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Church family

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 – “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”

When my family and I started going to our church, we were a bit puzzled. Everyone was identified as aunt or uncle so-and-so. How could all these people possibly be related? True, it has been around for 120+ years and dating someone in our church requires a careful analysis of both people’s family tree, but still..all of them related?

We quickly learned that these were terms of endearment. 

My church is far from perfect. We have problems. We have challenges. But above it all, we have love. 

And there is no better place to see love than at a funeral. Now, I know, that seems weird. But hear me out. 

One of our ladies passed away this week. She had fought long and hard against an illness that rarely gives up – cancer. It was sad. And it was a blessing. She had been ill for so long and endured so much. She was ready to see Jesus. 

And as we sat and listened to the pastor give his words of encouragement, the common theme was “amen”. He talked about her faith; her dedication when she was ill; her love for her family and her Jesus. Amen. She isn’t hurting. Amen. She wants her family to share in her joy. Amen. Her family was not only flesh and blood but also the blood of Jesus Christ. 

I have a plaque in my home that was given to us by one of our church family. It says “Friends are the family you choose.” 

And no truer words can be spoken when I think about my church family. 

I love my family dearly, blood of my relatives and blood of my Jesus. They are all precious to me. And yesterday, as we laid to rest one of our own, my heart was sad for the ones left behind but happy for her. It was bittersweet. 

So I would encourage you to go home to your church family this weekend. They would love to see you. They would love to hug you. They would love to tell you how much they have missed you, because they have. Don’t let the devil steal away the family that God has given you. Treasure it and thrive within it. 

Promise from on High

Deuteronomy 26:15-19 – “Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey. This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.”


I rode a really, really, really tall Ferris wheel the other night. I’m not too fond of heights but it was pretty cool to see the city all lite up and pretty. 

But as I stepped onto this giant wheel, I needed a promise – the promise that I wouldn’t plummet to the ground but rather would be brought safely down 23 minutes later. And I was. The Ferris wheel operators kept their promise. 

Sometimes I think that we take for granted that God is watching us from somewhere beyond the reaches of a Ferris wheel or airplane or space shuttle. We take for granted that even though He is right beside us, He is also way far above us. 

He has made us promises as well. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He has promised to provide all that we need (not necessarily what we want). He has promised that if we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we have an eternal home in Heaven. 

And just like He always kept His promises (and consequences for forgetting His promises) to the children of Israel, so He does for us today. 

He may be way far above us and right beside us at the same time however, there is one thing we can always count on – God keeps His promises. And He has promised that one day, He is coming back for me and all the rest of y’all who have accepted Him as your Savior. (Yes, I did just use “y’all” – it’s in my blood!)   Any way, it’s going to be an amazing day – that day when we see all His promises fulfilled!

The Perfect Recipe

Psalm 34:12-17 – “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”

I love to cook. If you could see my bookshelf for my recipe books, the claim would be confirmed. I love the joy on a person’s face when they taste something super yummy. I love the gentle sounds that people make when something is oh, so good. Typically, that doesn’t happen without just the right recipe. 

Hence the thoughts for today…

When David wrote this psalm, he gave us a fabulous recipe, a recipe for life. Here’s my take on it: “You wanna have good, long life? Don’t gossip. Don’t lie. Don’t create problems. Watch your mouth. You walk away from things that even smell bad. You look for things that will honor and glorify God, and you run after them with all you’ve got.” 

Life provides us with so many opportunities to chase after things that have pushed God out of the picture. Things that don’t bring peace are easily found. And my, oh my, there are so many opportunities to run our mouth. Isn’t life pretty much summed up in those three bad choices? Poor attitudes and selfishness are easily captured. 

It takes work to keep your attitude in check. It takes effort to keep selfishness far from you. It takes a muzzle, sometimes, to keep negative things from flying out of your mouth. 

Now that I have hashed through some of the negatives of life, let’s see if we can determine some positives. 

God’s eyes are on those who pursue a right life. He hears their prayers. He is attentive to their needs. He never leaves them alone. 

Jesus Christ was the only One to make it off this earth with no sin. Praise God for that! The rest of us need to have His commitment as our goal. We should strive to be like Him. That is the “life…and love of days” to “see good” that David is speaking of here. 

The new year is just around the corner. People will soon be contemplating goals that, more than likely, will never be attained in the upcoming year. So why wait? Start today. Wednesday is a great day to start living the perfect recipe. Oh, it will be hard. The devil will throw trials and tribulations in your path. But who cares? You know the end of the story. Keep going. The “oohs” and “ahs” are just up ahead in Heaven. 

Eternal

1 John 5:11-12 – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

My husband and I were at the mall this weekend. We saw a shirt hanging in a window that said, “We are eternal.” I had to stop and get another look. My husband said, “Sure we are eternal. But what eternal are they talking about?” He was thinking heaven or hell. 

It seems that our society thinks it is above reproach. Somehow or another, they think they will never die and never be held accountable for anything they do. I have heard songs about that “we will are never getting older” and songs about doing something “anyway”. 

No thought for consequences. No thought to anyone else other than themself. 

Eternal. Do people realize that is a really, really, really long and never ending time? Do they realize that their eternity will be spent in a smoking or non-smoking place? They have the choice of everlasting love or everlasting fire. They have the choice to accept Jesus or reject Him. 

So yes, we are eternal. But which eternal will you choose – eternal love or eternal damnation? It seems like such an easy choice. Choosing love means allowing Jesus to lead and guide you. Choosing damnation means leading yourself and trusting that you can make all things good. For me, I choose to let Christ lead my life. I choose eternal love. 

Life after today

Revelation 22:1-5 – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

I was driving along the other day and I heard a guy on the radio make this statement. Now, the guy that said it, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. But, the statement in and of itself is really good. 

How will you live life after today? You have no idea what today holds. You have no idea if you will even wake up tomorrow, let alone follow through with the plans you have made. Yet, all week we think and plan for the weekend. It’s our time off (for some). It’s when we are “free”. 

Do you ever stop and consider eternity? Do you think about what it will look like, who will be there or what you will do? Some of my family is already experiencing eternity. They are living life after today. 

I don’t have a ton to say on this today. I’m just planting seeds. 

Let me encourage you to take some of that “free” time and consider eternity for a bit. If you don’t understand or know where you will spend eternity, go check out my other page for the plan of salvation. It’s so easy and so worth it. Don’t think about life after today without Jesus in it. 

Blessings of a Godly Family

Jeremiah 35:12-17 – “Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.”

Sorry. I know the reading was long, but I wanted you to get the full picture. 

Oftentimes, God uses living, breathing examples for us to understand what He is trying to tell us. Here, He wanted the people of Israel to see that it can be done – you can follow after age, old commands without compromising. These people, the Rechabites, had followed after the commands of their forefathers for many generations. They chose not to drink wine. (They chose not to do other things everyone else did as well. Check out Jeremiah 35.)   

The important lesson here for the children of Israel was that they needed to repent and follow after the commands that God had given their forefathers. But this didn’t fit what they wanted to do. It interfered with their life. They had chosen a different path. 

That’s the thing here – we all have to choose our path. The Rechabites chose to follow after the commands of their forefathers. The children of Israel chose the path of everyone around them; they wanted to be like everyone else. 

I have been blessed with a beautiful spiritual background. Both sides of my family accepted Jesus as their Savior. My mom’s side was a bit more recent than my dad’s, but nonetheless, it was there. My husband’s family knows the Lord as well. Not all the distance relatives, but some. The ones with the greatest effect on his life knew the Lord. What a blessing for my children! An heritage of the Lord. 

But what I want you to understand is this – just because your family loved and served the Lord doesn’t automatically make you a child of the King. No, it’s your choice. You have to choose your own path. You have to make your own decision. Heritage will not get you to Heaven. Only the accepted blood of Jesus Christ can do that. 

A Godly family is a blessing, indeed. But don’t be fooled into thinking that’s what you need for salvation. The choice is yours and yours alone. You can’t ride in on someone else’s skirt tail. 

The Corners of your Mouth

Psalm 128:1-2 – “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”

Last night, my husband and I were poking around in some new stores. We found this one store that was full of sayings and stationary and pillows – random little things that make life more fun. 

I found this little saying – “Your day follows the corners of your mouth.” Think about that for a moment. 

It’s true, isn’t it! If you have a smile on your face, your day seems to go better than when you frown. And when your mouth is a straight line, well, nothing seems to happen. 

I had never really thought about that before. Yet, when I woke up this morning, I did my best to choose to make the corners of my mouth point toward Heaven. I could bend your ear from now until forever about all the blessings in my life. God has been so very good to me. But today, I am going to choose to show my blessings by pointing the corners of my mouth towards the One who has brought me thus far – my Heavenly Father. 

So let me encourage you this weekend to ponder this short little saying. It is small but profound. Take it to heart and choose to guide your day by the corners of your mouth.