Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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Mount Lebanon Lutheran


              He who dwells in the secret place of        

        the Most High shall abide under the               

        shadow of the almighty. Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)

 

The Psalmist headed this chapter as Safety in Abiding in the Presence of God. 

                This verse speaks to me. If I had any doubts about abiding with God, these words would take away all those fearful thoughts.

Most of the time of COVID, I have been house-bound for reasons of health beside Covid. But my various quarantines were for my benefit. I praise God for His watch care over me as I learned the lessons of abiding in him.

 

The phrase, “under the shadow of the Almighty” remind me that God has been ever-present with me. Yes, I have had frustrations and even anger during these months. God knows what I have faced, the heartache, the disappointments, the uncertainty one faces while being ill. Despite my momentary hard feelings, He has kept me close to Him. For these things, I am very thankful.

 

During this time of uncertainty, I have been able to maintain my reading of devotions from two devotional books and of journaling one scripture passage each day. I also read our local newspaper to keep up with what is happening here locally. I have cut back my television news viewing to try to discover the cause of my malaise.

A lack of sleep at night is still an issue, but I find myself sleeping in during the day and sometimes falling asleep for “cat-naps.” In spite of all these things going on with me, I still feel protected by God.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Jesus is the Vine

 

Steve Thomason


 

                                                                “I am the vine, you are the

                                                branches. He who abides in Me, and I in

                                                him, bears much fruit; for without Me

                                                you can do nothing. If anyone does not

                                                abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch

                                                and is withered; and they gather them                      

and throw them into the fire and they

                                                are burned. John 15: 5-6 (NKJV)

               

                               

Jesus continues his comparison by stating that He is the vine and those who follow Him are the branches. That is a potent statement for the disciples to hear. He continues by saying something that must have shaken them to their cores. Simply stated, he tells them they can do nothing to save someone or to minister to their broken spirits unless He is present and working in the circumstance. We must remember this when we present the Gospel to those around us.

 

Per the scripture, those who do not abide in Christ and chose to continue going their own way are punished for their disobedience.

 

Without Jesus’ guidance in our lives, we cannot become the persons He has planned for us to be.  We must learn to remain in Him, no matter what we face in our earthly life.

 

A couple at our church went through a very difficult time. They both lost their jobs; then, they lost their house. The husband decided that they would stay with God and see how He would work things out for them. The church helped them by referring people to them if the people had odd jobs that needed to be done. They found a place to live. He found a new job within walking distance from their new home.  He shared this story when he was asked to speak on Laity Sunday one year.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Abide in Him

 

Jesus is the Centre, Gospel Teaching Life Church


 

 “I am the true vine, and My Father

 is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me

  that does not bear fruit He takes away;

and every branch that bears fruit He

prunes, that it may bear more fruit…

           Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch       

                   cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it                     

abides in the vine, neither can you,

      unless you abide in me.”

John 15: 1,2, and 4 (NKJV)

 

 Jesus speaks to His disciples about the importance of living for Him. He calls God the vinedresser, one who cares for the vine and the yield of fruit. He tells them that He is the vine; His followers are the fruit.

 

In His comparison, the vinedresser (God) prunes the vine for that vine to bear more fruit that stays on the vine matures and flourishes.

 

Is this not what God does for His followers today? Believers beset by difficult, if not traumatic, circumstances in their lives make decisions to either stay with God or go their own ways.

 

What are ways we can abide in Jesus?   

    Through prayer

                Through Bible reading

                Through Bible study

                Through meditation

                Through Journaling  

                Through listening to Him

                Through obeying what He tells us

 

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Friday, October 1, 2021

September Reflections

 

Shining Mom




 

 Surprise, Surprise

September was a surprising month. The weather was more like July than September.

I had been patiently (?) waiting for two copies of a devotional book I ordered. They finally arrived on the 29th. I made several calls to the publisher about them.

I received a new 5G cell phone that put me on a huge learning curve. It took a while, but I believe I have learned to navigate on it. It works somewhat differently.

 

 Medical Stuff

 

I noticed something that concerned me around one of my incision marks. I had a follow-up mammogram. I was due to have one this fall anyway, we just did it early. What I was seeing was NOT a sign of disease. For this I am thankful.

 

Writing, Journaling

 

I believe I have my word for 2022 chosen. I also have my monthly themes in mind.  I will share these in my December Reflections post.

 

I am enjoying journaling thoughts about some scriptures from “The Beauty of an Uncluttered Mind” by Carla Gasser. Here is the link to my previous post. beauty of an uncluttered mind. Each of these scriptures is related to one of the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5.

 

 Prayer Requests

 

With all the upheaval in our world, we must pray for revival, for God’s hand of guidance on His children.

 

 There is a lot of heartache in this world beyond COVID. Hurricanes, Volcanoes erupting, Family Crises, Racial Tensions, Health Problems, Political Unrest, just to name a few.

 

Re-establishing Good Habits

 

I am struggling to return to some good habits in my life.  Also trying to establish some good habits. I must say that some of those bad habits are not because of COVID.

 

 My gift for my friend

 

My friend Anna now lives in an assisted living facility in southern Indiana. I made her a wreath for the door of her apartment. A gentleman from church and Anna’s cousin, also from church, went down to see her one Friday late last month. She called me late that afternoon and thanked me for it. She said it made her cry (Tears of happiness). At first she didn’t realize I had made it. She said it was the prettiest wreath on her floor.               

                                                 

 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

He Shall Endure Forever

 




 

                But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared his throne for                                     judgement. Psalm 9:7 (NKJV)

 

David pens some very deep thoughts in this short verse.

 

The Lord shall endure forever-

 

God will always be there for His children. When I was in college, there was a movement that stated, “God is dead.” I didn’t pay any attention to that thought. I don’t believe the movement survived through the 1960’s. 

 He has prepared His throne for judgment-

                                             Yes, each one of us will be judged as to what we have done about Jesus, the clergy people have studied at university levels to attain the skills to preach, teach, counsel, and lead the flocks God had given them. Missionaries also spend at least one year learning the language of the field where they will minister.

In the medical field, doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and dieticians attend schools in order to gain the knowledge to work where God places them.                 

As Christian believers, we must prepare for worship, both individual and corporate. We must be certain that our hearts are ready to go before the Lord. When we prepare to worship Him, we are then more open to serve Him how and where He chooses.   

 

Yes, God will judge us according to what we have done for Him. Each of us must prepare our hearts to be open to work for Him as He chooses. I have experienced working in different areas of service for God over the years.  As I get older, I can see His hand on my life’s choices more and more.                                                                

 

 

 

                 

 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Prepared for You

Sallman

 

                    

 

Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

                Matthew 25:34 (NIV)

 

These are words spoken by Jesus. He speaks of a reward for those who have been blessed by God.

 

Jesus tells them that they are worthy of God’s kingdom and this kingdom has been prepared for them since the beginning of the world.

 

We know very little about the kingdom of God, (heaven) except what we read in the book of Revelation. It sounds beautiful.

 

I can hardly fathom God’s kingdom being prepared for me, a sinner, that long ago.  God did this out of His grace and mercy to each of us.

 

I always marvel at the writings of Paul. He tells the Romans: (Romans 8:35-37)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long:  we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Nothing can separate us from God’s love. He readily forgives us when we ask to be forgiven for our transgressions against Him and against another.

“He paid a debt He did not owe.” I had a debt I could not pay. We should always try to remember that.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Kingdom Prepared for You

Pinterest


 

                 Come, you blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you. . .”

 Matthew 25:34 (NKJV)

 

In the parable about the sheep and the goats, Jesus tells us of two groups of people. In the verse above, He speaks to those who are “blessed by (His) Father” and have followed Him and spread His word to those they knew. God rewards them and allows them into His Kingdom.

 

Have you ever wondered if you do those deeds that bring Jesus into a situation? I certainly have about what I do or don’t do allows people to see Jesus and to want to know Him.

 

We won’t know what heaven is really like until we get to go there. However, we can learn from scriptures that it is a special, serene, and bright place.

 

A lot of my friends from a former church we attended are experiencing the beauty of heaven. They exemplified God’s love to this fairly young woman and her family as we healed from some terrible hurts.  Because of their grace and compassion, I am not the same person I was. I try to follow their example as I interact with others who are likewise hurting and seeking God’s guidance for their lives.

 

 

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