Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Reprieve from the Smoke


You don't realize how much you have missed seeing the hills until they come back into view again!  I did not take the photos above, someone posted them on Facebook.  It's of the blue bridge that goes from Washington to Idaho.  We cross this bridge often.

We have been shrouded in smoke for a long time due to the enormouse wildfires burning in Idaho and Washington states. We are deeply grateful to the firefighters that have come to fight these fires to keep us safe from the flames.  The smoke has been in the hazardous range, but I would rather have smoke than flames!

So grateful to God for allowing us this reprieve from the smoke.  There is hope!  I know it's only a short reprieve, but I'm taking advantage of it while I can!

Marsha's Musings: Bible Study 1 Peter 1:10-12




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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Living According to Who You Are in Christ


I was listening to the radio this morning while paying my bills. The guest was James Brian Smith, author of "The Good and Beautiful God".  I was struck by what he had to say.

So often we are told we are sinners saved by grace and that is true.  But so many preachers don't go on to tell Christians who they are in Christ. They are saints. The Apostle Paul writes to the saints in his epistles.  We are told in Scripture that we are new creatures in Christ.

 Romans 1:7
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because the emphasis is so often that we are sinners saved by grace and it ends there, people live according to the identity that they are a sinner.  They continue to sin  because they believe they are sinners, and sinners sin. They believe they are helpless and can't stop, therefore they find themselves in a cycle of besetting sins that they can't get out of.  They have no victory in their lives.  They are working at the level of their own sheer will power to defeat sin.

As sinners saved by grace, we need to live in the reality that we are new creatures in Christ.  Who are you in Christ?  You are a saint in Christ.  Therefore, live in that reality. The work is done on the level of keeping Christ ever before us, not on the level of trying by our own will to not sin.

For example, lets say you have a problem with swearing.  Would you swear in front of your godly grandmother?  NO!  So you can control when and where you swear.  Therefore, if you always keep Christ before you, you will not want to sin.  So the work is done on the level of always keeping Him before you in all you do.  Would you swear knowing He is beside you?  NO!  He is beside you, so you need to keep that reality before you and then you will not want to sin.

Proverbs 15:3 [Full Chapter]

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

A lot of people make excuses for their behavior by saying, "Well, I am just a sinner saved by grace."  Think of the butterfly.  It was once a worm before it became a butterfly.  Saying, "Well, I am just a sinner saved by grace is like the butterfly saying, "I'm just a worm with wings."

If you always find your identity as a sinner, then you are going to sin.  But if you find your identity in Christ as a saint, you will realize that you do not have to sin.  This isn't sinless perfection by any means.  We still have remaining sin that will tempt us, but we do not have to cave to it and keeping Christ before us will help us not to cave.

Matthew Henry said, "Meekness, in the school of the philosophers, is a virtue consisting in a mean between the extremes of rash excessive anger on the one hand, and a defect of anger on the other; a mean which Aristotle confesses it very hard exactly to gain. Meekness, in the school of Christ, is one of the fruits of the Spirit."

I think what Matthew Henry said fits quite nicely with what I heard on the radio today.  Too many Christians are trying to live in the school of the philosophers instead of in the school of Christ and that is why they have no victory over sin in their lives....me included.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pansies & Colin Twedell


I saw this photo on Facebook and it reminded me of the 90 year old retired veteran missionary to China with the Inland China Mission.  He taught our Sunday School class and boy was he a good teacher!  

It was the Senior Citizen class. We attended that class because we felt out of place in all the other classes. The young married class was too young. We had been married 8 or 9 years already. The next class up was focused on young parents and we had no children.  The class above that was focused on parents of school aged through high school kids and we had no children.  So we joined the seniors class because it was focused on the Word of God.

The seniors took a once a month field trip to various places and I would go along to help out.  One Saturday we all went to the gardens in Vancouver B.C.  That was back in the days when we could cross the border freely.

Colin Twedell was a bit feeble and so he rode in a wheelchair which I pushed for him.  There were pansies growing along the way and Colin told me how funny it was that people call each other pansies as a form of insult. He said it's really a compliment because pansies are one of the toughest flowers around. They can withstand very harsh winters and still  push up through the snow and bloom.

I have never forgotten that. I remember Colin Twedell every time I see the face of one of these precious flowers.
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Enjoying Solitude on Another Smokey Morning

It's been a while since I sat outside on the patio.  DJ was dancing the dance of joy when he saw me bringing my stuff out.

The smoke from the 150 plus fires surrounding our valley hangs in the air, veiling the hills across the river from us.  It's not bothering me too much. I am wearing my personal filter stream around my neck. It pulses out puffs of negative ions to chase the airborne pollution away from my breathing space.

Filter Stream Air Tamer

I thought I should enjoy sitting outdoors while I can because today will be 108 degrees.  Yesterday was 106 or 107 depending on what thermometer you looked at.

I didn't sleep too good last night.  My cell phone battery went dead in the middle of the night and started pinging it's displeasure at being out of juice.  That woke me up around midnight momentarily and then again at 2:30am.  I got up and shut it off and went to the bathroom and took a sleep aid so I could go back to sleep, but at 3am the kids came home after a night of star gazing and looking for the meteor shower.  So sleep was not real great last night.

This morning I got up and hurried around so I could be ready to follow Rick to the auto mechanic to drop off the car and then take him to work. On the way home I got behind three over-sized loads heading to Asotin.  It looked like cement bridge parts.  They narrowly missed taking out the traffic lights as they went under them as well as the Fleshman Bridge. On coming traffic made a wide berth for them by driving on the shoulder.  Can't blame them.  I would too.

So now I am sitting out here drinking my green tea and setting menu plans for the next seven days.  I shop tomorrow.  Saturday night I have an extra mouth to feed and Sunday I have possible two extra mouths to feed.  Then Monday, Wednesday and most of Thursday I have the house to myself pretty much all day and Tuesday we travel to Spokane for Rick's work.  The kids will be gone on a camping trip Monday through Thursday.

Friday through Monday I am dog sitting four dogs for the neighbors.  One is old, blind, has no teeth and wears a diaper when indoors.  He has to be spoon fed twice a day.  That will be time consuming and I am hoping to figure out a way I can just keep him here at my house so I don't have worry about him during the day. At night he would go back to his crate at his house.  We'll see.

Well, I am off to get the rest of my day going...menus are done, need to shop the cupboards.  Then I have a bunch of clutter to put away to make the house presentable for company on Saturday/Sunday.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Reasons to Rejoice 1 Peter 1:6-9

I realize I am back tracking in 1 Peter, I thought I had forgotten to focus on these verses.  So here are my observations this morning.  However, you might like to look at my previous post that I had forgotten about.  Interesting how God shows you different things at different times from the same passage.


Here are my observations from earlier:


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Monday, August 10, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Not Self Serving 1 Peter 1: 10-12

“As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-things into which angels long to look.”
1 Peter 1:10-12 NASB


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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Searching for a Good Night's Sleep

 

As I have become older, sleep has become more elusive.  I have tried 5-HTP, Valerian Root, Abien, Melatonin and others.  Costco Sleep aids work well if I wake up in the middle of the night, but then I wake up with a hang over, dry eyes and my nose bleeds too easy.  Going to sleep isn't usually the problem.  Staying asleep is.  And so I am going to try something new and different.

 I have heard so much about essential oils, and lavender that I am going to give it a try.  Tonight I ordered from Amazon the Essence of Vali Sleep Travel Kit.  "Sleep travel kit?", you may ask. Yes a sleep travel kit.  I ordered this because it contains a sampling of three different lavender formulations and I thought it might be nice to try them all and see if one works better than another.  Also, in September we will be doing a bit of traveling and thought the travel kit would be handy.

My order should be here around August 17.  I plan to use it for a few nights and then I will report back to all you who might be searching for a good night's sleep, how it goes.  I hope I can report back with rave reviews on this product.



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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Applying Sunday's Sermon~~Updated!

Okay, I have to admit it.  I was REALLY looking forward to handing off my PCHE responsibilities to the next person this afternoon.  I was so excited to be done that I deleted the email accounts off all my devices and deleted all associated email addresses from my address books this morning.

Then I got an email.  Her computer updated to Windows 10 over night and now it won't work, so now she can't take over until her computer gets fixed and she is leaving town tomorrow and won't be back for a week.  

I have to admit I was very disappointed in this delay.  I asked God "why?" several times.  Then just a little while ago, it came to me.  Our pastor said on Sunday that God knows the circumstances that He has put us into.  He has a reason for it. 

Okay, maybe it's just so I can learn to be patient.  I don't know.  But I do know that my "retirement" from homeschool will come even though delayed a bit. God knows.

Update:

It's kind of interesting.  Right after I acknowledged that God knew my circumstances and must have a reason for delaying my "retirement"...I got an email from her stating her computer suddenly began working again!  God just needed to teach me a lesson first. Funny how He does that.
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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Visual of 1 Peter 1:3-5




I was just reviewing this visual I made yesterday.  Wow! We as Christians have so much to praise God for!  It's so cool to think about all of this. We are saved by His mercy, protected by His power and have our completed salvation to look forward to.  That inheritance bubble should also be connected to the "to be revealed" bubble since we don't actually have it in our possession yet, although it is waiting for us and that is our living hope.  

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Monday, August 03, 2015

Sunday Sermon: Aliens, Scattered, Chosen 1 Peter 1:1-2

Our pastor just started a series in 1 Peter as a break from the life of David.  I love  1 & 2 Peter! These are the most practical books to study!  They are so appropropiate to our times.

Peter writes to aliens that are scattered and who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God.
In the social climate that is emerging in our country, we are soon going to feel like aliens if we don't already.  Think about it.  God has chosen us to be aliens.  It's according to God's foreknowledge.

If He has chosen us to be aliens here in a land that is becoming more and more foreign and hostile to us all the time, then He knows the environment into which He has put us.  It's according to His foreknowledge that we are here.

God's foreknowledge is an interesting thing.  Some say that God saves people based on His foreknowledge.  They say He looks down the corridors of time and elects those to salvation that He sees will respond to Him.  But foreknowledge takes on a whole different meaning when you think about the fact that God is the first cause of all things.  So God looks down the corridors of time and sees who He will save based on His divine action before the foundations of the world.  This complete thought was not in the sermon, but came to me as I thought about this concept of foreknowledge. It keeps God in the drivers seat instead of man.  God chooses, man will respond. Not man chooses and God responds.

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" -Ephesians 1:4

So back to our times and culture.  God knows the times we live in.  He had the foreknowledge that we would be living in this evironment because He is the first cause of all things.  He has a purpose for this environment in our lives as Christians.  It is to cause us to desire Him and the eternal city of heaven more than we desire to make our home here.  This is not our home.  He has put us here to sanctify us and separate us from the earthly dirsires and material possessions that so often crowd Him out of our lives.

He wants grace and peace to be ours to the fullest measure.  Not the temporary fleeting peace, but the spiritual peace that He offers. Living in a hostile world, requires much grace and He wants us to have that.  It all comes through the sanctification that persecution and trials bring into our lives.