Thursday, 21 April 2016

Eternal Life.

If someone would have asked me what eternal life is; I would have told them it is living forever.

I heard a preacher say that was wrong. Jesus told us what eternal life was.

He said, "And this is eternal life, that they might know you (God the Father) and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."  John 17:3

The preacher said eternal life is not a time-span.

Eternal life is a person.

I was at a family dinner one time and one of my son-in-laws asked me, "Do you know God, Belle?"  I answered, "Yes." Then he asked everyone at the table, my daughters and their children, "Does she know God?"  They said, "Yes."

But, now I would say, "I know him in a small way. I am learning about him and knowing him better day by day."  Because what I thought I knew about God has grown and expanded from the day I gave my life to him when I was nineteen. And I won't fully know him until I am in heaven and can learn more and more of his love and goodness.

How can we know God? Read the Bible each day and tell God you want to know him. It's that simple, but also hard because we must persevere and not give up.  ""You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:13

Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24

"I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart."  Jeremiah 24:7

"And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."  Hebrews 8:11

"If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  John 14:7

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me."  john 10:14

"Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?"  John 14:9

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Absolute, Extreme, Unutterable Love.

"I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame."   Isaiah 50:6,7

"Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end."
John 13:1

Pulpit Commentary
 "Here the sentence ends with the climacteric expression, He loved them utterly; he manifested, and that before the Paschal Lamb should be slain for them, his absolute, extreme, unutterable love."

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

"...having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end—The meaning is, that on the very edge of His last sufferings, when it might have been supposed that He would be absorbed in His own awful prospects, He was so far from forgetting His own, who were to be left struggling in the world after He had departed out of it to the Father that in His care for them, He seemed scarce to think of Himself save in connection with them: Herein is love, not only enduring to the end, but most affectingly manifested when, judging by a human standard, least to be expected."

Excerpts from Isaiah Chapter 53.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

"...Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

"For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not die, but have eternal life." John 3:16

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Is God Enough?

Although I've been a Christian since I was 19 and am now 66 years old, I have been a dumb, slow-learning Christian. Lots of times I have learned something good and then when the chips are down, I forget what I've learned. I'm sharing this for those who are also slow-learners in the Christian life. You can take heart, because you are not alone.

When my grandson died 4 years ago, it was my worst nightmare come true. I had always hoped and prayed no one young in my family would die. But it was not to be, and I know God knows everything and is all-wise, therefore he knows best.

I wondered how I would be able to cope with Craig's death. I loved him so much it was like he was a son instead of a grandson. I had babysat him for many years. When I first heard the news, of course I started screaming and crying; but as soon as my husband told me what Craig's last words to him were, I had instant peace.

Craig said, "Thank you both for praying for me."

I knew that God was telling us Craig would be saved and I would see him again. I still felt the pain of his death but a wonderful peace settled on me and that peace has never left. A few times, when I saw a video of Craig or a photo, I could feel my stomach lurch and pain in my heart. But I would turn to God and he was enough. He filled me with his peace and love.

God is enough when someone you love dies.

About two years ago, after I moved out of my daughter's house and quit babysitting my granddaughter, I became severely depressed. My husband and I lived alone; we didn't see our girls or grandchildren very often. I was so lonely and bored. I tried to find things to occupy my time but nothing worked. I felt dead inside. There was nothing to live for and so I took sleeping pills.

Well, obviously I didn't die. I went to therapy and tried to find a reason to live. Therapy helped me think more positively but this is what surprised me; God became enough for me. I told him how lonely I was and how I needed him and how it was just him and me now. It's amazing, but God's friendship became enough for me. I started to have happy days with him. I talked with him off and on during the day. I read the Bible more and Christian books and listened to on-line sermons. The days got better and better.

God is enough when you have lost everything you lived for.

I didn't know God would be enough to live for. I didn't know he could give me such happiness.

I told God how bored I was. I needed some ideas of what to do with myself. He did give me ideas for some arts and crafts hobbies. I am happier than I have been in my life. This has shocked me. This I did not expect.

God is enough when you are sick of life.

My sister lost all her possessions, except her old van, when she became sick and couldn't work. She lived with us for 2 years, but got sicker because of all the plant life here. She has many problems, one of them being allergies. So, she packed up her van and moved to Washington State which is free of almost all pollens. She became a little stronger and could at least go to a store and buy groceries and get out of bed.

As she became more accustomed to camping out in her van, she told me, "I have never been this happy in my life."

God is enough when you lose everything you own.

I thought I'd put some photos up of some of my art projects.
My granddaughter, Hope.
My granddaughter, Cherish.
Nancy Drew Altered Book.

Book of growing flowers.

Little Women.

The Pearl of Great Price.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

You Are Never too Young to Work for God.

I was listening to a sermon on-line and the speaker said Jesus was 28 years old when he preached the Sermon on the Mount. I'd forgotten how young Jesus was when he first started preaching. And in that sermon he turned the religious teachings of the day upside down.

He said to the people, you have been told by religious leaders this - but I'm saying something new. No wonder the religious leaders hated him. He was undermining their authority and position before the people.

Jesus was 28 and he had never gone to the religious schools of the day. He knew how to read and had read the scriptures for himself. He was full of the Holy Spirit who taught him what to say. Remember Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me." John 8:28

God has used many young people to do his work. Age and education are no barriers for God.

 Dwight L. Moody began to work for God at age 18.

Dwight L. Moody didn't attend school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, and his grammar was awful. His manners were often brash and crude, and he never became an ordained minister. Once, before his conversion, he so outraged an Italian shoe salesmen with a prank, that the man chased him with a sharp knife, clearly intending to kill him. Yet, Dwight L. Moody was used by God to lead thousands of people to Christ. Moody's life of Christian service began with his conversion on this day, April 21, 1855

William Booth preached his first sermon at 23 years old.

William Booth (10 April 1829 – 20 August 1912) was a British Methodist preacher who founded The Salvation Army and became its first General (1878–1912). The Christian movement with a quasi-military structure and government founded in 1865 has spread from London, England, to many parts of the world and is known for being one of the largest distributors of humanitarian aid.

Jeremiah was young when the Lord called him.

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  Jeremiah 1:4-10

If the Lord calls you, don't worry about how young you are or of what your education consists. He can use you to his glory for nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Selections from Matthew Chapter 5.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Friday, 1 April 2016

All Creation Groans.

German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too

I read this article in the New York Times today. The scientist is Peter Wohlleben. He wrote a best-selling book about his findings called, "The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries From A Secret World."

As I was reading, I remembered this verse from the Bible, "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now."  Romans 8:22

"...It refers, as I suppose, to the whole animate creation; to all living beings; to the state of all created things here, as in a condition of pain and disorder, and groaning and death. Everything which we see; every creature which lives, is thus subjected to a state of servitude, pain, vanity, and death." 

Groaning - Greek, Groans together. All is united in a condition of sorrow. The expression denotes mutual and universal grief. It is one wide and loud lamentation, in which a dying world unites; and in which it has united "until now."
And travails in pain together - This expression properly denotes the extreme pain of parturition (giving birth). It also denotes any intense agony, or extreme suffering; and it means here that the condition of all things has been that of intense, united, and continued suffering; in other words, that we are in a world of misery and death. This has been united; all have partaken of it: it has been intense; all endure much: it has been unremitting; every age has experienced the repetition of the same thing.

All creation has suffered because of sin. I'm sure the animals didn't kill each other and eat each other. Trees didn't die - nothing did. But when Adam and Eve sinned, all of creation was changed. The Bible says the wolf and the lamb were made to sleep together, but that isn't the case now.

A few times, I've watched nature shows with my husband. We can see many of these shows because we have Netflix. But almost every time, I quit watching because I don't like seeing animals kill each other. It is hard to find a movie that doesn't have that featured. I've told my husband, "I love nature from a distance. As soon as you see it close up, it is sad. (Or creepy, I hate bugs.)

I'm looking forward to heaven where all people and animals will be at peace and full of love. (And hopefully, no bugs.)

"The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea."
Isaiah 11:6-9

“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:3,4

“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
will be heard in it no more.
“Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the work of their hands.
They will not labor in vain,
nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
Isaiah 65:17-25