STAY NEAR THE SHEPHERD

Lately, the hope that God is involved in every moment in the lives of us, His children, came into question.

Can I, a faulty child of the Father, expect Him to answer every prayer?

Yesterday I was riding my bike home . . . there were six miles between me and home. The weather had reported “no rain” for the day. It began to lightly sprinkle. I prayed, “LORD, please don’t let it rain (or lightening) until I get home.” It sprinkled on and off. It did not begin to rain until I was three fourths of a mile from home. I walked into the house damp, not soaked, no lightening, safe.

I asked the LORD the question, “How much do You desire to be involved, to interact with me?”

Then I read Psalm 23. He is my shepherd: I shall not want (by implication to fail). He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness . . . I fear no evil for He is with me . . . comfort is present . . . a table is prepared . . . He anoints my head with oil . . . my cup runs over . . . goodness, mercy follow me all the days of my life . . . I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever . . .

Yes. The LORD is interested in every day, every hour, and every part of my life.

Keep close. Stay near the Shepherd.

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LIVE READY

Live ready  – – –  watching for His return. “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching . . .”*
Live ready  – – –  Listening for the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit.
Live ready  – – –  to smile
Live ready  – – –  to mourn with those who mourn
Live ready  – – –  to be taught… – – – *“He shall teach you all things”
Live ready  – – –  to see opportunity
Live ready  – – –  to step up
Live ready  – – –  to step down
Live ready  – – –  to speak  – – – *“the truth in love”
Live ready  – – –  to be  – – – *“swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
Live ready  – – –  to forgive
Live ready  – – –  to follow – – – *“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me…”

*Luk_12:37; * 1Th_4:16;  *Joh_10:27; *Jas. 1:19; Eph. 4:15

1Jn_2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Joh_14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Mat_6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

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IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE, LIVE IT UP

Why would we not!

We are alive.  Hurricane Irma has passed and we’re still here.  It was a lesson in the power of God . . . my reaction to this force is to fall at His feet (in my head and heart).

As I woke today, two days after hurricane Irma something came to me, (maybe you learned it as a child, like I did) Psalm 100:  “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing.  Know that the LORD He is God:  it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations.”

My husband and I have come to the book of Job reading through the Bible, at the same time that our Sunday school class began the same Book.  Remember Job, sitting in ashes; from his head and heart came this:  “Though He slays me yet will I trust Him. . .” (Job 13:15). He had lost it all, like some people in the path of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  We can do the same, even as we mourn loss of loved ones, property and the familiar.

So, as the song goes, “let’s just praise the LORD . . .”

Go ahead and believe God, obey Him, learn of Him.  “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30).

All of us have the option of getting to know Him, the God of the Bible.  Make sure the God in your head and heart matches Him . . . this is where living is found.

What do I have to lose!

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AND JESUS STOOD STILL…

The man was sitting by the busy roadside.  He was one of the powerless, one of the useless; he was a man with no leverage, what could he do for anybody or even for himself — he was blind and a beggar.  Bartimaeus lived when all there was for him was to sit by the highway and beg…for mercy, for food.  When it rained, when the cold penetrated his robe, when the sun scorched his skin — who cared.

One day everything changed.  As he sat by the side of the road, it got noisy, busy, loud —
“Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  And Jesus stood still . . . ”

I often read some before I go to bed.  A few nights ago as I read Mark 10, this story touched me profoundly:  The blind man began to cry out,  “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” — then louder “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me”

“And Jesus stood still.”

Later the same night, or rather at 4:30 in the morning, the phone rang.  Our daughter in law called that our granddaughter had a dangerously feverish body.  We prayed over the phone, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on our little girl.” Then our son and daughter in law rushed to the 24 hour pharmacy with the doctor’s instructions.  By morning her fever had cooled and she was smiling again.

Jesus knew very well what the blind man needed, craved, cried out for — but he still asked him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Have you heard the song, “Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus; anywhere, everywhere, I will follow on — ”

If we want something of Jesus we must actually ask.

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ABOUT GOD’S GIFTS IN AND THROUGH WOMEN

Are women, females who are created in God’s own image, equal to men? I don’t mean are they the same as men, but is their status on par with men in God’s way of doing things? This is a favorite question of mine into what the Bible means when it comes to women today. For those of us who are women it benefits you and me to know as certainly as possible what we believe.

I say “Yes” Since we are in the image of God. There is no greater or lesser “image of God.” As it says in Genesis: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)  Neither is given an attribute of superiority.

The verse used to silence women (I Co 14:34: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak”) may be one of the misunderstood passages. I believe the reason is because it is spotlighted, used alone with no other Scripture to compare it to. God tells us “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1Co 2:13) It is written specifically to wives. Although there may have been loud and obnoxious, disrespectful wives, thinking their newfound status gave them the right to demean their husbands in public . . . the Bible does not say. But this verse does not negate all the rest of Scripture, giving gifts to every woman, as to every man who is a Christian.

Then, are the gifts of the Spirit given to women as God decides? I say, “Yes.”

Are women gifted to speak, teach and prophecy? There is nowhere in Scripture where God gives specific gifts to men and then qualifies that gift for men only.

Here is an example of the gifts of the Spirit in their practical use: “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you (man, woman) hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” (ICo14:26)

Even Philip the evangelist, which was one of the original leaders “had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy”. To prophesy means to speak under divine inspiration.

I do not have a desire to be anything in the Church but a daughter of the living God, created in the image of God and obeying the command of Jesus before he left the earth, “Go ye into al the world and preach the gospel to every creature…” (Mark 16:15).

What is your gift? How will God through the Holy Spirit use you? “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man (man and woman) to profit withal.” (1Co 12:7)

What is your gift? How will God through the Holy Spirit use you? “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man (man and woman) to profit withal.” Your gift will bring profit to the Church, to you . . . when you are determined to use it to glorify God. (1Co 12:7)

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