Friday, April 30, 2010

What Should I Read?

Yesterday, I was thinking that I would like to start reading a new book, and contemplating what I should read. I have a lot of books on my shelves that I've never read and there are also, of course, tons of books at the library of every type and subject. While I was thinking about this, the scripture came to me, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise." Prov. 27:7. Of course, I know from reading Proverbs that wisdom is something that we are to desire and be seeking for. There are so many wise, godly people who have books written about them, and have written books, who I will never get the privilege of walking and talking with personally, but, in reading about them, can still influence my life and the way that I think and live. I've heard it said before that we should surround ourselves with people who we want to be like; successful, wise, godly, creative people, people of great faith. This can include not just the people we rub shoulders with personally, but the people we spend time with in a book, on TV, etc.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Battle Field of the Mind

The enemy of our soul knows just where and how to attack us, to drag us down, or sometimes just to keep us from progressing or being profitable in our practical life or spiritual life. So often, he uses distracting thoughts that keep us from what is important to be focusing on at the time. Every battle begins in the mind. They don't even have to be evil thoughts (he's sly), but if they're keeping us from what we should be thinking about, or doing, they're not good. Last week I was going through just this kind of battle. The Holy Spirit reminded me of this scripture:
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight ,O Lord, my strength and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

I looked up the meaning to these key words:
meditation - close or continued thought; the turning or revolving of a subject in the mind; serious contemplation.
heart - secret thoughts, recesses of the mind
acceptable - that may be received with pleasure; hence pleasing to a receiver; gratifying.

Hmmm! Are the thoughts that are going over and over in our minds actually bringing pleasure to God?

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Toil , No Harvest

Ouch! Yesterday I spent a large part of my day shoveling sand, leaves, manure, and compost into a wheel barrel and spreading them in my garden. Believe me, I am feeling it now. It was a lot of work and with every barrel full I wanted to quit, but I knew if I wanted a productive garden, I had to keep working. This makes me think about my spiritual life. If I want to grow spiritually, I have to spend time sowing into the spiritual part of my life. Sometimes I get lazy and it seems too hard, but I know that if I don't keep up the work, I will not see the fruit of my labor. Also, if I want to see a harvest of souls, I must spend time sowing, not just for my own benefit, but for others. Someone asked me the other day if I enjoyed gardening. I replied "I do in the Spring when the weather is perfect." When the Texas heat is bearing down and the garden needs constant weeding and watering, I wonder what possesses me to do this and I'm tempted to let it all burn up. I probably would, if I hadn't invested so much in it by then, and if I thought there would be no harvest. It's easy to pray, worship, and live for God when things are going just right. But when things are tough or I'm going through a dry spell spiritually, it takes work . I don't always feel like praying and spending time in the Word of God. But, I know Gods word is true and if I press through, it will be worth it. I also have past experience to draw from, that God will be faithful and help me come through these times stronger than ever. Maybe, all of this work in the garden would not have been so painful if I had been in better shape to begin with. Lord, help me to be faithful to be consistent in spending time with You, and working for You so that when the enemy tries to come in and disrupt (like the weeds in my garden which can easily get out of control and take over) I will be prepared.

Psalm 126:5-6 "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As A Child

Last night, my grandson, Nolan, led my sister and I in a pretty lengthy time of prayer on our knees. Every time we would say "Amen" and raise our heads, he would insist we bow our heads and pray again. When I thought we were finished, he somehow bumped his little head on the arm of his chair. I quickly (before he thought of producing tears) laid my hands on him and prayed for his head. This led to a whole now round of prayers with him laying hands on us and praying and us praying for him (again & again). As I was kneeling there, I thought, here I had been so busy, I hadn't taken this much time to pray on my own today, but this child didn't even consider the time, he just, at the thought of praying, forgot about the exciting animal show on TV, forgot about the toys all around him, and prayed until he was through. I want to be more like this child and not let the cares of this world take precedence over spending time with Jesus.

Mark 10:15 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter in."

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Heritage of Hospitality

Hospitality (according to Webster) is the act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.

A stranger (according to Webster) is a foreigner of another country; one of another town, city, state, ... ; one unknown; one unacquainted; a guest; a visitor.

Guests - a person who spends some time at another persons home at a party, dinner, or just visiting.

In Romans 12 Paul is talking about how we are to live out the righteousness of God, the practical application of it in our lives. Verse 13 says that we are to be given to hospitality. I am very grateful to have grown up in a home where this was demonstrated. It was nothing unusual to have guests at our table and staying overnight, and not just people that we knew. Very often, my mom invited, whoever the visitors at church were, over to our house to eat after church. I remember one Sunday a family showed up (is that proper English) at the church with all of their belongings in and on their car. They had just arrived in town from California with no place to live yet. Of course they came home with us until they found a place to stay. I'm sure I could not count the number of people who have stayed with us and ate with us, people from many different countries, states, and backgrounds. Such a rich heritage.

Not only have I been impacted by the hospitality shown growing up, but also by the hospitality shown to me and my family. When we moved away from home, we learned how meaningful it is to be invited into someone elses home and family. When you are new to a church or living away from family, and someone invites you into their home, it right away makes you feel welcome and more a part of that church. I often remember the story that I read in Guidepost about a young lady who had just moved to a new town. She visited a church that Sunday and after the service a lady invited her to her home for lunch. The lady brought out a pan of cornbread and a drink. They sat and talked and ate. The young lady kept thinking that the second course would be brought out, but it never was. But actually, she so enjoyed her visit and the kindness that was shown to her, a lonely stranger, that she really didn't care that this was all they had for lunch. She was so touched by this older woman's kindness and hospitality. I often think of this story when I feel like I don't have anything special enough to offer guests. One of the families from our church in Kansas who often opened up their home to the whole church, did not have the fanciest house, and it was not always spotless (6 kids), but no one cared, we just appreciated and enjoyed their hospitality. People really don't care what your house looks like (thank goodness) or how fancy the meal is, they just want to be shown that you love and care about them. I believe this element of godliness is so important in our lives and in the church.

1 Peter 4:9 "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

Hebrews13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Monday, April 5, 2010


Psalm 147:1-2 "praise ye the Lord, for it is good to sing praises unto our God. Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving..."

Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God..."

I was reminded this morning by the devotional sent to me, the importance of singing praise to God. When we are singing praises to God, our words are not vain words, but there is power in the praises that we sing. Praise breaks chains that have us bound. Praise can lift our spirits. Praise helps us to focus on our God. Praise brings a joyful , thankful, spirit into our home or wherever we are at. I must remember to not let the noises and busyness around me crowd out my song.

Psalm 34:1 "I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thrift Store Find

Look at the cute pajamas Nolan's momma found him at the thrift store! I enjoy looking at other peoples thrift store finds, so I thought I would let Nolan model his new pajamas. He doesn't look like he seems to mind, now does he?