Thursday, January 21, 2021

Book Review: The Beauty of an Uncluttered Soul

 


Written by Carla Gasser, Illustrated by Vivian Kammel

 

Carla Gasser has done outstanding work on this book. She guides the reader through a devotional study of the Fruit of the Spirit. She does this by making this more than a devotional; she makes this book a Bible study as well.

 

Ms. Gasser draws on several scriptures for each Fruit of the Spirit. She also cites several other author’s works to bring the reader to a better understanding.

Vivian Kammel has created a masterpiece on almost every page of the book. She used watercolor illustrations of florals. At one point she placed succulents on the pages. On another, she painted peaches.

 

I would recommend this to anyone who is serious about their walk with God. I believe it could be studied in a group study as well as an individual study. Ms. Gasser suggests this be a nine-week study. She has given us a lot to digest about each quality we call the Fruit.

 

This book is available online at Amazon.com in the hardback and Kindle forms.

            (Click on the ‘look inside’ link to see the beauty of the illustrator’s work.)

 

It is also available at Christianbook.com in hardback and eBook forms.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New Song

 

www.sheetmusic.com


 

I waited patiently for the LORD he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit. Out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)

 

David penned these words. It speaks of God’s rescuing him from his sins

God gave David new words to say and sing as he praised the LORD. David believes that others will see what has happened in David’s life and they will want to follow and live for the LORD.

 

I waited patiently for the LORD,

 

David learned what each of us must learn. He learned to wait patiently on God. I know I have had times where I thought the LORD needed me to tell Him how to correct something, to heal someone, to allow someone else to see their wrongness in a circumstance. Some of those requests go answered but only temporarily.

 

he turned to me and heard my cry.

 

God heard David’s cry, He also hears our laments for the needs of our families, our friends,  our nation, and our world. God does this out of His compassion for us, His children.

 

He lifted me out of the slimy pit.

 

The Lord brought David up from the sin that had engulfed him. He does the same for us if we ask Him to. When we seek God with our whole hearts, He hears and sees our sincerity and honors those requests.

 

Out of the mud and mire,

 

When the LORD saw David was in a terribly bad circumstance, He took David out of that terrible mess.  One of the scenes of western movies and television show is when full-grown men get into a fistfight on a wet and muddy street. When the men get knocked down into the mud, I cannot help but think how difficult it would be to get all that mud off them and their clothes.

 

 he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

 

God gave David a foundation. One that was firm. He allowed David to stand, not lie down. The Lord does the same for us when we seek His guidance out of a difficult problem. As we turned onto the interstate to go to Indy for my appointment with my surgeon recently. My eyes caught the “Fingers of God” in the sky. That scene followed us almost all the way down the road to our destination. That scene and its message was my rock and the firm place I can stand on. My surgeon pronounced me healed.

 

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God

 

David wrote a number of praise passages to the LORD. I can confidently speak of God’s goodness to me and praise God for all He has done and will continue to do for me.

 

Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

 

We do not know how many people saw David and the LORD through him. All those who read the Psalms get a glimpse of David’s thankfulness and devotion to God. I trust that people I meet will see God through me and that they desire to know Him.

Friday, January 15, 2021

New Creature

 

Shutterstock


 

So, from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NIV)

 

Paul tells the believers at Corinth and us that we are to view others as God looks upon them not as humans do. Have we looked down on someone because he or she looked different than ourselves? Because they do not have things as nice as we have? Or is it that they seem to have things better than what we have, and they seem to let us know they do? Have their actions been contrary to what is appropriate? Maybe their language is not as refined as ours?

 

One of the first lessons we may have learned as Christians is that we are not to judge others. Instead, we are to pray for them. We do not know their circumstances. When we pray, we must ask God to give us His eyes with which to view them.

 

Then Paul explains why. Once a person asks God into their hearts, He takes away the bad things and replaces them with good things, things that reflect Him and His love for all mankind.

 

I must confess, I am guilty of looking at a person wrongly. I witnessed behavior that went against the plan of the person that headed up a project of which I was a part. I chose not to say anything because I was new to this group. Recently, have been asked to pray for that erring person. I want to be fully honest before God about this person’s behavior and how it affected me. Please pray for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

If My People. . .

 



if my people, who are called by my name,

 will humble themselves and pray

 and seek my face

 and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven,

 and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

These are God’s words. He spoke them at the dedication of His Temple. As I turned off the television last Wednesday morning. I just wanted to find out the latest information about two news stories in our nation. The first one story had the ending I hoped for. The second one gave me a sense of this one was going to turn into an ‘on-going’ tale that would only bring more heartache to our nation.

 

I clicked off the television, buried my head in the pillow, and cried out found myself saying, “God, please heal our land.” The next thing I knew, I found myself thinking of the above verse.

 if my people, who are called by my name,

God has aimed this message at those who bear His name. As His children and followers of Jesus Christ, His Son. He is speaking about us.

 

will humble themselves and pray

There is an order here that God expects us to follow. We are to humble ourselves first. By this, I have come to realize that we must face the reality that we are imperfect and only God is perfect. We must tell Him when we have done something He does not like.

 

and seek my face

We are to not hold back and hide from God. We are to search for Him and look into His face as we make our confessions.

and turn from their wicked ways,

God wants us to renounce our bad habits and our ways of living that do not bring glory to Him. If this seems difficult for us, we need to give that habit over to Him and let Him guide us through the process of changing our thoughts, or our habits.

 

then I will hear from heaven,

God states that He will hear our confessions and our prayers. He always hears them, no matter how long or short they happen to be.

 

and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God forgives us when we confess our sins. That is His business. He also will heal our land. We truly need Him to heal our nation. We must do our part before He can work out our needs.

 

An added thought: I have seen several references to this scripture since this horrific event occurred. God is trying to tell us something if we would only listen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New Mercies

 

Zazzle


 

Because of the LORD’S great love we

are not consumed

for his compassions never fail.

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

 

What is Jeremiah telling us in this passage?

 

We know we live in a world that is upended by strife and dissension. However, we have a God who loves us, protects us, and stands with us as we go through our daily lives.

 

Because of the LORD’S great love, we are not consumed,

 

God loves each of us as if we were the only person in this world. His desire is to keep His children safe. 

 

For his compassions never fail.

 

God’s love and grace always come through each time we request His help for any circumstance we find ourselves or our loved ones.

 

They are new every morning.

 

On each dawning day, God brings to His children many blessings. Some of these come in the form of blessings. We have so very much to be thankful for. Jeremiah tells us there are many of these mercies. Each day we must be mindful of each of God’s compassions to us.

 

great is your faithfulness.

 

Yes, God is always faithful to us. I find it especially comforting that He exercises this attribute even when we are not. Sometimes, I get bogged down in my own issues and forget that God is in control. He waits for me to get it through my head that He is beside me, ready to guide me through the problem.

 

Please think about how often God has been faithful to you, even when maybe you were not.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Welcome 2021

 


 

It is a new year! We welcome it into existence.

Bing Images-Concept Draw

 

What has God planned for this new year? Only He knows. All we can do is trust in Him and obey Him. A hymnist tells us there is no other way.

Each year, I sit at my computer and make out writing plans for the twelve months. Due to my humanity, I forget those plans. In 2020, I did search for outlets for my writing. I plan to make a better effort to be more diligent in this.

 

Word for 2021

 

In selecting my word for this year, I considered many terms. As I understand the idea behind doing this, I know the chosen word is one that I believe will guide me through the upcoming year. My word for 2021 is Abide.

 

My choice of this word is based on the thought that I will need to live close to God in this coming year. I do not know what God has in store for me and my family, but I want to remain in His will, whatever comes across my path.

 

Peace and Blessings in this New Year to each of you and your families.  

                     

Thursday, December 31, 2020

December Reflections

 

Etsy.com


 

December was different for a lot of us, including our family. Due to COVID-19, our son chose not to be with us for the Christmas holiday.

My best friend took me to do some Christmas shopping on Monday of Christmas week. I could not find most of what I had on my list to purchase.

 

I had a post-op appointment with my surgeon on December 29, I believed I was at 2/3 the way of my healing time. She told me I was healed and could do ALMOST anything I wanted to do. The only thing was when we returned home, I removed my hat and coat and realized I did not have my left hearing aid. (Think glasses ear shaft, mask string, and over-the-ear- hearing aid.) I found it or rather it came back to me. I put a juice container into our recycle bag. I heard something hit the side of the container and stopped and looked. At first, I thought it was my other hearing aid. It was the errant one.

 

In the process of searching for it, I called and asked one of the women at the hospital if someone had found it. I alerted my local prayer group and my Sunday school leader of my need. I notified those from whom I requested prayer that I found it.

My writing activity was sparse.  My plan is to do better in this area. My thoughts were on Advent and different aspects of the season.

 

Looking Ahead

 

As I sit in my living room, I have started rereading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. Reading this book has given me a new perspective on prayer. I would like to be able to share the information in this book with others.

 

I also have gotten back to the book, Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable by Dr. William Marty. There is a lot of meat in this book. Each parable has a section called “Reflections”, a series of questions designed to make the reader think and apply the lesson of each parable to him or herself.

 

In the next few days, I will do research and compile a list of books I intend to read or reread. I heard a speaker at a writing conference say he read 52 books a year. I know I cannot read that many. I am not sure of how many I can realistically read. I believe I can handle at least 12.

 

My Proposed list:  This is a partial list.

 

Two devotional books: one classic, one currently written.

 

Two books dealing with my word for 2021. 

 

Two books already on my bookshelves.

 

Two books on the writing craft.

 

 

Book Review: The Beauty of an Uncluttered Soul

  Written by Carla Gasser, Illustrated by Vivian Kammel   Carla Gasser has done outstanding work on this book. She guides the reader thr...