Are You Still Breathing?

These words offered such refreshment and a stark reminder that not only our prayers but our daily praise protects us from the schemes of Satan. Praise Him.

WOMEN'S WINDOW

chickadee

One . . . Two . . . Three . . .

© Jeanne E Webster  All Rights Reserved

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Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.   — Psalm 150:6

One bitterly cold January morning I peered out my dining room window and glimpsed the neighborhood birds gobbling down the tasty seeds from the freshly filled bird feeder. A petite chickadee perched on a tree sprig close to the window quickly caught my attention as it waited patiently for the traffic to clear at the feeder. Its perky acrobatic maneuvers exuded a cocky, high-spirited cheerfulness. Enthralled, I inched closer to the window as my spirit was transformed from the winter blues of a dark frigid morning to a light-heartedness I sorely needed.

Suddenly this cheery, comedic creature thrust its breast forward, threw its head upwards to the sky and babbled out a crisp “chick-a-dee-dee-dee!” It was at that moment I spotted a…

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PHILOS

640px-friends_logo_svg

The Christmas season is always a time of reflection and a time for remembering all of our family and friends. “Philos” is the Greek word for friend and it means someone dearly loved; someone dearly prized in a personal and intimate way, a trusted confident, held dear, in a close bond of personal affection. A friend of God was so special that God only spoke of and named two – Moses and Abraham. (Exodus 33:11, James 2:23). For Jesus, obedience to love is a requirement for His friendship and this call of friendship it’s not a simple warm and fuzzy feeling but a call to obedience – a high call to friendship is what Jesus commands, so it’s not surprising that God only names two friends.

As I reflect in this Christmas season and the events of the past year, especially in America and around the world, I was searching for what was missing. At first, the word “civility” came to mind and that would be true, and then the words “honor” and “respect” came to mind and both those words are true. America has been deficit in civility, honor, and respect for a very long time. It reflects in the events of the past year, the hostile interactions among people, perhaps even in our own families, individually and among each other. But the thing that is missing runs much deeper than civility, honor, or respect, those are merely the symptoms. What’s missing is love – genuine and authentic love and since God is love it can only be concluded that what is missing is God and the friendship of His love – God’s life-giving love.

Recently, I ran across this study and cannot claim it as my own but it states this perfectly. The reason Christmas is a time of reflection and a time for remembering all of our family and friends is because it is the time that God sent his one and only Son into the world to bring us all this life giving love. In the gospel of John, John the beloved disciple tells us that God is the source of all love (4:7-8); God models what genuine love is (4:9-10); and God commands us to love each other (4:11-12). We move from the assertion that God is love to the command that we are to love each other. We can trace the relationship between God’s love and human love, and show how human love flows from God’s own love. God is the source of love. Like the electricity running through electrical wires, love comes from God to us, and then flows through us to others in the community. When John exhorts his readers, let us love one another, he is encouraging them to allow God’s love to flow through them. For because God is love, love must characterize those who claim to be born of God or to know God (John 4:7, 3:10, 14, 4:20-21). Those who claim to be doing the will of God and reflecting God’s activity in the world will be known by the love they manifest for God and for each other.

What do you think? Who do you know among your circle of friends expressing this type of love? For me, this love was clearly expressed in Miss Bertie Mae Dalton. Miss Bertie Mae went home on July 7, 2016, this past year, but Miss Bertie Mae was a friend of mine. And I am thinking of her this Christmas season and she is dearly missed. She became a fast friend simply by reflecting the obedience and love of God as it showed up brightly in the character of her life. I am sure that Jesus now calls Miss Bertie Mae his friend. I know I do.  Merry Christmas ~ (John 3:16)

 

 

 

 

A Grateful Daughter

Vessels Ministry Praise

As a Christian I am not a religion. I have put on the greatest honor of the name of Christ and I am fully clothed in His identity. I do not deserve this honor and I am humbled each and every day that He has offered me His Grace. I am not worthy and the only thing that allows me worthiness of declaring I am Christian is His Grace, great sacrifice, and indwelling presence. This was a costly gift therefore it is not it is not to be taken for granted and it is definitely not about me. It is all about Christ. He has graciously brought me to this knowledge and the end of my “self” and for that I have the deepest of gratitude and thankfulness, and all I want to do is to know and imitate all that He is in the fulfillment of His great purpose and tell others.

This makes me a follower of Christ and endues the desire to be an imitator of all that He is. I know this within my spirit because it agrees with His spirit that dwells within me as they talk with each other. He has generously gifted His Spirit and His Word, and with the help of these gifts I can learn how to imitate Him. In imitating Him I want to please Him, and to please Him I desire only what He desires. He has revealed Himself in many ways but clearly in His Word as it expresses what He desires and commands as Lord.

Love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength; walk humbly
Love my neighbor as myself; show mercy, do what’s right and care about people
and make more disciples as this experience is shared with others in what I have come to know and experience about Him.

Christ instructs all His followers to go and this does not mean that I have to take a trip. It means that each and every day no matter where I am, what I do, or my circumstance, I am called and compelled to talk about Him and walk like Him in all that I say and do. This is the challenge and my daily cross because of the nature of my flesh and He provides help with this also as I remain focused and devoted to Him, through His Word, by staying in prayer, and spending time with others who mutually desire this same Christ likeness and fellowship, support, and encouragement in Christian love and forgiveness because we are building upon what He calls His church, which by the way is not about a building although we are grateful in support because we do meet there and He is there also. It’s really more about “a building upon” and it’s all about living out the life in His spirit because of His sacrifice and to His great glory.

In other words, when speaking individually it is about Christ living in me, operating through me, as me, as I clothe myself in His identity as a Christian, in honor of His great name in demonstration and devotion and by telling others. Amen: Y
(Galatians 2:20)

More than Morsels – Believe

Vessels Ministry Believe

Since the beginning of time humanity has doubted the authority of God and His Word. Satan first sowed the seed of doubt with Eve when he presented the question of God’s authority in the Garden. (Genesis 3:1) Unfortunately, Eve took the bait and humanity has been in turmoil ever since but even then God has a plan for the redemption of sinful man. (Genesis 3:15) With that said, God has provided man with every provision needed and countless reasons to believe in the authority, authenticity, and divine inspiration of His Word; yet man still has only two reasons to object ,or not believe, and sadly these reasons have not changed. As noted, since there are countless reasons to believe, seven of those reasons can find witness in one significant verse and provide testimony to the inspirational authority of God and His voice in the divinely inspired words of scripture in the Bible. Even though there are many significant proofs for each reason mankind can only object with two choices and these have not changed since the beginning of time.

God himself provides witness and testimony to scripture when he declares that: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Therefore, since Scripture declares it so and since Scripture is God Breathe; God declares it so. Furthermore, God declares it through His Son Jesus and in eyewitness account through the Disciples, the prophetic Word, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Prophets, the Disciples and the very eyewitness account of His son Christ’s glory as we are given a most inclusive and conclusive truth in inspired scripture:

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses to his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was every produced by the will of man, but man spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:16-21)

This scripture alone provides substantial reasons to believe in the inspiration of the Bible but there is also the miracle of the Word itself, in prophesy, in history and the proof of numerous authenticated historical and archaeological accounts, eyewitness accounts, in Christ Himself in His fulfilment of His birth, death, burial and resurrection, in His uncounted told and untold miracles, both documented and undocumented, and in Moses and the Law which Christ has also fulfilled. There are overwhelming reasons to believe in the authority of God, the authority and inspiration of the Bible. The angels proclaim it and the even the demons know and yet there are remain reasons for objection in unbelief and rejection which was recognized and experienced by Jesus and unfortunately still exists today. (Luke 2:10, Luke 4:41, Acts 19:15, Matthew 8:28-34)

“Though he had done so many signs before them, the still did not believe in him.”

(John 12:37)

“So Jesus said to him, unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

(John 4:48)

“Jesus said to him, “Go, your son will live. The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.” (John 4:50)

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

A Grateful Daughter – Time to Time

time-is-eternal

“Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my day, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4

 

Time is a precious treasure and this year especially time has been a most precious resource as the year began with two goals in mind. A first goal was to complete the final editing and publication of a book titled A Grateful Daughter; Buckets of Gratitude Bags of Burdens, a devotional study in gratitude in which was in time a grateful blessing. The second goal was just as intensive as it began with a formal academic study in God’s Word and will be in time – a grateful blessing. Without saying, the completion of these goals left a mere fraction of remaining time but the goals have proven worthy. Next time ~

So grateful to draw refreshment in you through your time and treasure from time to time.

~ Amen : Y

Are you Piqued in the News?

The Good News

The Good News

Did you know? Have you heard? The Good News!

This Sunday, May 1st many Christians in the United States will gather at our Nation’s Capital to participate in the 27th Capitol Bible Reading Marathon. Beginning on that day through May 5th there will be 90 continuous hours of Scripture reading from God’s Word, from beginning to end and cover to cover, the reading will begin in Genesis and will continue through the book of Revelation.

The purpose of this marathon is to demonstrate a few clearly stated goals:

  • Honor God’s Holy Word
  • Celebrate Christian’s First Amendment Freedoms of Speech, assembly, religion and set aside denominational differences and unify the diverse body of Christ around the Holy Bible.
  • A call to the nation to return to God’s precepts and lay a solid foundation for the National Day of Prayer that will commence on May 5th.

The foundational scripture for the event is Isaiah 55:11, which says,

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Did you know about this event? I must say, I was not aware. I am very familiar with the National Day of Prayer on May 5th; but I did not know about this scripture reading event which surprisingly has been occurring for the past 27 years! Yes, the past 27 years!

Did you know about it? Have you participated in this event? The news definitely piqued my interest. What about you? Will you answer the call? Will you go? Will you read? Will you pray?  Will you participate?

A call to read scripture is after all a “precept call” you know and this event is  symbolically a national call to the reading of God’s Word. It is a powerful demonstration of unity. As I was reading about this event I was imagining Christians, in all of America, on a pilgrimage to our Nation’s Capital to hear a complete reading of God’s Word!   Just close your eyes for a moment. Can you just imagine it?!

It is a powerful image – a Christian pilgrimage call.

So how did I discover the news of this event?  Well the “good news” and interestingly enough, as I was reading and studying God’s Word my focus this day was “precepts”. I was studying Psalm 19 and had just searched for the Greek meaning of the word precept, which by the way is “Piqqud”.  Ironically, my interest and attention had been piqued specifically in the study of Psalm 19:7 which says;

“The law of the Lord is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the testimony of the Lord is sure,

making wise the simple;

the precepts of the Lord are right,

rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is pure,

enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the Lord is clean,

enduring forever;

the rules of the Lord are true,

and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,

even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey

and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned;

in keeping them there is great reward.

Did you hear what God is saying? Did you soak it all in? It’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? Isn’t God and His Word just the most amazing thing you have ever encountered? He reveals Himself to us in so many ways and in Psalm 19, God reveals Himself to us in the most amazing and inexpressible way. His words and His precepts are “drippings of the honeycomb” and they just taste all so sweet!   Amen.

But do you think at this event, God’s precious Word, these pearls as they are read, will be read as mute words to the ears of the hearers? How many people will attend this event? Do you know? Have you heard? Will this event also symbolically reflect the call to God’s Word in Isaiah? Have you read what Isaiah 28:10 says? Isaiah speaks of the dullness of hearing and God’s firm response.

“For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” God’s Sovereign Word Spoken into the World. Did you know it is a precept call?

Will you answer the call? Will you go? Will you read? Will you pray? Will you reflect and soak in all the pearls, the treasure that lives in God’s Word?

He promises that His Word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

So beloved let not our ears be dull as we continue the study of Psalm 19, word for word, precept upon precept, line for line and then move on, as the spirit leads, to the very center of God’s Word in Psalm 119. There we discover another honeypot and the sweet drippings from the honeycomb.

I will commit to dedicate this time to pray for all those who will attend this year; for all those who knew and heard the call. I will especially and fervently pray for all those who may hear for the very first time, the treasure that is spoken in the Good News.  I know it will not return void.  Amen :Y

 

 

 

 

A Grateful Daughter – Fingerprints

 

Vessels Ministry Handprints in Colors

 

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1: 3-5)

Have you ever stopped to think about all those people who have touched your life?   We have all been impacted by people in positive and sometimes negative ways by those we have encountered along the way during the course of our life journey.

Sometimes we forget to remember.

Perhaps your parents, your dad, your, mother, your sister, your brother, your daughter, your son, your grandchildren, your aunt, your uncle, your cousin, your niece, your nephew, your friends, your in-laws, your neighbors, your boss, your coworker, your ( you fill in the blank), a merchant, and yes, especially a stranger.

Sometimes we forget to remember.

Just as the bees and the butterflies pollenate the flowers, people also can influence and transform our own souls into flowing and beautiful gardens in the sowing of the seeds.

Sometimes we forget to remember that it did not all begin in the garden – in Eden you know. When the earth was touched by Satan and it was he who touched the life of Eve, and Eve the life of Adam. You know that story. But God tells us it all began before Eden, before the foundation of this world. We are not random, a serendipity, a coincidence. God has a plan and in that plan he has a purpose for each and all of our lives. There is a reason in every season of our lives and not a single touch is random.

I think about those people. The ones who touched my life, and I think about all those people, and how I may have touched their own. It can be a convicting remembrance.   What fingerprints did I leave on the lives of others? Did I touch them with good, or in harmful a way.  Was it the print God intended for me to leave, or did I smear my prints in willful disobedience.

Yet it is God who touches the life of all and in Him there is remembrance in all good things. His fingerprints are clean and sure. They leave no smears. He does not make mistakes and in his mercy he will forget to remember our own. So how will you touch the lives of others?  What fingerprints will you leave behind? What gardens will you sow when you touch the lives of others?  Will you forget to remember?

More than Morsels – TRUTH

More than Morsels

More than Morsels

The doctrine of biblical inerrancy is an extremely important one because the truth does matter. This issue reflects on the character of God and is foundational to our understanding of everything the Bible teaches. The issue of distorting the truth is not a new phenomenon. Since the beginning of time, Satan has been using the distortion of truth as a means to deceive man and dethrone God. (Genesis 3)

Not much has changed since the days of Jesus. As Pilate responded to Jesus, when “Pilate said to him, “What is truth”. (John 18:18)   Just as Pilate questioned truth so do many today.

Not much has changed since the days of Paul as he provided exhortation to Timothy regarding the false teachers that were infiltrating the body of new believers. (2 Timothy)

Not much has changed as the world attempts so vigorously to deny and distort the Word of God. Just as the ideology of Darwinism, creationism, and theories of “millions of years”, as many attempt to insert doubt into Genesis and discredit God’s Word. (Charles Darwin, 1859)

Not much has changed as today the church is being infiltrated by false teachers with their process of bible interpretation, teaching and preaching the bible interpretation of “Eisegesis”; the process by which the bible is being manipulated to serve the purpose of man through social and ideological change, while adapting scripture to personal opinions and agendas.

No, not much has changed.

As Christians it is vital to know the truth in the Word of God, knowing that “not much has changed” in the world. Christians are called to “armor up” and equip themselves for battle and for service in God’s perfect and undistorted Truth. They are not to be blinded by whims of the world but mature, and firmly rooted and grounded in God’s Truth.
(Ephesians 6:13-19) (Colossians 1:28-29) (Colossians 2:6-9)

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”(2 Timothy 3:16)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

(2 Timothy 2:15)

“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy or Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was every produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
(2 Peter 1:19-21)

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
 
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”  (Ephesians 6:13-19) 
 

 
As we prayerfully read, study, and reflect in God’s Word let each of us be diligent to the hearing of truth as God “leads us out” through His Word of Truth. Not as Satan attempts to distort man and “lead us into” temptation with ideological ideas and opinions of personal interpretations. ~ Amen.

“The authority of God’s Word is higher than man’s traditions, culture practices, experience, church teaching, philosophy and opinions.” (Bible Doctrine Survey)
 

“This people honors me with their lips,

But their heart is far from me;

In vain do they worship me,

Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”.

(Mathew 15:8-9) (Mathew 15:1-9)