You CAN Take It With You

Recently I spoke about taking care of my mother-in-law in my home and also shared her passing. What I want to talk about today has to do with when she was staying with me. One night when we were talking about God and Jesus I realized how much of the Bible I really had inside of me. She asked questions that caused me to spew at the mouth about stories in the Bible. She told me she didn’t know the Bible like I did. I thought that was sad considering she was 86 years old. I thought about this because at the end of her life, about the last 2 years, she was blind in one eye and couldn’t see well out of the other and she couldn’t hear well either. I felt God telling me to read the Bible and learn what I can WHILE I can. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and not have His Word engraved on my heart, so I can turn to it when I need it, even if I can’t see or if I didn’t have a way of reading it. I have not forgotten this experience.

Now recently I began reading a book called How To Study The Bible by Dwight L. Moody. He is emphasizing as  Christians how much we need the Bible. We need to be reading it to be more effective in our lives. I have read several times the scripture Matthew 24:35, 35 Heaven and earth [as now known] will pass away, but My words will not pass away. God spoke to me about this in my sleep last night. He has revealed something, a message that I thought was awesome!

We know the Bible states that everything in this world will pass away and we have always heard the phrase, “You can’t take it with you”, right? Well, since God’s Word will never pass away that is the one thing that you CAN take with you! So all the studying and insight you get is not a waste when you pass on. Sometimes it feels like doing Bible study is useless but its the only investment in your life that’s going to literally last for eternity! Not only do you benefit from it in your life now but it’s going to benefit you in the future and for all eternity!

The Bible has answers to everything and is alive and changing. It’s the only book that changes every time you read it. Because every time you read it you are in different circumstances than before and you have more life experience, so you can never stop learning from it. The best news is that it’s not like learning in school, when you pass, that knowledge is gone. This Bible, God’s Word will live forever, go on forever , stand forever. I for one want to take it with me! It’s a precious thing and I was so happy when I realized it’s the one thing we take with us and it’s the one thing we can count on.

 

Advertisements

A Tribute

I spoke about my mother-in-law recently and I have an update. She passed August 8,2017. This is one reason I haven’t written. I wrote a tribute to her and spoke it at her funeral and wanted to share it on my blog for safe keeping. This way I can read it and it won’t be lost. I hope you enjoy it. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Virginia Gibson was my mother-in-law. I knew her for 30 years. I wanted to say a little bit about who she was as a person. I admired her goodness. Her desire to do good and be good. She didn’t see life any other way. She told me once that her whole life she didn’t understand why anyone would want to be bad. She was drawn to the Light even when she was a child. She told me how she loved going to revival with her mom. I like to imagine her right now with her family in the biggest revival she has ever see and heard. She is experiencing the full love of Christ right now. I have had tastes of His love already and I know for sure she is full of joy beyond what we can imagine. She wanted her children to love one another, to help one another. She told me when I was taking care of her, how much she loves her children. Every night she thanked God for each of you, imagining your heads on your pillow. I found myself the past few nights that she has been gone, taking up her prayer. I have prayed for each one of you just as she did. I know you are broken and sad but we have each other. Your mom and dad lives in each one of you. We can continue their legacy with our own families. Take what they have taught us and pass it on. This is paying it forward. Give! Give yourself away. Give your time away. Give whatever you have for whoever needs it in that moment. Let’s make them proud! Don’t let all their hard work building a family be all for naught. Get up, run your race well, the way we saw them do. Love well. She expressed to me her hope for us all to be saved and go to heaven. She wants us all to be together again.

I remember a time long ago when I wanted to get up at Christmas and tell each one of you what you mean to me. I didn’t do it out of fear of talking. Just as I am afraid now, but God has given me strength to do this. I just want to say I love you all and there’s no place like home!

 

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 5

Psalm 5 has a lot to do with prayer and how we should be walking with God. Like I have said before prayer is most effective in the morning before you start the day. This way you have the rest of the day to watch and wait to hear God’s voice. But before we pray we need to acknowledge God for who He is and give Him reverence and worship. Remember the only way we are able to enter into the house of God is through His Son, Jesus. Be thankful for His love and mercy. Our prayers should be passionate and never taken for granted that we can communicate with God. We need to ask for God to lead us and guide us into His righteousness and make the way of the path plain to see. We don’t receive unless we ask.

There are some guidelines we should follow that lead to being and living right. We shouldn’t boast or practice evil. Be trustworthy, truthful and not let any deceit come from our tongues. We should resist evil and not seek revenge. Live, speak and be the Truth! Continue to be in right standing with God and experience His favor and blessing. Remember our ways lead to destruction. We should be in high spirits singing and shouting for joy because we belong to God!

Prayer

Father, I come to You in reverence and in awe of who You are. I acknowledge that You exist and You are over all creation including me. I am thankful that through the blood of Jesus I can come into Your house and dwell with the Almighty! Show me your path of righteousness today and every day in every circumstance and choice that presents itself to me. I am overjoyed that I belong to You. I’m passionate about You and love You. Thank you for Your blessings and favor on my life. Help me continue to live right before Your eyes. I want to walk in Your ways, not my own because they lead me into destruction. Help me remember Your ways. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit living in me, leading and guiding me. I invite You to be my life. I am Your vessel, make Your glory shine through me in all I do, Amen.

 

Would You Like To Change?

Now that I have had some time to rest and get myself back together I have been on a real journey or should I say adventure. I have followed the Holy Spirit’s leading and I have been learning so much!

I joined a prayer group on face book which then led me to reading a book called Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray. This book was written long ago which was so interesting to me how some one from the 1600’s could still minister to some one today. I highly recommend this book if you are ready to surrender your life to Jesus and want to experience real change in your life.  I learned that abiding in Christ is the only way the Holy Spirit can do His work. It’s not up to us to make ourselves change. We only have to surrender and He will do the work. I have been practicing this for a few weeks and I have been so happy with my progress!

It just so happened I watched a movie called Before I Fall. This girl has to relive her last day until she gets it right. Getting it right meant loving people as they are. Noticing every detail of what is around you. Savoring what is right in front of you. Telling people you love them and giving people what they need in that moment. If you were living your last day wouldn’t you want the people that you had contact with that day to remember you in a good way? We should treat everyone in the day as if it is the last time we see them. You never really know when your last day will be. I realized while watching the movie that if I’m abiding in Christ I will make these right choices. I loved it when she realized what she finally had to do to get it right. That morning she said for the first time she wasn’t afraid, she knew exactly what she had to do. She knew how to live this day well. We should all be getting up with this attitude. An attitude of excitement! An attitude of love. She says something in the movie while she is going through a lot of days over and over, she says no matter what I do it doesn’t change anything or what happens. But the last day when she gets it right, when she knows how to live the day, it does change. When we allow ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit and we are walking in the Spirit then we are a catalyst for change. We change things to make them better. I want to live each day as if it’s my last and do good, walk in the Spirit, change things around me for the better and I will leave a mark of goodness.

I saw another movie yesterday called The Last Words. It’s about a lady wanting her obituary written before she dies. She finds out she wasn’t liked very much. She spends her last days changing herself because she wants her obituary to be true to how she lived in a good way. The girl who became her friend in the movie spoke at her funeral and she said  some stuff but she ended it with, all we really want is to not be forgotten.

I feel the same way. I want to live in communion with Jesus, make a lasting mark for Him and know I did my best. I also want God to change me. I want to be more like Jesus.

I have been meditating on that also. Jesus desires us to change after salvation. That is the essence of this article I guess. I want you to want to change. I want to change. Because when we do we win against evil! We have to choose the spirit life instead of the flesh life. The spirit life is the lasting life. It’s the only way to change and the only way to stay changed!

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 4

This Psalm was written by David and has 8 verses. I believe it is about prayer, spending time with God and choices.

Prayer and choices have been very significant in my life lately. Following Jesus is not easy because it’s all about choosing Him. Our first choice in choosing Him is in our salvation moment. When Jesus is presented to us as Savior it is a choice to receive and believe Him. So, first I choose to believe Jesus is my sacrifice for my sin. I trust Him for this. I am then considered godly in God’s eyes because of my faith in Jesus. I have to choose to believe I am godly through my faith in Jesus. When I believe this I then will have faith that God hears and heeds my call. I will choose to spend quiet time with God to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading and correction. This is the way to live a Spirit life and not the fleshly one. When I have thoughts in my head I will choose Truth over lies. Satan tries to get us to believe his lies over God’s Truth. We have to know and believe God’s Word and His promises over Satan’s lies. I will choose to give God the glory and honor and not seek my own. Vanity is evil, stay away from it. Choose to be searching for God’s goodness in my life and look for His shining face. Choose to make myself aware of God’s presence in my life and I will be joyful and rejoice over the abundance of goodness that He gives. I can rest and sleep in His peace when I really choose to trust Him with my life.

Prayer

Thank you for free will to choose. Help me stay aware of this fact so that I can always choose You. I only want a life that includes You and I only want the life that You have planned for me. Help me to live it out. Thank you for Your abundant goodness in my life and I value Your peace, I can’t live without it. You are my life! I will listen to You in quiet moments to be able to follow You. Amen.

Be Flooded With God’s Presence

This morning I have been drawn to learning more about prayer, of course, but also about sanctification. I have been thinking and learning about being aware of what I’m choosing in the moment. Yesterday it was brought to my attention the scripture that talks about what flows from the heart comes out of the mouth. Matthew 15:18, But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. I realized how evil I really am. How our nature really is sinful and our natural inclination is to choose that. I realized how very important it is to be still and think through what comes out of my mouth. Today after reading about Centered Prayer, I read that silence is God’s language. He asks us to be still and know He is God. Being still in His presence is what it takes to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. 

An analogy just came to me. We are setting up our above ground pool and we are still filling it with water this morning. My daughter just said to me to look at the pool, that it’s getting fuller. I said,” Yes, it takes time, but gradually it will be full.” God instantly showed me how this pertains to the filling of the Holy Spirit. The pool is being filled with a water hose and we all know how long this takes, right? So, if I’m only allowing a small opening for the Holy Spirit to dwell in me then it’s going to take some time to see the change. But if I can learn how to be still and open myself up completely to God, I could be flooded with God Himself, as it says in the Bible. Ephesians 3:19, 19 and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

I’m believing that through Centered Prayer I could do this. I want to be flooded with God Himself. I want my words to reflect my heart, my heart for God. I don’t want to reflect the sinful nature. I pray for God to keep me aware of the difference so that I will be able to keep choosing Him. Help me Lord, to choose You. You know my nature and even Paul spoke about how he does what he doesn’t want to do. Help me to do what I want to do and say things that are only pleasing to You. Help me remember Your presence is everywhere all the time. I am on a stage where You are my audience. I only want to be pleasing in Your sight, Lord. Amen.

Walking In The Light

I was put in an unexpected situation a little over a month ago. My mother in law was leaving rehab and my husband and I found ourselves having to be the ones to bring her into our home. He has other siblings but no one else would volunteer so since we follow the Lord, I felt God’s presence in this decision. I was happy to feel like I was doing something for God especially cause I knew I wanted to talk to her about Jesus. We said we would do this task for 10 days and then evaluate the situation from there.

We lasted 18 days taking care of her. Something I learned from her being in my house and having guests periodically was that I realized I was living in the light. The scripture came to mind, Live in the light as He is in the light. I explained to my husband that I wondered about that scripture in the past about what it really means to live in the light. I told him that it meant to me in that situation that I don’t have anything to hide.

I felt empowered by the Holy Spirit while she was here but during her stay I saw my husband slowly going down hill. When this happened I began losing it too. When I confronted his family and said we couldn’t do this anymore that my husband was dying we were laughed at and called names. I felt us drowning and they just pushed us deeper down. I had been praying for God to remove her because we couldn’t do it another day. In just a few days we had something happen with my son’s glass desk. It shattered! This happened when my mother in law was being brought back from an appointment. She wouldn’t allow my husband to see what happened. From all the stress that had already been building my husband lost it and called his brother to come get her. So her leaving was an abrupt occasion that we didn’t intend on happening.

When she left we were relieved but we got a lot of backlash from his family. We have been made to feel like hypocrites. They threw our walk with Jesus in our face. We have talked and we both have been feeling confused about the whole thing. We both have had to question our salvation and walk with Jesus. Through this past month I have lost my intimacy with God. I talked to my mom about it and explained that I know what I have to do to get back there but I can’t make myself do it. I thought getting back there was through writing, making my Bible Art Journals, reading the Bible, etc… But over the past couple days the Holy Spirit has revealed to me whats wrong.

It isn’t that we stopped taking care of her. I read in my Beth Moore book that if you pray for the cup to be removed and God does it then your in His will. If He doesn’t your in His will. I prayed for it to be removed and it was. Beth Moore emphasized that what is important is that we obey. I believe God gave us the grace for 10 days. I believe that was all we were meant to do. I couldn’t believe the ridicule we received for not being able to go longer. I dealt with feeling inadequate and not being Christ like. Although I gave her my all while she was here and loved her with God’s love, prayed with her and talked about her salvation and walking with Jesus.

So the distance I have been feeling is being caused by unforgiveness. I have been angry  at my brother in law for what he said to us and called us. I wouldn’t forgive him.

During her stay here I had found a book called The Daniel Prayer at Hobby Lobby and I bought it in hopes of helping myself pray for her. I read it some then quit. Well, prayer has been brought to my attention real big the past several months. Day before yesterday I was in my e mail and saw a message from Gateway but I was going to delete it but the Holy Spirit clicked it. It was something about a men’s Bible Study. I decided to click on it anyway. When I did, I looked in the margin and I saw the book I had bought The Daniel Prayer. It was offering a summer Bible Study with the book. I couldn’t believe it so I joined the face book group and began the study. Yesterday I was watching the videos and looking at the scripture they said to study. The scripture was The Lord’s Prayer. God showed me The Lord’s Prayer in a new light.

We address God for who He is, our Father and then we acknowledge He is holy. Then we agree with His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. I also agree with His will being done in my own life as well. When we pray “give us this day our daily bread”, we are asking for provision but also we are asking for a fresh word from Him for that day. Then when I got to the part about forgive me for my sins as I forgive those who sinned against me, I realized I had unforgiveness. I prayed and also told my husband that I’m not angry anymore and that I forgive his brother. I asked him if he was still angry. He said that he didn’t know. I explained to him that being in the state of unforgiveness blocks us from God’s blessings and we are only hurting ourselves. This is why we feel lost and we feel like God can’t hear us. I also said what it says in the Bible that we are forgiven by God and we don’t deserve it so we should forgive people even if they don’t deserve it. He told me he would pray. We both feel so much better now. I’m finding myself coming closer to God again.

My mom was telling me how she practices the presence of God the other day and I brought up Brother Lawrence to her and how I read his book Practicing The Presence. Yesterday I got an e mail from a woman whose blog I follow and she talked about this very thing and mentioned Brother Lawrence which I thought was so strange. I loved what she said. She said,” Seeing God is a choice. Brother Lawrence chose to see God in washing the dishes. Others just see dishes.” My mom told me you have to slow down and be aware of the choices your making because we are always making choices whether we know it or not. Make your self aware if your choosing God or not in everything you do. This keeps the enemy away. She told me all those feelings and thoughts I was having were from the enemy. So at the end of The Lord’s Prayer we are asking God to keep temptation away from us and protect us from evil. All we have to do is ask. We forget that a lot.

In this Bible Study Ann Graham Lotz said something so good. She said we should pray in the morning because the day hasn’t begun yet. She said you wouldn’t tune your violin after a symphony. So, tune yourself to God before the day. Be aware of His presence. Ask for Him to lead you, guide you. And also trust and believe.

This is what I have learned from the past month. I needed to share it and I hope maybe someone out there may need to hear it.

 

 

 

We Are The Grand Band

Recently we were at a band concert at the high school where my son plays the trumpet. As we were waiting for the concert to start an interesting thought came to my mind. The band was on stage before the conductor came out and they were all playing their own tune, doing their own thing. But when the conductor came out they were all at attention and quiet waiting for their instruction . When the conductor conveyed what song to play they were all in unison playing the song and it was magnificent!

Here is what I thought: God is the conductor of our lives. We need to sit at attention quietly each day and wait for His instruction on what we are to do for that day. When we start going our own way and we don’t listen to God we begin playing out of tune. When God, the conductor of our lives comes, we stand at attention and listen to His lead. We then begin to play out our life in unison with others who are following His lead and when we do this it produces for Him a marvelous song of praise that is music to His ears!

Life Song by Casting Crowns

Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonightMay the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to YouLet my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to YouLord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Let my lifesong sing to You

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 3

This Psalm is addressing hopelessness. Hopelessness is a state of mind. We have to choose to have hope. Psalm 3 helps remind us what we should be doing to have hope and remain in hope when we are in trouble or are feeling fearful. We must remember our salvation. God saved us! If we meditate on how God saved us we are hopeful that He will save us from whatever trouble we are in now. How awesome it is that we have a God who saves us! Fear is the opposite of love. When we are in fear we are out of love. We aren’t remembering God’s love for us. Remember God loves you, so have faith and trust in Him. God hears our prayers and He answers in His way and in His timing. He will not leave us or forsake us. We can rest in peace knowing God is with us and protects us. People can’t scare us because we know who we belong to. We declare victory over our enemies and Satan. He has no power over us unless we give it to him. Being hopeless is a way he can get in. Close the door on hopelessness and open the door to Jesus, the one who never leaves us, He is our hope! Choose to focus on Jesus!

Prayer

Thank you for the promise that You will never leave us alone! Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering us when we call on Your name. You are a great loving Father to us, Your children. One day we will be with You in heaven and we will know You fully. I can’t wait for that day! Until then thank you for Your Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us and for the hope we have in Jesus! Amen.

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 2

Psalm 2 has 12 verses. It’s all about what I should do as a follower. I made confession statements that say I WILL do these things. This isn’t going to be in exact order of the verses 1-12 but it’s an interpretation of them as a whole. I feel that they spoke to me from God and this is my response back to Him.

I belong to Jesus first of all. Anyone who is a believer belongs to Him because God gave Jesus the earth and everything in it. I know I’m His. And knowing that I’m His there are certain things that I should want to do for Him because I love Him. What I’m writing is for anyone not just me but I will write it as for myself. You know that this applies to you as well. First I will serve Jesus with all my heart and make Him King of my heart. That means He comes first. There is no thing, person or activity that gives me more pleasure than being in His presence. He fills me up with His Holy Spirit and then I can do life so much better. As I make Jesus first in my heart I will remember Him in all my circumstances so that I can make wise decisions and wise choices. He keeps me on track. I will be pleasing to God. We should want to be God pleasers and not people pleasers. When we are following what the Holy Spirit has directed us to do we are pleasing God. I have an example of what it means to follow the Holy Spirit. I was walking in the parking lot of Target one day. I passed a young mom who just buckled in her baby but still had her buggy to put away. As I passed her I heard the Holy Spirit say, go back and ask to take her buggy so she can just get in the car with her baby. Remember what it was like when you were there? So, I turned around and asked if she would like me to take her buggy and she said yes, thank you! I felt good inside for helping her and I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do. This leads into the next thing we should be doing and that is surrendering our lives to God on a daily basis.I will surrender my life to God so He can be glorified. As witnesses for Jesus we should also be declaring Jesus is the Son of God and stand up for Him! When I find myself in situations where Jesus is brought up I will speak up for Him and not be silent! But we do so in a way that keeps the peace. I will  be a peacemaker. As I continually focus on Jesus, this practice actually keeps evil away.  When our minds are absorbed with what the Bible says about us and about our lives, evil has no way of gaining a foothold in our minds. That’s where evil starts messing with us, in our minds. If evil can get in our thinking then you give him permission to set up camp there and he will destroy your life, eventually, if he is allowed to stay there. You are the only one who has control over what your meditating on. I will choose Jesus! As believers we should have reverential fear and awe of God. When we have this heart attitude we will rejoice and be high in spirits! We will be high on life, on Jesus! This enables us to want to seek and trust Him more!

Prayer

Thank you Father for this insight! Thank you that in Your Word are the answers to the questions we seek! I praise You, honor You and glorify Your name on this earth so others who don’t know You will want to know You. You are good and I’m thankful I live under Your wing. Amen.