God's ways are not our ways. His ways are much higher than ours. Isaiah 55:8-9 I've had a rough week physically, and yet, I have enjoyed the comfort of a husband who is the companion I always dreamed of having. Thursday evening, we wanted some home made cookies, but the guys don't know how to make them. So, Larry and I made them together. He brought me the needed ingredients and utensils and, from my recliner, I mixed the dough. He baked them and we all had cookies and milk. It all worked out, with the two of us together. The togetherness was very comforting in the midst of my physical discomfort, not to mention the cookies :) Yesterday, he and Travis went to the pet shop in Rome to pick up my fish order for me. And, today, Larry cooked sloppy joes, corn on the cob, and home-cooked fried potatoes, while I listened to an Audible book and dozed. So, in the middle of agonizing pain, that is much worse than usual, here I have companionship and togetherness that would make the worst pain bearable.
Sometimes, I feel like I am shooting darts in the dark. I am never sure who is listening, or where, as I just see the numbers, usually. Occasional contact from comments, emails, Twitter, or Facebook gives me a chance to reach out and touch someone in a more personal way. But even in the silent anonymity of the every day, it is wonderful to know you are here and listening, wherever you come from, whatever your relationship with the Creator of the Universe. My hope is that something here meets your needs. You are my companions in my discomfort, and I am comforted.
Having published my app in the Android Marketplace this month, I am able to both provide a cohesive place for my readers to access my content all in one place, and to gather a little more information about the location and usage statistics of my readers. Today, I was thrilled to learn I had a new download in the Ivory Coast of Africa, a place I knew little about. I can only try to imagine in my mind who is listening there and what they are looking for. I can pray that God blesses what ever the work is that they are doing and that they find what they are seeking. I am working diligently at getting my app rebuilds in the other marketplaces. But, I am pleased and excited about the 75 downloads from this first month. (The shades of green on the map above shows the location of my downloads.) And, it seems to have increased the daily reader stats on my website, so much so that I am getting some spam from search engines. I changed the comment settings to manually approve comments before posting in the future, which is only to screen out spam. Believe me, I still want your comments. And, keep in mind, private comments in emails are never shared on my blog, unless you specifically authorize me to share.
And, this brings me to my point, in a round about way :) You are, after all, in the same place I am. You meet with struggles that slow you down, and you wonder at the reasons for the impediments that get in your way, (like my increased pain and decreased output this week.) You ask God if you are doing the right thing, and if so, why the obstacles that prevent you. But, open your eyes, and look around you. Aren't you cared for? Aren't you, after all, in the hands of a loving God? If He is punching your time card, what does it matter how He uses your time?
Our weakness reminds us of the strength and power of God. My latest podcast episode is ready at http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ and on the player below. I read in a variety of versions; KJV, NKJV, NIV, and the Living Bible. For a complete transcript of Scripture references, see the Podcast Page.
"I Choose to Praise You"
Used by permission from Mark Snyder
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Tree Hill Collective’s music may be purchased at:
A camel on the beach in Africa is a common sight at low tide. Even more common is the sight of thousands of crabs crawling the beach as the tide turns just after high tide and is ebbing. This is a beautiful view, in the moonlight, as you can still see well as you walk along the beach, amidst the cacophony of the waves crashing around you and the glimmer of the starlight all around.
These guys are showing off their camel and offering rides for shillings at low tide. Here in America, progress has provided many ways to make a living, far in advance of "third-world countries." Yet, our first-world pains seem to be greater than theirs. I noticed years ago, working in the city near Atlanta, progress can be hard to differentiate from decay. Sometimes it's difficult to decide whether the city around you is growing or dying. One of the signs of decay that I noticed was the reliance on "designer drugs." No, I'm not talking about street drugs, or recreational drugs, as they are known, or even the drugs prescribed for medical sickness, but prescribed drugs that people take when they are not sick, for mood or performance enhancing effects.
This was common in the city. I was surprised to learn how common. I won't label names of drugs, because it doesn't really matter what you name your personality or your sex-life, if it comes out of a bottle. Also, I don't really know many of the names, since I am not an expert on drugs. I know only enough to know that doctors lie when they tell you there are "absolutely no side effects" to any drug. Every drug has some side effect or other. This is why I don't like taking any type of drug at all. And, this is why I have kept my neurologist for this long, despite the fact that I dislike him greatly (and I am now getting a second opinion nearer to home.) Number one, he doesn't push pain pills on me, and he agreed to my stance against taking drugs for pain, and gave me a tens unit to help with pain naturally without the use of drugs, Number two, he told me that the drug my urologist has me on does indeed have side effects, despite repeated assurances from my urologist that it doesn't. I refer to this pill, which is the only one I take, as my "pill to take a p--- with," since it makes it possible for me to use the bathroom without self-cathing. (That's supposed to be a funny twist on an old expression that says some folks won't give you p--- to take a pill with," which my doctor did give me in my case, just in reverse.) Supposedly, it has no ill effects, but I am on a large dose, which combined with the effects of the pacemaker for my bladder, makes it possible for me to live a near-normal life.
Not only do some doctors lie, but those who lie often don't care about the safety of drugs. For example, when I woke up from my first surgery, my doctors in Calhoun, Dr. Stephanie J. Brogden and Dr. William L. Theus, had me on morphine. This was to keep me drugged enough to not fully understand all they had done to injure me. They withheld information from me about my injury and my treatment. But, I had the nurses take the morphine out almost immediately, telling them I didn't need morphine and it was causing nightmares and hallucinations, as my visitors can attest. My boss came in after one of the surgeries when I was talking a nurse into getting it taken out for me. Then they sent me home on Darvocet for pain. They gave me several bottles between the two of them, most of which sat in my medicine cabinet, until it ended up in the garbage later, when I discovered it had been finally pulled off the shelf for causing heart attack and irregular heartbeat. These Calhoun doctors had given it to me during the time that many doctors no longer prescribed it, while it was under investigation by the FDA. I'm sure they had their own reasons. 8/
Am I telling you that you can't trust doctors? I'm telling you that if you rely on anyone else's prescription without your own conscious investigation, you will get more than you can read in the prescription scribbling. My doctors are, for the most part, natural method advocates, and vegetarians, who push organic grocery lists on me with the fanaticism of a street-junkie. I noticed too, that the ER physician's assistant at Tanner Hospital here in Haralson County supported my decision when I turned down the prescription for pain medicine when I tore the ligament in my hand. And, the orthopedic doctor in Carrollton didn't even offer me drugs when he reset my finger. So, no, I am not against doctors, just against being stupid sheep following the wrong shepherds. And, I am not against taking medicine advisedly.
I grant you, there are days like this week, when I am in so much pain I can't think clearly. But, even then, I am me. I'm not some drug I took out of a bottle. But, then again, that has always been me. My life has changed so drastically over the past two years that I often find myself searching for the strands that are really me from the different lives that I have led. Am I evolving or am I ebbing, like the tide. When I look at the common elements in my life, the natural world-loving, the fascination with technology, the writing, the refusal to smoke and take drugs from childhood, the search for God, I find that I am only intensifying in those elements that really define who I am. Everything else is temporal and situational.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:6-10 (NLT) (Click the reference link for the NKJV)
Which brings me back around to the question of evolution in the macro... do I believe society is evolving? No, I believe society is becoming more of what it has always been. Crime is intensifying, economic problems are intensifying, and social problems are intensifying. Darwin taught about the "Evolution of Species" as a method of "survival of the fittest." I have to wonder how he could call this evolution. When evolution has played its way out as a theory, what will men believe?
*Today, I am posting early, as I have had several appointments this week, and resume physical therapy this afternoon. I got home from Atlanta too late last night, and I hope to make Bible Study tonight. So, this is it till tomorrow night. Adieu! No, not adieu, because I will be back lol. That should be Au revoir! Until later!
Tonight, I want to begin with quotes taken from a well-known source. One will be added here every 15 minutes, until someone comments with the correct source, (or until I run through all 7 quotes.) Then, I will post the conclusion on this same blog afterwards. In this way, this one blog will be edited several times, and will be in essence a "live" blog. The only rule is... have fun figuring out where I am headed with this. I don't mind however you come up with the answer. * Note: The winner may select from one of my foreign language Bibles as a prize. I have German, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsii (Arabic,) French, or Russian. Remember to comment here on this blog, as I may not see your answer elsewhere fast enough. :)
#7: "To those who much is given, much is lost."
#6: " He fears only the failure to defend his freedom."
#5: "I cannot change the future. You can."
#4: "I have moved every precious stone that people worship upon. And my mark will be left on this world forever.
#3: "I have faith in you. Prove me right.
#2: "Fight for honor. Fight for your children. Fight for your future. Fight for immortality!"
#1: "I will end the reign of the Gods."
As this is my seventh quote, and I have no answer yet, the clock is ticking. I will post the answer in 15 minutes, if no one gets it first. ???????
Update: In the movie Immortals, much like the Clash of the Titans, men were fighting against the gods. The main difference, here the villain was the one fighting against the gods, where the hero was a man determined to stop the gods’ interference in men’s lives in Clash of the Titans. Theseus is presented as a man with a grudge, who relies on the training of a (supposedly) older mentor. I won’t delve into the criticism of the movie casting, and problems with authenticity to the period, though admittedly, the gods appeared to be a trifle young for their years :)
The Director, Tarsem Singh, used the phrase, “Renaissance with electricity” to describe the classical painting style that was mixed with 3D technology. You end up with a Si-Fi fantasy of epic proportions, a real ancient Greek meets modern Tech story.
On 11/11/11 Immortals was launched with a $1.4 million ticket sales in midnight showings and then grossed a total of $14.8 million on its opening day, topping the daily box office. It then finished the weekend of November 11-13, 2011 at #1 with $32.2 million, ranking as the biggest opening weekend to date. The film grossed total box office sales of $226,904,017. That two and a quarter million may not make the producers immortal, but it is enough to be considered “a pretty penny” even by Hollywood’s standards.
“The Gods need a hero,” the tagline, reminded me of the role of Jesus on the cross. The movie left me wondering about the idea of heroism, as it is defined today. The older mentor turns out to be Zeus, of course, the Father of the gods who wants to help Theseus overcome King Hyperion in his quest to see the gods overthrown. A basic good vs. evil story, with the good winning out in the end, it is. But, I want to leave you with the simple question, “ What is a hero, in your eyes?” There is no right or wrong answer to this question, unlike the trivia contest we just played. But, I would like your take. Feel free to comment below, or on Facebook, Twitter, by email at email@example.com, or you can phone in audio comments as anonymous, confidential or shared. The Phone Number for my feedback line is 206-202-4087. I look forward to hearing from you.
As we had no winner to the contest...maybe next time...
Tonight was a local Youth Night at our church. We have them as an opportunity for our kids to do the service one Sunday Night a Month...lot's of drama and games, and special speakers. Tonight Lex Lugar came and preached. The worship service was awesome! There was enough music to qualify it as a "singing" in it's own right. Then there was the Drama and Lex's testimony. I think everybody had a great time and was inspired to reach out to God. The emphasis was quite evangelical, with an altar call by Lex.
The worship service: That's my hubby Larry, the handsome guy playing the guitar on the right. Of course, the service wasn't about him... but, I like the fact that he's there :)
Lex Lugar preaching tonight: He has an awesome testimony about God changing his life!
I didn't get any pictures of the sign-singing, but the Dramatic "Human Video" is pictured below.
They were acting out a Kutless song about struggles.
If you missed it, you really missed it. It's great to have such an active Youth Group, and awesome stuff going on! I think that a church that takes care of the Youth will thrive. I hope your Sunday was just as filled with worship, and your week is blessed!
Nothing stirs my heart like a view of the trees around my house, or the sound of the birds singing in the morning, or a sunrise. It is amazing how God chooses to make His Spiritual truths known by the earthly things around us. My world seems always to have been defined by the physicality of flowers, trees, hills, creeks, and grass. I can look back over every stage of my life, and identify myself by my position in the natural world. Visiting my grandparents, I foraged the mountains. Growing up at home, I rode my bike through the woods and climbed trees. As a College Freshman, I rode my bike around the tree-lined campus, through the falling leaves & falling snow. As a Mother of young children, I took my boys camping on the Boy Scout campgrounds in Georgia, Tennessee, and North & South Carolina. And up until the point I couldn't walk, I rode my bike on scenic roads and trails throughout Georgia, and hiked through the woods for fun. Even now, my day is punctuated by attempts to coax nature indoors.
I love to see the wind...you know, really see the wind. I like seeing the wind pushing the leaves along the road, and tugging a kite through the sky. I enjoy the smell of wild flowers, as they dance in the breeze. The pleasure of lying on the grass barefooted, staring up at the stars in the black sky may be long gone, lost forever in the last year before my surgical accident. But, I find that God's Word and the Spirit remain. The Rhema & the Pneuma are an eternal part of my existence that not only can not be lost, but will keep me found. They are a moving, fragrant, lighted part of my being. They hold me, and lift my spirit higher than a kite could fly. They carry my heart further than the scent of lilacs on a strong breeze. They saturate my soul more fully than the dew on the grass beneath my bare feet, as I lay my soul bare before the Creator of all the splendor around us.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and deity; so that they are without excuse:
Playing word games this morning, I puzzled over the fact that Rhema didn't work...until I remembered that it was Greek, and not English, hence not allowed. Rheme is also used in teaching phonics. The Greek word Rhema means saying or utterance, and Pneuma means spirit. It seems vivid to me that a church service is composed of Rhema and Pneuma; worship in Spirit, and giving of the message.
As you go about your Sunday, I hope your day is filled with both Pneuma and Rhema. I hope you find that which is more than all that is around you: that which is within you.
Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, you inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of you.
My latest podcast episode is ready at http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ and on the player below. For a more complete transcript, see the Podcast Page.
A discussion of the character and qualities of God as He relates to us,
Read aloud from Psalm 89:15-18 (KJV)
Psalms 89:15-18 (NKJV2000) Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance. In your name shall they rejoice all the day: and in your righteousness shall they be exalted. For you are the glory of their strength: and in your favor our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
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"I Choose to Praise You"
Used by permission from Mark Snyder
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Tree Hill Collective’s music may be purchased at:
Once upon a time, God launched a new ministry. Or so points out John Knight in yesterday's post from John Piper's Desiring God Blog. In this touching and inspiring post, John Knight mentions the acident that left Joni Eareckson Tada in a wheelchair, and launched an international ministry. I won't provide you a spoiler, just 4 words he uses to tell us about "God’s sovereignty over disability," and I will leave you to go ahead and click the link and read this, and more of Desiring God...after you finish with me of course :) Don't leave yet.
Not only do I love to read John Piper's blogs, but I enjoy reading about Joni's ministry. Joni reminds me of another wonderful lady, a holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom. I have several of Corrie's books and am amazed at the life in this woman.I highly recommend anything with her name on it. A good book to start with is The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom.
Say That Again!
"When I was on my feet, big boisterous pleasures provided only fleeting satisfaction. In a wheelchair, satisfaction settles in as I sit under an oak tree on a windy day and delight in the rustle of the leaves or sit by a fire and enjoy the soothing strains of a symphony. These smaller, less noisy pleasures are rich because, unlike the fun on my feet, these things yield patience, endurance, and a spirit of gratitude, all of which fits me further for eternity. It is this yieldedness that gains you the most here on earth." -Joni Eareckson Tada
"If a bird is flying for pleasure, it flies with the wind, but if it meets danger it turns and faces the wind, in order that it may fly higher." -Corrie Ten Boom
"Consider Jesus. Know Jesus. Learn what kind of Person it is you say you trust and love and worship. Soak in the shadow of Jesus. Saturate your soul with the ways of Jesus. Watch Him. Listen to Him. Stand in awe of Him. Let Him overwhelm you with the way He is." -John Piper
Job was a man with friends. He had many, as is usually the case with people with money. Job was wealthy and landed, and had 10 children and numerous relatives. But, when he was down on his luck and lost everything in a bad turn of "stocks," his three remaining friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, set down silently and watched him suffer. Apparently more people were watching as well, because one other young man was named, Elihu.
When these men finally decided to speak, they began to take turns roasting him. In order, each of the three told Job that the game was up, that everybody felt like Job had sinned, and that he should just confess his sins and God would forgive him. I like Zophar the most of the three, because he was last to speak, and first to stop accusing Job. He only gave two speeches while the other two gave three each. It is in Job 11:7-10 that Zophar gives his best words. He explains that God is more than we can grasp. But, reading before and after this little excerpt, you see that he is angry at Job, and wants God to show him a thing or too. He even uses obvious profanity in Job 11:12, calling him the son of a donkey for maintaining his wisdom. The problem is, despite the fact that he says here that we can't "study God," he continues to lecture on, presuming to know the mind of God. Eliphaz was focused on his experiences. I like to think of him as the Pentecostal of the group. Bildad "the Baptist" was concerned with tradition. But, Zophar was the "Spiritualist" of the group. He was like an Independent or Free Will "nondenominational" christian today, and he was sure he knew what God was thinking.
There sat poor Job in the ash heap, putting up with as much "companionship" as he could take. Look at the passage again... Job 11:7-10 Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the limits of the Almighty? It is as high as heaven; what can you do? deeper than Sheol; what can you know? The measure of it is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. If he cuts off, and shuts up, or gathers together, then who can hinder him? He knew the right words. He knew that God was too high& deep, too long & broad to be measured, and that there was no stopping God from what He set His mind to do. What did Zophar miss out on? A lot...grace, Calvary, the Omniscience of God, God's eternal love... he was blind to God's heart.
Hold onto God in your trials. He did not just create you and leave you to work it out on your own. God is the Creator and Sustainer of Life. He has a plan for your life, and He is working your life out just according to His plan. Nothing that happens to you shocks Him. Don't take my word for it... listen to Job, Joni, John Piper, John Knight & Corrie Ten Boom.
Almost four hundred years ago, the Pilgrims first landed near the site of modern Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod in November 1620 before moving to Plymouth. They came for freedom of religious beliefs, among other things. I won't delve into the dark corners of the U.S. Constitution, which has been so violated to this point in time that it is a document of the past. But, suffice it to say that today we are told what we are and are not allowed to say. Simply expressing your views is considered hate-speech, or "politically incorrect." In other words, there is a right and a wrong speech. And, this right and wrong is not defined as based on any law or code. It is an unwritten law, based on an anti religious sentiment. No more do people look at your beliefs and say, "That is against the Bible." They just accuse you of using hate speech.
"Freedom of Speech" by Norman Rockwell http://www.best-norman-rockwell-art.com/norman-rockwell-saturday-evening-post-article-1943-02-20-freedom-of-speech.html
I have to question, just how much freedom do we have? Are we free to speak our mind, like the man in the Norman Rockwell painting that is such an icon of Americana? Do we have freedom of religious beliefs? Do we maintain our rights as they were guaranteed in the constitution? What do you think?
Jesus gave us the Great Commission before He ascended into the clouds. Our goal today is to carry out that commission. The internet provides many useful tools that can make us more effective as fishers of men. Jesus has instructed us to be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves in Matthew 10:16. Jesus also said in Matthew 28:18-20 that all power is given to us in heaven and in earth. “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Tonight, I would like to share with you a new website I have built. The site is titled...
"Your ministry is the way you love people." Rich Mullins
The purpose of this new website is to provide Ministry tools for teachers, ministers, evangelists, laypeople, music ministry, and internet ministry, so that the internet can be used for fulfilling the Great Commission, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have included on it the first in a set of Technology videos on How to use online resources to mix Music and sound files in a way that does not require expensive recording equipment. The site also contains free Devotional Wallpapers, and online access to my collected Morning & Evening Scripture Devotional Tweets, and a page of Jesus-Speak Quotes. I am sharing the video below as well, though it is easiest viewed full-screen at the YouTube link. My prayer is that you find something useful. Please leave me comments or send confidential feedback via the form on the website with suggestions. God bless you!
This website has been published in part since I started work on it in late January. I just got it ready for launch today, though I've noticed it picked up quite a bit of traffic (uncharacteristically) some how. I later included a link to it in my Reason2BelieveHim App as well. So, if you've seen it in part, it is now ready to view in working mode :)