we even get out of our bed in the morning.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Another one on Judging.

Romans 2:1  "Therefore you are inexcusable O ma, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself;  for you who judge practice the same things."

Have you ever run into someone who was always cornering you and telling you stuff about anyone or a group of people and it was all bad.  I ran in to someone like that in another state and he was always cornering my husband.  There was something about him that I didn't like and I did not listen to him but my husband was courteous and listened, however I think it went in one ear and out the other but just the same it was awful the things he was saying and it really bothered me and to look at him there was something definitely wrong.  After we left the area, someone told me that he was sexually abusing his wife's two boys.  So what was he doing, worse than what he was telling but also trying to put the spotlight elsewhere so it wouldn't be on him and he wouldn't be caught.  He is probably in prison today, I don't know but that verse in Romans that says, 'for you who judge practice the same things' could also have said, 'and worse things'.  Not trying to reword the Bible at all but in this day and age things are so bad it's unbelievable what people will do to cover their own sins.

We must be careful that we aren't covering up the same sins or worse, when we judge others or condemn.  When you run into someone who is always finding fault with others, be careful, they are probably putting the spotlight on others so you won't see their sins.  What the Bible says is true and so it is wise not to judge others because what we are really doing is telling them what is wrong with us.  Wow!  That is revealing isn't it?

Here's something else to think about.  You run into someone that is a religious fanatic and is always trying to get you to believe their way and any other way is not right.  They are covering up too, putting the spotlight on their righteous lives and beliefs so you won't see what they really believe and are doing.  I have seen that a lot.  So beware that we are not of this kind.  If we are careful with who we associate with God will give us perception to see what is really going on in the lives of a gossip or a fanatic and any others who insist that you know all about the wrongs of others, because you can almost always turn the spot light on them and they will be doing the same things they are condemning.

If we pray for these people, there is always hope for their salvation but we do not have to associate with them.  AND we do not have to be like them, do we?  Be careful what you say, you may be telling others what you are like.  God forbid that we do that.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Judging others

I have a dress that I just love, because it has flowers all embroidered  across the bottom and at the top. I love flowers and when I saw it, I fell in love with it.  I should tell you that I bought it in the Caribbean islands and it is a reminder of the beautiful work they do there.  The first time I wore it to church someone came up to me and said, 'that dress is not very warm, is it?  And it's really made out of very heavy material, it's cotton I know but a heavy cotton. So anyway, I took it that my dress wasn't appreciated.  So I didn't wear it for a long time and then a few weeks ago, I thought I would wear it again, the weather had cooled down and it is warm so off I went with my pretty dress to church again.  The greeter at the door said, 'that isn't very warm is it?  That is the only dress that people don't seem to like, so I haven't worn it since.  I need to find someone to give my pretty dress to.  Don't know if they don't like the dress or the fact that it came from the islands or what, not sure but it insulted me because two people said the same thing.  Should I be insulted, probably not, on the other hand maybe they don't like the fact that I wear long dresses, I am more comfortable in the longer dress and they are very modest but I am not the only one that wears longer dresses, so not sure what's wrong with that dress or me.  I am thinking that it's some form of judging or criticism, what do you think?

I have an idea that it is wrong to judge someone's motives because we cannot read their hearts and know what is going on in their lives.  On the other hand the Bible says in Matthew 6:20
"Therefore by their fruits you will know them".  So therefore can we judge people's fruits?  Not in a harsh way I'm sure, but in our hearts, we know what is right and what is wrong and we also know that in Proverbs 23:7  "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."  So sometimes what is going on in the heart pops up outside of us in some form or another.  Rebellion shows up in many ways, it could be in a way to show others, 'I can do as I please' and do a Jezebel thing.  Deck out in gaudy jewelry, makeup, or clothes.  Is my dress gaudy, I don't think so it's really pretty and feminine. I like lady like things.  But on the other hand I don't want to be a stumbling block to someone either.  I don't want to be rebellious either.  So I think there is something wrong with wearing it.

Judging others is a very easy thing to do but we have to be very careful what we are judging, are we judging motives which is wrong, or are we judging fruits which we can see?  How do we react to such judging.  Maybe we are judged by our judging, could it be that we judge unfairly and cause others to shy away from us when we speak up and tell others what we think about others.  I believe that is called gossip.  Surely no one likes to be around a gossip, because you and I know that if they gossip about others they will also gossip about us, so let's watch what comes out of our mouths.

I will close with this text in James 3:5 & 6  "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell."  WOW!  Strong language isn't it?

Maybe I will just keep the dress as a reminder of all the friends I left in the islands.  I loved the people there.  I pray that my tongue will be sanctified, how about you?  Grandma Joan

Monday, November 9, 2015

Choose your friends wisely.

Have you ever had a friend that when your back was turned they said untrue things about you?  Yes, I'm sure we all have had that happened to us.  When you think they are your truest friend and they do that, it is painful to say the least.  I had that happen to me a while back and it hurt like someone had stabbed me.  I loved my friend and I didn't know what to do, so I turned to God with the problem and the sting went away and I still love my friend and can be as though it had never happened.  But I don't know if the same trust will be there.  Forgiveness yes, trust, not sure.

Romans 16: 17 &18  "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.  For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple."

I heard someone say recently, 'I do this and I give that and that's just the way I am'.  Also that same individual was telling things about people in the church that I find to be my friends and what does that do to me, it caused me to ponder the message I got and wonder and then I decided it was not Christian and I don't even remember what was said.  Isn't God good?  He just wipes our minds clean of all the trash that we hear and He will do the same for anyone who wants to clear out the trash we hear.

Proverbs 20:19  "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;  Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips."

Proverbs 1:13  "A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter."

I choose my friends wisely, or at least I thought I did and normally I do and I have learned to test a person out before I tell anything I don't want spread abroad.  If a person is a godly individual, you can always tell by their conversation and what they love to talk about.  If there conversation is Christ centered or at least Christ approved, then usually they are trustworthy.  But still it is a very good idea not to tell things that you don't want spread around.  Tell the Lord, He is your best friend and will never betray you, Never.  I could talk to my husband and know that he would never betray me and it was so good to be able to trust him.  I miss that very much.

So the moral of this story is, choose your friends wisely and avoid those who are talebearers and Jesus is our best friend and you can tell Him anything and it stays with Him.  I love that because I tell Him lots of things I would not want any human being to hear.  He understands and brings healing to all kinds of situations, it really is amazing.  Make Jesus your best friend and be cautious in choosing other friends.  Let's be of a faithful spirit and conceal the things people tell us and be a faithful friend.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Our Priorities

Are our priorities in the right order?  I have found out after years of studying and searching out the things of God that we do need to have our priorities straight.  Lots of people work God into their schedule of the day, just any where it is convenient.  Do you think He cares where He fits into our schedule?  I know He does, He wants first place in our daily schedule and when we allow Him to have that place, our day goes so much better and better yet, if we ask Him to fill us with His Spirit, it is far better yet.

Colossians 3:2  "Set your mind on things above, not on things of this earth."

Matthew 6:33  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."

Romans 12:2  "And do not be transformed 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."

Proverbs 21:21  "He who follows life and mercy finds, life, righteousness and honor."

Set your mind on things above, that sounds like a priority, and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, another priority.  Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, thats how we prove what is acceptable and the perfect will of God.  If we follow life and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.

Let's set our priorities straight and put God first in our life and keep listening for His guidance and follow what He tells us to do.   It is very true that when we are filled with His Spirit, we will find our directions in His word and He does speak to our hearts and guides us too, but we have to keep the path clear so we can hear His still small voice.  Grandma Joan

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Do you have Troubles?

When troubles surround us, what is our reaction?  Do we sink down in despair?  Is the burden too heavy to bear?  Do we give up and say, 'what's the use'?  What is our reaction?  I hate to say this but I got hit with a heavy one yesterday and instead of listening to God who told me to keep quiet, I just had to speak my peace and war broke out.  I should have listened but I guess I thought I knew more than God, shame on me, I am so sorry that I didn't listen when He spoke but just had to have my own way.  My tongue got the best of me and made lots of trouble and hurt.  Why do we do that?  Why did I do that, that is what I am asking myself, I first off need to ask God to sanctify my tongue.  I thought I had the right attitude and the right to say what I said.  Truthfully, I did not intend to hurt anyone, I thought I was giving Christian counseling.  I guess my Christian counseling went too far, not sure why it was taken so hard yet.   It seemed fair to me, but then, I remember that still small voice which said 'keep quiet'.  Oh, how I wish I had listened.  Have you ever experienced something similar to this?

Troubles!  Most of my troubles are caused by ME, no one else.  Simply because I do not listen when God warns me or I forget to ask for His infilling before I get out of bed.  I try to do that every morning.  I must have forgot yesterday, because I sure messed up.

2 Peter 2:9  "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation."  He tried to help me, but my stubborn heart got in the way.

Psalms 34:19  "A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all."

Psalms 40:1-3  "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth...Praise to our God, many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord."

This afternoon, God was able to work with me and He did bring me up out of a horrible pit, I don't have the new song yet, but if I know God, I will have it before morning.

Psalm 18:2  "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  My God, my strength in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

I must trust Him when He speaks to me ever so quietly, I still need to listen and cooperate.  It doesn't pay to ignore God, it is disastrous and I am one sorry child of God, I have repented and asked God to forgive and I know He does and has but the pain of straying is horrible and hope I never slip up again.  I need to speak out loud, 'get thee behind me satan' and then the problem would have slipped away. Learn from my experience and always listen when God tells you something.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Blessings Abundant

I know that everyone likes blessings, and all of us at sometime or another have received blessings or have been blessed in some way or another, but we still crave blessings from God.  I know I do, I really want God's Spirit to rule in my life and that would be the greatest blessing I could receive from Him as far as I am concerned, there are other blessings that are wonderful too.  I think it would be a great idea to make a list of all God's blessings that He pours out upon us, even the small ones that we take for granted, like food, water, air to breathe, a bed to sleep in, a roof over our heads when it rains.  There are a lot of people that would be thankful for just these simple blessings that we have every day.  So let's count our blessings and name them one by one as the hymn says.

Psalm 2:12  "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."

1 Chronicles 4:10  "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil."

Genesis 32:24-29  "Then Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day...And he said, 'Let me go for the day breaks.'  But Jacob said, 'I will not let thee go unless you bless me!...And he blessed him there."

Numbers 6:24-26  "The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you; and be gracious to you;  The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."

Let's put our trust in Him and be blessed.  And pray that God would bless us indeed and keep us from evil.  And like Jacob, hang on until we receive God's blessing.  And let's receive the benediction here in Numbers that the Lord will bless us and keep us and make His face shine upon us and be gracious to us and lift up His countenance upon us and give us peace.  We all need these blessings, so let us pray for them in sincerity of heart and they will be ours and we will be blessed indeed.  There is no end to God's blessings if we follow Him and we can even thank Him in trials because that's what brings out the gold.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Contentment

1 Timothy 6:6  "Godliness with contentment is great gain."  Does godliness come before contentment?  Think about it.  Most but not everyone is always looking for more of this or more of that, never being satisfied with what they have or where they are.  So maybe godliness has something to do with contentment.  I know for myself, if I knew I was a godly person, I would surely be content.

How about you? Are you content?  Paul has something to say about being content.

Hebrews 13:5  "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."  Don't covet other peoples things, just be content with what you have because God will take care of us.

Philippians 4:11-13  "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.   I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

Proverbs 19:23  "The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble."

Learning to lean on Jesus for our every need brings great contentment and when we are content with what we have, where we are, or what we are doing we will be happy with our circumstances.  That doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to be better persons, or be more successful, but while we are doing all these things we need to be content for as Paul says, 'Godliness with contentment is great gain.'  Contentment brings us joy, peace and makes our life much better all the way around.  Don't you think so?  I do.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Are you discouraged?

Sometimes I have been sooooo discouraged specially over my health, when a bone breaks which has happened ever so many times, or the time the doctor told me I was in heart failure, that is pretty discouraging news and then recently the doctor told me my Aorta valve was closing up on me and that is what happened to my husband and so that hit me pretty hard too.  This is when I started to get busy with my relationship with the Lord.  I want to be ready when He comes in His glory and to see Him face to face.  Don't you?  I don't know when God will allow me to lay down my burdens, but I do want to ready when He does.  I am not discouraged about any of that stuff anymore and I am not afraid to die, either.  I am getting ready for whatever His plans are.  The discouragement all went away.

Joshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you to be strong and of good courage;  do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Psalm 37:24  "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand"

Lamentations 3:21-26  "Yet there is one ray of hope: His compassion never ends.  It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction.  Great is His faithfulness; His loving kindness begins fresh each day.  My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance, therefore I will hope in Him.  The Lord is wonderfully good to those that wait for Him, to those who seek for Him.  It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

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 unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also."  See why I am not discouraged any more.  When we die, we are told that it is just a sleep where we don't know anything until Jesus comes and calls us from the grave to life everlasting with Him.  What a wonderful day that will be.  I am looking forward to seeing Him face to face on that great morning.  Are you still discouraged? I surely hope not.  We have so much to look forward to.  Grandma Joan.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Are you a doubting Thomas?

Thomas was one of Jesus disciples and after Jesus had risen from the dead, he appeared in the upper room with his disciples but Thomas wasn't there and he wouldn't believe the disciples report that they had seen the Lord, he said he had to see the nail prints in His hands and thrust his hand in His side where the spear pierced Him for him to believe.  Sometimes or maybe I should say a lot of times we are like Thomas.  Jesus makes promises for us to live by and because He doesn't answer us like we think He should or we pray for something not knowing that it will hurt us and we don't receive the answer that we want and it leaves us doubting that He really does answer prayer.  I know that He does answer prayer but it takes a surrender of our own thoughts and ideas and let Him have His way in our lives.

Believing is the opposite of doubting so let's see what the Scriptures say regarding either one of these words.

Mark 9:23,24  "Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.'"

Can't you just hear the father, he was desperate to have his child healed and cried out 'Help my unbelief or help my doubting.  God heard his cry when he cried with tears for help.  His child was healed.

Matthew 21:22  "All things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive."  God requires us to believe and not doubt His word to us.

Mark 5:36  "Jesus told the synagogue ruler, don't be afraid, just believe."

So what do we do with doubt?  Pray to be filled with God's Holy Spirit and God will answer a prayer like that and read His word and the more you read and study His word the less you will doubt and the more you will believe His word and His promises. That's what I am doing and it works.  If it works for me, it will work for you.  I am learning to love studying the word and it is instilling faith in me in His promises.  Try it you just might fall in love with Jesus and His word.  Pray before studying and let the Holy Spirit lead you and He will cause you to understand what you are reading, if you truly want to understand.  There can be no faking with God, He knows our hearts in and out and knows just where we stand.

Romans 4:3  "Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness."  See how important it is for us to believe God.  It is a beautiful thing. Grandma Joan