Saturday, October 24, 2015

Who is Jesus According to 1 Peter?

1. Jesus is to be obeyed. 1:2
2. God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:3
3. Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead 1:3
4. Jesus will be revealed in the future 1:7
5. Christ suffered 111
6. Grace will be brought with the revelation of Jesus Christ 1:12
7. Jesus' precious blood redeemed us 1:17-19
8. Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world 1:20
9. Jesus appeared for the sake of His people 1:20
10. Jesus is the way to God 1:21
11. The Lord is kind 2:3
12. Jesus was rejected by men 2:4
13. Jesus is choice and precious in the sight of God 2:4
14. Our spiritual sacrifices are only acceptable to God when they come through Christ 2:5
15. Jesus is the stone which the builders rejected 2:7
16. Jesus is the corner stone 2:6
17. Jesus is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense 2:8
18. Christ suffered for me 2:21
19. Jesus committed no sin or had deceit in his mouth 2:22
20. Jesus did not return evil for evil 2:23
21. Jesus entrusted himself to the one who judges righteously 2:23
22. Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross 2:24
23. Christ died for sins once for all to bring us to God 3:18
24. Christ preached to those who were disobedieant in the days of Noah 3:19-20
25. Jesus is at the right hand of God 3:22
26. Angels and authorities and powers are subjected to Jesus 3:22
27. Christ suffered in the flesh 4:1
28. Christ is the chief Shepherd 5:4
29. Jesus will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you 5:10

Who Am I According to 1 Peter?

Who Am I According to 1 Peter?

1. I am born again to a living hope 1:3
2. I am guarded by God through fiath for salvation 1:5
3. I am grieved by trials 1:6
4. I am tested to see if my faith is genuine  1:7
5. I am called to be holy 1:15
6. I am an exile in this world 1:17
7. I am ransomed with the precious blood of Jesus 1:18-19
8. I am a believer in God 1:21
9. I am purified through obeying the truth 1:22
10. I am born again through the living and abiding word of God 1:2
11. I am a living stone 2:5
12.I am a spiritual priest 2;5
13. I am of a chosen race 2:9
14. I am a royal priest 2:9
15. I am God's own chosen possession 2:9
16. I am God's person 2:10
17. I am a recipient of mercy 2:10
18. I am a sojourner 2:11
19. I am free 2:16
20. I am a servant of God 2:16
21. I am a follower of Christ 2:21
22. I am healed (spiritualy in the present...physically in the future in heaven) by His wounds 2:24
23. I am returned to the Shepherd 3:7
24. I am called to recieve a blessing 3:9
25. I am a Christian 4:16
26. I am a sheep in the flock of God 5:2

So after finding out who I am in Christ, I need to go through this list and think about how I should be behaving my self in light of who I am.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Hallmark Cards Removing Christian Themed Cards from Shelves??

A friend of mine was at a Hallmark store recently, looking for a religious themed birthday card for her daughter.  There were none to be found.  She asked about it.  They said they had a few in a box in the back room.  She asked why there were none on the shelf and they informed her that Hallmark was not going to stock Christian themed cards anymore.

There were quite a few comments on her post. Here is a sampling:

"...we should ALL go into these stores an ask for Christian greeting cards and maybe they will get the message!!!!!?!"

" Maybe if we all quit buying cards they will wonder what happened"

" We all need to contact walmart and hallmarks corporate office.!!! Lets flood the phones."

 " Oh that upsets me, that is so disgusting. It does seem that we are beginning to be the only ones with no rights and we can be offended everytime I turn around, and we need to just put up with it."

My question is this.  What should our response be to this?  My devotional time this morning in 1 Peter 3 has the answer, I believe.

[d]To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

  9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but [e]giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

 10 For,
The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
11 He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Who is [f]there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?

 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [g]are blessed. And do not fear their [h]intimidation, and do not be troubled, 

15 but [i]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [j]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [k]reverence;

  16 [l]and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

 17 For it is better, if [m]God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 

 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the [n]spirit;

...Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

It is right to be angry about the censorship of Christianity out of the Hallmark line of cards, but we must not let our anger become sinful anger.  Walking into a Hallmark shop and demanding Christian themed cards and walking out in anger will not reflect the grace of Jesus Christ to the employees.

This morning I sent an email to  Hallmark and told them of my friend's experience, the questions she asked and the response of the employees and I asked them if it was true they were not going to stock Christian themed cards anymore.  I was respectful, giving them a chance to tell me if it was true or false.  Who knows, maybe it's not Hallmark that is making this decision, maybe it is individual store managers and they are passing the buck to Hallmark to avoid dealing with customers being upset with them.  I have yet to receive an answer, but when I do I will copy and paste their response here for all to see.  

If their response is affirming the fact that they are indeed not going to stock Christian themed cards, then it is appropriate to  respectfully, respond and ask them to reconsider.  It would be appropriate to ask them if they are discontinuing all religious themed cards or just Christian themed cards.  If they are discontinuing all religious themed cards no matter what religion, then I don't think it's appropriate to get after them for discriminating because they would be treating all religions equally.

However, if they are only discontinuing Christian themed cards, we need to respectfully point out that this would be discrimination and that if they are doing it to one religion then they need to do it to all religions equally or decide to stock all of them.  

We can do this in accordance to 1 Peter 3 because we are commanded to be humble, pursuing peace, keeping our tongue (pen, emails, etc) from evil as we try to seek the truth of the matter and make an appeal for justice.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Windows 10

Okay, just upgraded to Windows 10. So far, with limited use, here is my opinion of it. I may add to this as I go.

The Good

I think I will like having a start menu.

The new MS Edge Browser has a funky new thing where you can write and draw on webpages and then save a copy to share.  Might be fun to draw mustaches on celebrities and friends on Facebook.  Ha.

 Playing around with Windows 10 I discovered I can have several different desk tops each with a different program running on it.  I can think of all sorts of good uses for this feature.

I can also just use one desk top with multiple programs opened and layered so I can see what is what and bounce back and forth between them.  I can also have two programs side by side in a split screen deal.

The Bad 

 At first I got no picture with videos, only sound.  But this morning it appears to be working okay.

MS Edge, microsoft's new browser is okay but missing vital pieces in my opinion. When I open a new tab, I want a homepage button where I can get Bing to automatically load. The Edge doesn't have a home page button.  I have to open the new tab and then search for Bing in the default search bar.  This is a waste of time.  But I want to do my searches in Bing because I earn points for Amazon cards that way.  It's possible that I haven't found the trick, but so far not.

I'm not fond of how the search function works.  Maybe I just don't know how to use it yet, but when I am searching for something in my computer I don't want internet results.

I kind of miss the screen where I could view all the apps.

The Ugly

 I keep getting this notification that either the AMD software has an invalid license or that the license information to use the software is not found.  I tried updating drivers for it but was told there are no drivers for my system.  So I hope whatever this is it won't be a big problem. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Marsha's Musings: What I Have Gleaned from a Study in 1 Peter 1

Here are my take home lessons from my study in 1 Peter 1.

1. Prepare your mind for action v. 13
2.) Keep sober minded v. 13
3.) Fix your hope completely on the grace of God v. 13
4.) Do not be conformed to your former lusts v. 14
5.) Be holy in all your behavoir v. 15
6.) Conduct yourself in the fear of God v. 17
7.) Purify your soul in obedience to the truth v. 22
8.) Fervently love one another from the heart v. 22

The first seven commands have to do with my own personal preparation and spiritual hygiene. The last command has to do with my interaction with other believers.

The first seven commands are all inter-related.  If I do not prepare my mind for action by digging into the Word of God, then I will not be sober minded spiritually, I will not have my hope fixed completely on the grace of God, I will tend to fall back into former sins and  my life will not be characterized with holy behavoir because I will not be conducting myself in the fear of God or purifying my soul in obedience to the truth.  

The end result of a failure to obey the first seven commands is that I will not love other Christians as I ought.  In fact I might feel like they are too spiritual for me to hang around with and feel uncomfortable being around them so that I do not make church attendance a priority in my life.  It can have devastating results in one's life as he/she pulls back and becomes more and more self absorbed. It can result in depression, and irritability toward loved ones and an attitude of apathy toward life in general. 

God help me to be diligent in these things!  

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Getting on a Cleaning Kick

Today I decided it's time I take control of this house.
I cleaned out the garage storage closet.  It is now much easier to find and get things in there.
I cleaned the top of the book shelves off and the mess around the bottom.
I got rid of a whole trunk load of stuff at the second hand store.
I got rid of old notebooks.
I made up the day bed.
I stored decorative pillows away so I don't have so much to work around.
I moved an old bedspread of Sarah's back to her room.
I feel so accomplished!

Monday, September 07, 2015

False Prophets at My Door

There are two ladies who keep showing up at my door.  Today they gave me a pamphlet with an article entitled "Are You Disappointed in God?"

I read through the article with curiosity.  What would they have to say that would give someone hope?  There were several headings in this article.

1. Did God intend for people to suffer?
Basically, the conclusion was that since Deut. 32:4 says that God is never unjust and that he is righteous and upright, then God would never intend that humans should suffer or that he would use calamities to punish or purify them.

So apparently, then, it is unjust and unrighteous for God to ever bring calamity upon people.  Let's see how that stands up to Scripture.

I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.

Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words Nor My law, but rejected it.

And they shall know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.”

If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?

2. Why is there suffering?
The article says there is suffering because Satan induced Adam and Eve to reject God's standards of right and wrong as represented by the command for them to refrain from eating of the "tree of the knowledge of good and bad." Satan implied that mankind would be better off without God's rulership. And so, I guess, this article is saying this was the cause of suffering.

While this is partially true, they are missing a vital piece.  The cause of human suffering is due to God's judgment on man for his sin because of man's rejection of God's command.  God's judgement is completely ignored in this article.

16 To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.

3. How God Resolves the Issues
The article tells me that God resolved the issues by deciding to allow humans to rule themselves for a time and let the results prove whose rulership is superior.  The miserable condition the world is in today is proof that human rulership has utterly failed.

The article goes on to say that one day God, through His kingdom will remove all causes of suffering.
Then the article quotes a bunch of Scripture promises that state suffering will be a thing of the past.

 Really?  Is that all there is?  

4. Overcoming  Disappointment
This section of the article tells the story of a person who had an accident.  He tells how he never blamed Jehovah God because he realized the accident was not a punishment from God.  Through prayer to Jehovah and reading Eccl.9:11; Psalm 145:18; and 2 Cor. 4:8-10 he kept his spirits up.

The wrap up goes like this:

"Keeping in mind the reasons why God has permitted suffering and how its effects will soon be undone helps us to overcome any feeling of disappointment in God that we may have.  We are assured that God is "the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him." No one who rests his faith on him and His Son will be disappointed. Hebrews 11:6; Romans10:11."

This all sounds good and lovely, but it misses the point sadly.  

As we saw above in Genesis, God judged the earth for man's sin. Yes suffering began in the Garden with Adam and Eve's sin.  The suffering is God's judgement against man for his sin.

How did God resolve the issues?  

Since our sin separates us from God, a perfect sacrifice had to be made to satisfy God's wrath against sinners.  
[ God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness ] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

God devised a plan of salvation.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
It was through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we can be saved.  He paid the price to save us from God's wrath against sinners.  It was through no works of our own that He saved us. 

Titus 3:4-6New King James Version (NKJV)

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 

Now this gives me hope.  Yes, there is suffering in this world, but I know and can look forward to the day when God calls me home and I will leave all this suffering behind.  My sins have been paid for by the precious blood of Jesus when He died for me on the cross. Don't let anyone take that away from you.  When they come knocking at the door and hand you their literature, don't be fooled by their false gospel (which is no gospel at all). 

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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Lessons from My Dog

Marsha's Musings: Lessons from My Dog

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. -1 Timothy 6:11

Over the last couple of weeks or so DJ has been sneaking downstairs.  We typically don't let him up or down stairs without supervision because he likes to dump the trash.  But he started out sneaking down there and we'd find him in his crate, so we let it go.  Then he started dragging his bed to the foam carpet by the bed. That was okay too. Next he would skip the blanket and just go lay on the carpet.  But today temptation got the best of him.  We called and he didn't come. We looked everywhere, even in the basement and did not see him.  Sarah went back to take a second look and there he was, curled up in a tiny ball on the bed in a pile of clean sheets.  He knew he was in trouble. He tried to make himself smaller and the tip of his tail wagged nervously.

Isn't that how we are?  We try to get as close to sin as possible without committing it.  Then one day, the temptation is just too great, we have gotten so close to it we can't control ourselves and we go for it, just like my dog did.  Oh we think we are getting away with it. After all, no one seems to notice and we have a good line to justify it.  But is it glorifing to God?  Are we fleeing sin as commanded by God?Are we following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness? These are the real issues at stake. 
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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 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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